GUI Testing on Smart Devices – Testing Guidelines

As “First impression is the last”, so GUI (Graphical User Interface) does matter and creates a lot of difference. Importance of decent and attractive GUI can be felt more significantly in smart devices environment where screen size is much small.

GUI testing can be toughest part especially while testing on smart device. You should pay full attention to the GUI while testing on smart devices and surely it is an important task that deserves significant time and resource allocation.

Practical Tips for Testing GUI on Smart Devices:

For me, while testing GUI, all the controls are accused. I raise questions why they are there on the screen and I try to answer these questions. I argue in opposition and favor of the controls one by one and I do all this without discussing with someone else. It is the time when I’m wearing multiple hats, Controls are accused and I’m the Prosecutor , I’m the Defense Lawyer and I’m the Judge and during all this process a control must have valid and solid reasons in its favor to be there on screen and consume space. I suggest you to try it and it will help you to decide which controls to display on the screen.

There also come the situations where you are given an already built GUI to test. In such situations also think about the missing controls, the controls that will add value to the screen and compare their importance with the current ones. If you think you need to make a change go ahead.

Once you have decided which controls will be shown on the screen, think thoroughly about size, style and location of the controls on the screen and more important how user will interact with them?

3 important factors to be considered while testing GUI on Smart Devices:

GUI testing smart devices

There are too many variations in screen sizes and available resolutions. In smart devices especially, controls sizes are not static, they have relation to the available screen size.

While testing, make sure that controls size looks esthetically good and control is completely visible on the screen without any scrolling. Test the GUI on different devices with different screen sizes and resolutions.


Emulators are good for this purpose but nothing matches the real device. So make sure that you test on at least two or three real devices. Also don’t forget to test on landscape and portrait orientations if the device supports it.

Definitely your application has a specific design. And style of the controls should match with that design. You might have seen many applications where some controls e.g. panels have round edges and text boxes in them have sharp edges. Although this type of issues don’t affect the usability or functionality but still a consistent look of the application helps to build a friendly relation between the application and the user.

Relatively more important thing in style is font on the different pages. Most of the times, we focus the text that is visible in normal situations and ignore the text that appears in specific situations. Success and Failure messages are an example of such type of text.

Another factor, important in style is relation between the font color and the situation in which text is displayed. For example Red color is used for Error messages, Green for success, Yellow for warnings and Blue (now a day occasionally) for hyperlinks.

Location and position are the two words that are used alternatively and it is interesting that they are further used to convey two different concepts that are explained below.

1. Sometimes it is the area on the screen where a control appears. For example Header is located on Top of the page, Labels are Left Aligned, and Text boxes are Right Aligned etc. Here text in bold are relative positions of the controls

2. Sometimes it is the order of a control among the other controls. For example while getting personal info, First Name is followed by the last name or format of controls to ask for a US address should be in order ZIP, City, State.

For both these situations, make sure that everything is logical and shows a good aesthetic sense.

Forgot something even more important. There are situations where one or more controls appear on more than one screen, in this situation make sure that they appear on same location and in the same order on all the pages.

This is a guest post by Uzair Baloch. If you want to write one, please read the guidelines.

About Author: With an industry experience of 3+ years, Uzair Baloch is currently working as Sr. SQA Engineer for a Canadian organization in their offshore office.

Hope these tips will help you testing GUI on any smart devices. If you have more ideas please share with us in below comments.

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#1 Suhas

I am working on smartphone testing. this is really a very vast domain and one can not go into depth of all applications. there are thousands of devices already present and hundreds getting added daily. so practically it’s impossible to test on all devices but this can be decided by stakeholder according to their needs.

can you please suggest some automation tools for GUI testing on smart devices?

#2 Nathan

Hi i am new in software Testing field and this post is realy helpful for the new comer’s .specially those who are working on smart devices.its a good one
suggest some good Emmulators which provided good results ?

#3 Atta Baloch

Very good article for the new and rapidly emerging field in which currently there is no substantial information available. this article will help the QA Engineers grab it quickly.

#4 Anki

I saw that most of testing tool Softwares like QTP doesnt get installed on Windows7 OS ,they get installed on only windows XP IS THAT TRUE?or also windows 7 also supports QTP…HELP ME..

#5 Genie

Another thing to keep in mind when testing Smart phones, there are instances where some operating systems behave very differently than others. I have found this out first hand. I have seen differences in not only appearance, but functionality as well between, iPhone, Android & Windows OS.

#6 Srideep Mitra -

GUI testing of mobile apps can bring three distint advantages.

Testing on real devices.
Cross-platform testing
Testing within you firewall.

We at TestPlant recently released eggPlant mobile test solution.

This pedigree QA test tool address the QA test automation on desktop, mobile and cloud platforms.

#7 Kaps

It’s really a good article to remember especially for new testers like me.
But I would also like to know more about the emulators.
Rest it’s really helpful and I already follow many of these guidelines. This definitely gave me the confidence that I am doing it the right way just at beginning. Thanks a lot.
I would also like to add that many a times it happens that the application we are testing (not necessarily on smart devices) supports changing of looks of the application or themes. In this case, in my opinion along with functionality, GUI is also extremely important. We have to think on everything displayed on the screen. We also have to think over its correctness in every aspect as far as GUI is concerned. Here we have to decide the CORRECTNESS and suggest higher authorities.
Unfortunately the place I am working least signifies the GUI.

#8 Pravina

Hi i am new in software Testing field and this post is realy helpful for the new comer’s But I would also like to know about the Automation Testing

#9 Uzair Baloch

Suhas, Nathan and Pravina: I hope my next article will cover the Simulators and Automation tools.

#10 Uzair Baloch

Genie: Thanks for pointing it out. Here is text from W3C which suits here
“In the highly fragmented market of devices and browsers, standards are the best guarantee for interoperability”

#11 swathi

hello vijay,im really thankful to u ,the way u explained about software testing is good for who r willing to join in a testing career.i want to start my career on testing

#12 vinod

hi all,
can anybody share health insurance domain testing things!!

#13 Uzair Baloch

Hi Vinod;
I think you posted the comment erroneously here. Any how see HIPPA and CCHIT documentation and you will have a lot of ideas and the testing things :)

#14 manju


how to test horlicks which is asked one of interview i faced

#15 manju


can any tell how to test webapplication, with example other than login page plz

#16 nilisha

can any body help me in writing test case for the brokerage account. i m new to the testing field.

#17 viknesh

for android there were around 350 models with various size and spec. Design issues are much problem.

#18 Killer

Not a very helpfull article

#19 Nilesh

Can any one suggest some solution for smart devices testing?

#20 vinod

Hi ……

can any tell how to test UI compatibility for different sizes of screen , with example other than login page!!!!!!!!!!!

plz suggest any tools for that testing ….

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