Manual vs Automation Testing.


As time moves on in the technical world, more and more people are looking to automate the testing of their systems and there are a number of benefits to doing this. However, many argue that manual testing still plays an integral part in this process. I’ll be using this article to explore the differences and benefits of manual and automation testing.

With manual testing, the human element to the test makes it unique because it is near on impossible for a human to act in the same way more than once. For example, a tester would need to click a series of buttons and although the button will be clicked every time in succession the speed will vary between each click; which may have a negative effect with automated testing because the clicks will be the same every time.

Networks and communication protocols do not work in this way so a button that fires off a web request in succession may not always work in the same time. Automated tests would fail in this instance where as a human can pause dynamically between clicks. Have you ever clicked on a web page and you get the error page cannot be displayed? You click back and then try the web page again and it works, you move forward and forget about it. If this was an automated test it would be a fail.

As the case may be, the automated test can handle lots of paralleled tests on many browsers all at the same time. For a manual tester, this would take the test duration times the parallel number times the browser type…simply a lot of times longer. Automated testing is more cost effective for larger systems in the long run but require additional skills and expertise to set it up. Automated testing is faster and more productive in its own right if used for the right purpose such as regression testing.

Manual testing is a test method with the same value as automated but in a different entity. There are many business’s that would like to think automation in full is the way to go. Manual testing is always going to be needed because automated testing is a logical test. It is faster and more efficient yes but is it a real solidified test to be trusted alone when releasing software? On the other hand, is manual testing alone a trusted test as well. Manual and automated testing are like brother and sister of testing.

This is where there is a need for manual testing and automated testing. There are many more examples for the use of each method and far too much to be covered in this blog session.

Some advantages of automated testing:

  1. The scripts can be used over and over again to retest the same errors of a system and build a regression pack.
  2. They take less time to complete than manual testing, so you will get more tested faster.
  3. Automation helps you find bugs in the early stages of development, saving time and money.
  4. You do not have to be in one location, it can be accessed anywhere. The tests can be started when you leave the office and be run overnight to get the outcome.
  5. There are several limitations to the manual testing approach. For example, it is difficult to conduct load and performance testing manually, as it requires a great number of users/testers and devices running the program simultaneously. That is why such tasks are best handled through special tools and automation.

Automation is best applied to the following types of testing:

Regression Testing: If your code base changes frequently and you introduce minor changes often, your regression testing can only benefit from automation. Not only does this approach allow for repeatability, it also saves you time and effort with multiple test scenario reruns.

Load and Performance Testing: Using test automation tools, even one QA engineer can easily simulate thousands of concurrent users, database queries, and server requests to test how your system performs under load. Plus, you can track and measure various metrics in the process–a task that can never be processed by hand.

Many people still prefer to carry out testing manually, and you can see the benefits below:

  1. Automatic scripts can’t provide feedback on the systems look and feel. Getting insight from a real person can be invaluable if you want to be sure your system is easy to use and matches the designs signed off by the client
  2. Manual testing requires less cost than automation
  3. Manual testing allows for the most precise real-life scenarios in which your system will be used. Any bugs or flaws that might occur when a using the system are likely to be captured through the process of manual testing.
  4. Allows human observations and suggestions for improvement into the system
  5. You don’t have to invest in any special tools. Having several members of your team or hiring additional resources to do the quality check makes it easier to manage the budget and requires no upfront costs
  6. Working in an agile environment. You need the capacity to react to the slightest requirement changes instantly. In this case, manual testing offers the freedom to adapt to anything. If you want to quickly test a new feature or check any changes in the UI, manual testing is exactly what you need

So, to conclude, not one type of testing is better than the other, both areas of testing are needed and work hand in hand for the maximum quality of a system.

In my next blog, I will discuss the differences between Sanity, Regression and Smoke testing so watch this space.

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Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.


Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

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23 Apr 2018 - 8 minute read
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