Unit testing: how to neutralize bugs and improve the UX of your applications?

    3 Minutes Read

    Improving the user experience on your applications requires the deployment of numerous tests, which you can choose toautomate to save time.

    But did you know that not all tests are created equal?


    Some of them play a very specific role! This is particularly the case for unit tests. This test is above all a test created by the developers during the development phase (upstream if possible TTD) which participates in the improvement of the UX thanks to the control of small portions of targeted research.

    A way to get into the details!


    What is a unit test?

    A unit test is a so-called "white box" test that allows you to check the correct operation of a single section of code by isolating it (module or unit). It consists of verifying that a functionality related to the coded instruction is operational, even in the case of new functionalities added by the development team.


    This is actually the type of test that is closest to the source.

    The unit test is a well-known basic test to be performed to verify very quickly that a feature is in a state of... working. 😅 This type of test must absolutely be done properly to not fail. 

    Its effectiveness in identifying targeted anomalies is well established . 


    Be careful not to misunderstand! 

    • the use of a unit test does not mean that the site will be functional at the end of the test. 
    • Moreover, unit tests should not make you neglect other tests such as integration tests.


    What are the advantages of unit testing?

    A unit test has many advantages. Here is a list of them:


    1. Start testing during the development phase

    The main advantage of unit testing is that you can test small segments of code during the development phase, in other words, even if the entire site or application has not yet been developed.


    2. Quickly test pieces of code

    Unit tests are quick to set up, - for a test = count a few milliseconds of execution for simple functions! - unlike other more complex tests that require more time to develop and use more system resources.

    This is the case for tests on the interface, which take longer to execute since they require a context (a browser for a webapp). It is therefore preferable to wait until the complete development is finished.


    3. Continuously improve the code

    Regularly testing your applications with unit tests allows you to keep your code clean at all times, even in the event of functionality changes. This is a time saver and not just another chore!

    Without unit testing, many unresolved failures would eventually come up. Dealing with them all at the same time post-development is more work than iteration.


    4. Optimize the user experience in an indirect way

    Improving the code also means optimizing the user experience in fine.

    How does this translate into reality? By removing the bugs and the anomalies that hinder the navigation of Internet users, of course!


    The 3 A's rule: for a successful unit test!

    The 3 A's rule is more a concept summarized by 3 main steps to follow when writing a unit test: 

    • Arrange
    • Act
    • Assert


    A for Arrange

    This first step is the one during which you will organize yourself to best meet your needs.


    A for Act 

    This second step is a feedback step: it provides you with the results produced by the test, which will be analyzed.


    A for Assert

    The final phase corresponds to a decision phase. It is a matter of deciding whether or not the results are satisfactory. 

    • If so, the test is validated. 
    • If necessary, the detected error must be corrected until it disappears completely.


    How to react to the results of your unit test?

    Following a change in your development, a unit test may report a failure. There are two possible explanations:

    1. Either this is due to thewriting of the test itself, then it is urgent to rewrite it to match your testing needs.
    2. Either the error is in the code and must therefore be corrected.

    What about test automation? 

    • First of all, it is good to remember that automation allows you toaccelerate the development of features; the functions to be tested are tested more quickly. You therefore save precious time! 
    • Secondly, delegating the execution of your test cases to a codeless automation toolSecondly, delegating the execution of your test cases to a SaaS-based tool is a big advantage if you do not have IT profiles within your company. Any business can take part in the project, even without real technical skills.
    • Finally, test automation with a software solution allows you to deploy numerous tests and manage your own testing campaign in perfect autonomywithout the intervention of a third party.

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    To remember this article

    • A unit test allows you to verify a segment of the source code in isolation. Although too few companies think of using it, it has many advantages. 
    • Test automation allows for increased monitoring of its applications at all times. This improves the user experience by detecting bugs in real time. 
    • Make an appointment with the expert Mr Suricate to learn more about test campaign automation.

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