Top Visual Regression Testing Tools

Visual regression testing is vital for identifying UI bugs resulting from code alterations.Top picks: TestGrid (AI), SikuliX, Percy and Applitools.

Imagine your online store’s checkout button disappears just before a major sale. Or, your company’s logo suddenly turns neon pink across the entire site. Even minor UI bugs can have disastrous consequences, leading to frustrated users, lost sales, and damaged brand reputation. Visual regression testing ensures that code changes don’t accidentally break the way your website or app looks. It focuses on catching layout issues, color problems, and other visual glitches that can disrupt the user experience.

With a wide range of visual regression testing tools available, choosing the right one is crucial. This blog will help you navigate the options and find the perfect fit for your testing needs.

What To Look for While Choosing Visual Regression Testing Tools

When evaluating visual regression testing solutions, there are several key factors to consider:

1. Coding Skills You Need

There are two types of automated testing tools available:

  • Testing frameworks to assist developers in writing coded test scripts and
  • No-code tools that allow anyone to generate tests using a drag-and-drop interface or a record-and-playback plugin.

If your QA team lacks programmers, you’ll want to look for a no-code solution.

2. Filteration of False Positive

Ideally, the tool should reliably flag visual regressions impacting user experience while intelligently filtering out acceptable UI modifications. Many open-source options are too sensitive, causing failures for any pixel-level change. Assess each tool’s capabilities in this regard.

3. Does It Require Any Add-Ons?

A few visual testing tools are one-stop testing solutions that may be used to build, run, and update tests. However, they only provide visual validation; hence, they should be used with another testing solution.

Other products are simply plug-ins for your existing automation framework that add visual assurance. They commonly accomplish this by inserting a snapshot into an automated test script.

On the other hand, TestGrid io is a one-stop solution for automating both traditional and visual regression testing. (However, I’ll get to that later.)

4. Open-Source or Commercial

There are some free, open-source tools that you’ll never have to pay for, but they usually don’t come with customer service, require programming knowledge to operate, and are more limited in what they can do.

When it comes to commercial tools, several include pricing tiers that push you to upgrade to a far more expensive level once you’ve used up your beginner plan.

Furthermore, specific tools bind you to long-term agreements. An ideal tool will allow you to pay for only the testing you require, with the ability to scale down or scale up as your needs change.

Top Visual Regression Testing Tools

1. TestGrid

TestGrid is among the most popular AI-powered end-to-end test automation solutions for high-velocity teams across the globe. It offers a built-in automated visual testing feature that enables users to assess the visual elements of mobile apps and websites. This eliminates the need to add any external SDK to projects and change the functional test case code.

With TestGrid’s visual testing, you simply need to write a few lines of code, and AI takes care of the rest. As the automation tests run, you get a complete comparison of visual testing.

Moreover, TestGrid ensures complete test coverage. It validates every element of the user interface, including layouts, images, buttons, etc., without requiring you to write unreliable tests. It covers complex, end-to-end scenarios, like BFSI and eCommerce flows, giving you the confidence that your mobile app or website looks as intended.

2. SikuliX

SikuliX is an open-source visual regression testing tool developed in Java and is compatible with Windows, macOS, and some Linux systems. It leverages image recognition powered by OpenCV to detect GUI components.

When you don’t have direct access to a GUI’s internals or an app’s/website’s source code, this tool comes in handy. You can use a mouse and keyboard to interact with the identified GUI elements.

Moreover, SikuliX is equipped with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to look for text in images. This tool does not work on mobile devices. However, it works well with emulators on a desktop or laptop. Some major use cases of SikuliX are automating Flash objects, conducting visual testing on web pages and desktop apps, and automating certain tasks on GUI.

3. Aye Spy

Aye Spy is yet another underrated, open-source visual regression testing tool. The creators of this tool were inspired by BackstopJS and Wraith. They pinpointed performance as the weakness of other visual regression tools available on the market and created Aye Spy to address it. This tool provides 40 UI comparisons in just 60 seconds.

You require Selenium Grid to use Aye Spy. This combination makes cross-browser testing a breeze, as Selenium Grid supports parallel testing on multiple computers. The creators suggest using Selenium’s Docker images. Further, the tool supports AWS S3 for storing snapshots. Clean documentation helps you set up and navigate the tool easily.

