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Manual Testing Vs Automated Testing - Top Considerations

April 13, 2022
Sohaib Zaidi

At a high level, software testing can be categorised as manual testing or automated testing. As their names imply, manual testing involves humans manually executing tests without any support from tools or scripts. With automated testing, test cases are executed with the help of software, scripts, and tools.

The pressing question is which type of testing approach you should incorporate to ensure successful software project delivery. Although there are many factors to consider, the most important are time, cost, and quality (risk-coverage). The goal of any successful testing process is to reduce the cost and time required to complete it successfully, while maintaining quality output.

In this blog, we’ll explain the main differences between Manual Testing Vs Automated Testing, with regards to time, cost, and quality.

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Manual Vs Automated Testing in terms of time

In manual testing process, QA analysts execute tests one at a time to catch bugs and surface issues before a software application goes live. Manually testing scenarios is time consuming and requires multiple clicks and data entries through multiple screens, and it often takes hours to test just one test scenario. Automated testing is far more efficient, as testers utilize tools and scripts to automate repeated testing efforts.

The main difference between manual testing vs automated testing is that automated testing is significantly faster than manual testing. However, the main bottleneck is that automated testing, at least with legacy tools, requires coding and test maintenance.

Manual Vs Automated Testing in terms of Cost

Manual testing is a labour-intensive process in which testers are required in everything from test case creation to actual test execution. Since this process depends entirely on human resources—without the aid of tools—significant labour investment is required. And these expenses will only grow as your project grows—there is no scaling benefit, as manual test cases cannot be reused. On the other hand, while there is often a higher up-front cost with automated testing, it scales faster, and therefore it is cheaper, in the long run.

The main difference between manual testing vs automated testingis that manual testing is cheaper to get up and running, but is more costly than automated testing over time.

Manual Vs Automated Testing in terms of risk coverage

Since manual testing is entirely dependent on humans, it is less accurate and thorough than software. Because manual testing is a repetitive—often tedious process—it frequently contains human error. Additionally, with manual testing, testers often don’t know what, exactly, to test. As a result, they either test too much, which wastes money and time, or test too little, which exposes their applications to unnecessary downtime risk.

The main difference between manual testing vs automated testing is that with test automation platforms, organizations can test all critical business functions quickly. No trade-off needs to be made between quality and speed. With manual testing processes, organizations can test quickly—and risk low coverage—or test slowly, and be slow to adapt.

Top considerations for choosing a test automation platform

Low Learning Curve: Most test automation frameworks are developed with programming mind-set. And most business analysts, functional consultants, and manual testers are not coders. So, they find it difficult to operate a test automation framework.

We recommend you opt for a codeless test automation platform in which test cases can be written in plain English, as this allows anyone in your organization to create and automate tests. The ramp up time for platforms like these are short—typically less than a week.

Read: Opkey Vs. Selenium


Self-healing Capabilities: Most automated testing platforms, like Selenium, operate using fixed object properties, like Name, ID, Xpath, CSS etc. A slight change in UI or a tweak in functionality breaks these automation scripts, and as a result, test maintenance becomes a major burden.

We recommend you choose a test automation platform with AI capabilities that can automatically identify object changes and fixtest scripts without human intervention, as this saves countless hours on tedious test maintenance tasks.

Test Discovery & Accelerators: With most automated testing solutions, humans are still responsible for creating and then coding test scripts. If the human doesn’t know which processes to test, then test coverage will not be optimized.

We recommend you choose a test automation platform with test discovery functionality that can mine your existing data logs to surface all the tests you’ve historically run, and test accelerators, that can instantly apply recommended test scripts. This saves a significant amount of time in test creation, and ensures optimal test coverage.

Opkey is the industry’s leading AI-powered test automation platform that can handle end-to-end testing for over 14 packaged applications and 150 technologies. Opkey’s platform is no-code, and enables any employee—technical or non-technical—to quickly create and automate tests.

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