It will not surprise you to know that manual testing is the
oldest form of software testing. It may surprise you however,
that despite the rise of software test automation solutions,
manual testing still accounts for at least 80% of all testing
carried out today.
Manual testing requires the tester to perform manual test
operations on the test application without the help of test
automation software. Manual testing can be a laborious
activity that requires the tester to possess a certain set of
qualities; to be patient, observant, speculative, creative,
innovative, open-minded, resourceful, un-opinionated, and
Manual testing is carried out by a variety of people, from
developers and QA through to Business Analysts and end
users and helps discover defects related to usability testing
and user interface testing areas. While performing manual
tests the software application can be validated as to whether it
meets the various standards defined for effective and efficient
usage and accessibility. For example, the standard location of
the OK button on a screen might be on the left and the
CANCEL button on the right.
During manual testing you might discover that on some
screens, this is not the case. This is a new defect related to
the usability of the screen. In addition, there could be many
cases where the user interface is not displayed correctly on
screen and the basic functionality of the program is not
There are a number of advantages to manually testing
everything: The entire surface of the product can be covered
(albeit superficially); when something unexpected happens it
is easily followed up; there is little planning needed and
technology issues and there are no lengthy set up issues or
ongoing maintenance required to keep the test cases up to
date with changes in the application.
However, all is not necessarily rosy in the manual testing
Repetitive manual testing can be difficult to perform on large
software applications or with large data sets. It just gets too
complicated. Testing in subsets of the whole application can
help ease this burden, but it will still be complicated and
A manual tester would ideally perform the following steps for
1. Understand the business/functional requirement.
2. Prepare the test environment.
3. Execute test case(s) manually.
4. Verify results.
5. Record the result (pass/fail) & Record any new defects
uncovered during the test execution.
6. Make a summary report of the pass/fail test case.
7. Publish the report.
8. If any issue is reopened, then he needs to identify the test steps
and run them again to ensure the issue is fixed.