Intuition is the inherent ability of people to instantly penetrate the essence of things – real or hypothetical – through a subconscious combination of existing experience and sudden insight. In other words, intuition is a combination of experience, empathy, and imagination.
We can say that intuition is one of the key factors that distinguish the human mind from Artificial Intelligence. This ignorance of where the right decisions come from is our weakness and our strength at the same time. The machine knows everything about cause and effect, but even the most powerful AI is not yet capable of illogical but ultimately correct actions. This means that it will never be able to fully assess the products created for people. After all, humans often tend to act illogically and irrationally.
Of course, in the complex process of Quality Assurance, it is essential to ensure the implementation of tests based on speed, simultaneous processing of large amounts of data, and operations that exclude the human factor. However, it is the combination of machine precision and the human approach that can guarantee complete confidence that your solution has passed a comprehensive test.
Where and when is manual testing indispensable?
It is a well known fact that there is no such automated process that could not be performed manually during the QA testing process.
However, it is no less evident that some operations, especially those based on repetitive actions of the same type or carrying a high probability of human error, are better to be automated. Artificial intelligence does not know fatigue. Its attention, reaction speed, etc. will never get weaker. Therefore, leaving the issues of automated testing outside the scope of our article, let’s focus on those QA performance metrics where the presence of a human tester is justified and, in some cases, is merely necessary.
Let’s turn to the rich practical manual testing experience of TestFort, a renowned full-cycle testing company. Here are some of the key reason for manual testing https://testfort.com/manual-testing:
1. The so-called smoke tests provide a much more significant effect if carried out manually. It is hardly possible to overestimate such factors as emotional or aesthetic response of the user to the program interface and its convenience. And it is pretty clear that the machine will not be able to share such impressions with you. In addition, testing your application to make sure it’s ready for automated tests can save you a lot of time and resources in the long run.
2. Remember what we said about intuition? An AI will diligently look for errors but only where you programmed it to. Through their experience and inner voice, a manual tester is likely to stumble upon and point out flaws in places you didn’t even consider searching.
3. The vast majority of QA companies today manage their automated processes using Agile approaches. This allows you to control cycles and compare data. However, the mandatory rewriting of scripts for Agile can be a very costly and lengthy undertaking. Such an approach is far from being always expedient. In most cases, it is way faster and more cost-efficient to perform manual testing.
4. Most software is written for people. Testers, unlike a machine, can easily put themselves in the shoes of different target users, utilizing their empathy and personal experience, whereas an AI would require hundreds of scripts (each of which will still be written by a human) to have a chance at creating a competition.
5. Any testing begins with a strategy. Any strategy requires adjustments. People can respond flexibly and quickly to any changes or unexpected circumstances. Alas, this can not be said about AI.
6. Mobile devices and applications have already outpaced desktop solutions. Using such programs involves experience literally at your fingertips. It is unlikely that an AI will be able to tell you how convenient multitouch is or how readable the interface elements are.
7. Many parameters can be programmed and checked automatically. However, how can AI evaluate the subjective sensations from the speed of loading web forms or rendering a web application page? Ask the manual tester if you want to find out what mood a particular application evokes in the user.
8. Testing is a multi-level and multi-stage process. Many error messages come from users. The human brain and human hands are the shortest way from obtaining such information to finding and eliminating the causes.
The bottom line
Automated QA methods are showing great results, and, of course, it would be unwise to undermine their efficiency and importance in particular scenarios. However, manual testing has many more everyday and universal uses than automated testing, which is very situational.