Graphical User Interface Testing

What Does Graphical User Interface Testing Mean?

Graphical user interface testing (GUI testing) refers to the testing of a graphical user interface to ensure trouble-free use and implementation.


A graphical user interface is a software tool that helps end users to utilize a software environment. These tools need to work well in order to support a user base.

Techopedia Explains Graphical User Interface Testing

Graphical user interface testing is built on specific paradigms that help developers to test the full range and functionality of the system. These are sometimes called "test cases." Developers and others need to check to make sure that each part of a graphical user interface is functioning correctly—for example, that use of each individual menu item, window, text box or other control works the way it is supposed to. With GUI testing, professionals look for a wide range of problems, from improper output and small bugs or glitches to complete system crashes.

Regression testing for GUIs involves multiple or complex control paths. For instance, a developer might have to check a specific series of user activities where a user might first select the menu item and then use other controls in sequence. The idea of complex control paths has numerous different permutations that need to be checked in GUI testing.

GUI testing also has to be done for each individual device environment. One major application of GUI testing has occurred as portable devices like smartphones and tablets have gradually taken over a lot of the functionality previously facilitated by laptop computers. The GUIs for mobile devices are different from those of laptop or desktop computers, and many different kinds of software teams needed to try to migrate GUI systems to phones accordingly.

The graphical user interface represents, in many ways, the core of the environment, and GUI testing generally takes significant work and investment on the part of tech providers.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.