What kind of GUI automation tools or approaches do you know?

GUI testing means by testing of appearance of the application under test: size, form, colour of the object etc.

I know about GUI testing based on screenshots comparation. Please tell me about different approaches if you know and tell me about tools.

IMHO, GUI automation testing is overhead but still our executives believe that GUI automation testing is must. So, please, share about your experience.

  • What type of application is it? Web application? Mobile App?
    – Twaldigas
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 14:15
  • @Twaldigas, any apps but mobile apps at first.
    – amazpyel
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 14:16
  • Isn't this styling testing instead? GUI is the full user interface and is in my perspective more a functional style of testing Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 12:57
  • @NielsvanReijmersdal, In addition to functionality, GUI testing evaluates design elements such as layout, colors, fonts, font sizes, labels, text boxes, text formatting, captions, buttons, lists, icons, links and content. I guess you got my point.
    – amazpyel
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 7:46
  • bathrooms are "overhead" but I wouldn't run a business without them. Thinking of tests as overhead or optional is not a good approach today. Code isn't "done" until automated tests are in place to verify it. Close to 100% coverage is a reality in many shops today. Commented Dec 25, 2015 at 12:42

4 Answers 4


In case of responsive web application that I'm working for. I use Galen Framework. Galen has their own syntax to define properties of web objects; width, height, position, alignment, text, color and many more. Its simplify and human-readable syntax works for my non-programming co-worker. and it's work well with Selenium GRID and I also use Jenkins to kick it run overnight.

In my opinion and my current work, GUI automated test is required. BUT in the beginning of the implementation, test team should focus to implement automated GUI test to regression testing where the application is stable.

Because implementation for a module might take more time than a manual test and if you build it on unstable module and the test script modification is need, it's painful.

Here is my experience for it. I'm also new to the GUI automated test and keep it going. Thank you to let me share mine.


In my last four years as test automation engineer I developed test automation solutions for web applications and mobile applications. For both application types we always decided to automate functional tests.

My opinion is, that no automation tool is good enough to check the GUI well enough. There are so many things you have to check: Colors, position of elements, behavior by clicking an element, behavior by different screen sizes and so on. As a manual tester you can check this much better.

Anyway, when someone else decided to develop automated GUI tests, you have to. For mobile applications is eggPlant Mobile from TestPlant maybe the right solution. The tool works with image recognition. I tested it by a test automation tool comparison and it works well for GUI tests. eggPlant is a commercial tool and automated test cases will be developed with there own language, SenseTalk.

  • Thank you for your answer. I'm not familiar with eggPlant (just watched some videos) but I think if it just about image recognition you may use other non-commercial tool such as fMBT: github.com/01org/fMBT
    – amazpyel
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 15:07

I'm doing GUI testing automation for native desktop applications and I use pywinauto Python library based on Win32 API. Code looks very pythonic and human readable.

But there were some pitfalls: pywinauto supported 32-bit only and it's not frequently updated (latest major update was at 2006). I had to port it to 64-bit, but now it meets all our requirements. Our current version of pywinauto works on Python 3.x as well. And we have plans to implement UI Automation API extensions to support WPF and many other apps.

pywinauto can capture screenshot of any control with Pillow or PIL package. So we use image comparison for some specific custom controls containing advanced graphics. Of course, we keep some balance between gold images storage size and time of its manual update if there are some acceptable changes in graphics.


We’ve been using Ranorex for quite a while now and we are really happy with this tool. It supports web, desktop and mobile applications, so we need not use three or more different tools for testing.

It also nice that the test modules can be reused.

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