Manual Testing vs. Test Automation: Which One is the Best for You?

By Usama Ahmad | November 30, 2021

Software testing is the process of evaluating and verifying the software application meets all of the defined criteria and detects bugs to deliver a quality product. Testing in general is critical for any project that can be divided into two main categories: manual testing and automation testing.

Both manual and automated testing have their benefits and limitations, but it's important to understand the differences between both practices. Thus in this article, we will discuss the characteristics and applications of these two types of testing.

What is Manual Testing?

Manual testing means tests are executed manually by a QA Tester. For this reason, manual testing relies heavily on the QA Analyst’s abilities, knowledge, and experience.

In manual testing, the tester verifies all of the application's or software's critical features. Without the assistance of any automated software testing tools, software testers execute test cases and create test reports. It is a traditional approach for all forms of testing and aids in discovering faults in software systems. It is often undertaken by an experienced tester to complete the software testing process.

What is Automated Testing?

Automation Testing, or Test Automation, is the process of performing test cases using automation technologies. This is a form of testing for which tests are created using scripting and other programming methods.

During automated software testing, testers write code to automate test execution. They use suitable automation tools to design test scripts and verify their products. The objective is to finish test execution in the shortest period possible.

Automated testing is entirely reliant on pre-scripted tests that are executed automatically to compare actual and anticipated outcomes. This information assists the tester in determining if an application runs as intended.

Test automation has several advantages. It enables testers to carry out repetitive tasks and regression tests without involving a human tester. While all operations are automated, initial testing scripts must be created manually.

Selenium, QTP, and UFT are a few of the most-used automation tools by experienced QA engineers. But, UIlicious is, by far, the easiest way to start automating tests. People who don't have much experience with test automation can use this automation tool to start automating their most repetitive tests in a snap. This all-in-one tool is powerful and flexible so it allows anyone to create any automated test they can imagine without much effort.

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Comparison between manual testing and test automation


Manual Testing

Test Automation


Involves the manual execution of test scenarios.

Tools are used to perform test scenarios.


Reliability is low.

Reliability is much greater.


It is less expensive, but the expense is associated with humans.

While the setup cost is higher, it is more affordable than manual testing in the long term.

Time factor

It requires more time to give more test coverage.

Since it is a machine, it executes cases more quickly and on schedule.

Error probability

Since humans make errors, their precision is limited.

Machines rarely make errors (except when it has been asked to do so).


Since it requires human involvement, it is advantageous to examine the application's accessibility.

It doesn't have the capacity to test for usability or accessibility.

Operating systems

Manual testing may make it harder to test the application across several operating systems unless we provide the tester with a variety of devices.

We can easily test the application on a variety of operating systems with the help of automation testing.

Test coverage

Occasionally, it becomes difficult to run all test cases, resulting in reduced test coverage.

We can accomplish the test coverage goal with automation testing.


Manual testers may have difficulty testing the application across many browsers.

Automation enables you to test your application across a variety of browsers. UIlicious allows us to test our application across a variety of browsers.


You are required to create reports on your own throughout testing.

Here, the tool will create a report on the execution of the test cases. You can generate reports using UIlicious.

Why and when do you use automation in your testing process?

As we just saw, manual testing has several drawbacks because it often requires repeated testing, and performing repetitive tasks may be tedious. You may get irritated while testing with valid and incorrect inputs. To err is human, and we cannot afford to cut corners when it comes to quality.

For instance, testing software with negative inputs may be time costly. The primary restriction on any software development process is cost. Automation is introduced to address all of the concerns above.

These are the cases in which automation testing should be considered:

When to stick to manual testing?

Even if it is time-consuming, there are various advantages of manual testing. In the following cases, we recommend manual testing over automated testing.

We've included some manual testing examples below:

Exploratory Testing: This is the form of testing required by professional testers since the requirement specification document is unclear. The tester must utilize his skills and expertise to conduct the tests.

Usability Testing: The tester must think like an end-user and assess the application's usability when doing usability testing. Indeed, a tool cannot understand in the same way as a human person. This is considered as one of the disadvantages of automation testing.

Ad-hoc Testing: Since the term "ad-hoc" implies that it is unexpected, a tester plays a vital role.

Testing types that can be either done manually or automated

There are scenarios in which both manual and automated testing can be performed on specific test cases; however, there are certain cases in which both manual and automated testing can be performed. It is up to the team to choose what they believe is best for their project. We have discussed some of the testing types below:

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As we have just seen, manual and automated testing have their benefits and limitations. It is important to consider both testing methodologies when developing your quality assurance strategy. Since both testing approaches play an important role in increasing a successful product, QA ensures that the project launches without major defects, and receives the best feedback possible on how well the app or website performs in a production environment.

Moreover, test management solutions play an important role when it comes to speeding up the testing process. They're also necessary for keeping the entire cost of testing under control.

UIlicious is one of the greatest test management solutions for experienced and novice software testers, QA engineers, analysts, developers, and product managers because it makes it quite simple to begin automating any of your websites.  Try UIlicious for free for seven days by signing up today!

Photo by Jesse Chan

About Usama Ahmad

Usama Ahmad is a Technical Writer with a passion for information technology.

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