4. Hermione.js

Hermione.js is also an open-source visual regression testing tool that combines the capabilities of integration testing. However, it is ideal only for more straightforward websites. If you have prior knowledge of Mocha and WebdriverIO, it becomes easier to use Hermione.js. It facilitates parallel testing across several browsers.

You need to configure Hermione.js either using DevTools or the WebDriver Protocol that requires a Selenium grid. This tool has a user-friendly interface and offers plugins to extend its functionality. As the tool reruns failed testing events, it significantly minimizes incidental test failures.

5. Vizregress

Colin Williamson created Vizregress, an open-source visual regression testing tool, as a research project. He created it to address an issue with Selenium WebDriver – it could not differentiate layouts if the CSS elements stayed the same and only visual representation was modified.

Vizregress compares screenshots against an approved set of screenshots to spot visual regression in an app/website. It allows you to ignore a region on an app/website that needs to be ignored. Built on the AForge.Net Framework, this tool uses the framework’s core image utilities to compare screenshots.

6. Percy Visual Testing

Percy is one of the most sophisticated visual testing tools available. You can use it to integrate, run, and review visual tests. Integration can be accomplished using test automation frameworks, continuous integration, delivery services, or directly through your application.

We can begin performing the required visual tests on the apps and components following integration.

The Percy tool extracts UI screenshots across many browsers and responsive widths when a visual test is started. It then compares your UI against a baseline pixel by pixel and finds any relevant visible changes.

You can check the screenshots for any visual concerns once they’ve been produced.

This tool’s pixel-by-pixel and responsive diffs provide excellent visual coverage. The snapshot stabilization option also helps to reduce false positives.

This is a paid service, but it does provide a free trial version.

7. Applitools

It’s one of the most widely used commercial frameworks for visual regression testing and automated visual testing. This tool gives you a cognitive vision driven by AI. It employs artificial intelligence to help you with visual testing and monitoring from start to finish.

You can test hundreds of UI components across all platforms and configurations with Applitools without writing any code or with very little code. In addition, it supports over 40 different testing frameworks and languages.

It also helps with DevOps by allowing you to easily integrate visual test cases into the CI/CD workflow. You may also use this tool to build bespoke graphic reports.

Some of the world’s most well-known organizations, like Sony, SAP, MasterCard, and PayPal, use this framework. It also has a lot of great feedback from customers.

Starter, Enterprise Public Cloud, and Enterprise Dedicated Cloud are the three versions of this framework offered by the manufacturer.

8. Screener.io

This cloud-based automated testing solution allows you to record and run tests in real time. Test flows can be readily automated without the need for coding. It detects UI discrepancies across multiple platforms automatically. It also aids in the testing of storytelling components.

Combining visual and functional testing in the same test run allows you to increase total test coverage. For example, Microsoft, Yammer, Uber, and more companies use screener.io.

9. Cross-Browser Testing Visual Testing

You may easily filter your test results to determine which ones have aesthetic flaws. You can also go straight to a live test and debug or fix the visual flaws. This software includes a local connection tool to test local and development environments.

Once you’ve completed a screenshot test for visual regression testing, you can schedule it on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Notifications of test results will also be sent out by the tool.

This program contains an automated comparison engine that allows you to take automatic screenshots of the same page in different configurations. You can then choose a baseline browser and compare the highlighted layout variations.

It also has sophisticated features to help you make your exam more effective. Basic authentication, Login profile, Selenium script, Screenshot delay, Send emails, Hide fixed items, and so on are some available choices.

10. Endtest

This UI testing platform uses machine learning to allow codeless automated testing. It enables you to develop automated tests quickly, save them, and run them in the cloud. In addition, they provide a Chrome addon that allows you to record the tests.

Generate random test data, advanced assertion, automatic backups, geolocation, live videos, screenshot comparison, and more capabilities are included in this program.

Conclusion

Visual regression testing is as vital as functional testing if you want a pleasant user experience. However, a range of tests can be covered when visual and functional testing is coupled.

This testing can be done with various open-source and commercial tools and frameworks. We have also discussed the most valuable tools. Those visual regression testing tools can help you completely automate your testing efforts.

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