UI Testing Frameworks: Boosting Efficiency and Quality

Eight Popular UI Testing Frameworks and How to Use Predictive Test Selection and Test Suite Insights with Them for Data-Driven UI Testing

Key Takeaways

  • UI testing frameworks streamline the testing cycle by providing a range of features, including element manipulation, test scripting, test execution, test environment setup, and test data management.

  • Popular UI testing frameworks like Selenium, Appium, Cypress, TestComplete, Puppeteer, TestCafe, Telerik Test Studio, and Katalon Studio offer different capabilities and support various programming languages for automated UI testing.

  • Integrating Predictive Test Selection and Test Suite Insights with your UI testing framework helps to optimize test cycles by recommending most critical tests to run and provides data-driven insights into test health and optimization needs.

UI testing plays a critical role in the dev world. Not only does your UI need to meet the project’s needs, but it also needs to work across multiple platforms. By thoroughly testing your UI, you can ensure a smooth experience for your users and ensure you have a fully functional product.

Using a UI testing framework, you can empower your teams to test your UI from top to bottom. They offer an expansive suite of features that help create and manage your tests, streamlining your testing cycle. 

UI Testing Frameworks 101

A UI testing framework is a tool or platform that helps provide QA teams with a way to automate testing for your user interface (UI). These tools help by offering ways to create, run, and sometimes analyze your tests to help you attain better results (or at least better coverage).

And the way these tools get it done is by enabling them to speed up the overly-manual process that is UI testing. They can simulate user behavior, interact with the elements of your UI, and verify how they’re supposed to perform, removing a considerable portion of the time-consuming work of creating tests from scratch.

These tools come with a ton of impactful features, including things like:

  • Identifying and Manipulating Elements: These tools can locate all of the UI elements on your page and interact with them as needed. This includes buttons, forms, dropdown menus, and input fields.

  • Test Scripting: Most tools have an API or scripting language to help create tests and interact with your UI. Sometimes, they offer ways to record your behavior and generate tests without written code.

  • Test Execution: Once created, these UI testing frameworks can take your tests and run them automatically. In some cases, they can provide better insights into your tests and how they performed.

  • Test Environment Setup: Many UI testing frameworks can help you create and manage testing environments. This will include the browsers, device emulation, and any other required programs you may need to have.

  • Test Data Management: These tools can also store and provide data for your tests. This makes your tests more accurate to how your users act and how your UI will respond.

UI testing frameworks come in all shapes and uses — including web, mobile, and desktop applications. Regardless of your tech stack, a handful of frameworks will probably work with your needs. And by using one, you only stand to benefit from them.

Eight Popular UI Testing Frameworks

While there are a ton of UI testing frameworks out there, we just couldn’t manage to get them all into a single list. So instead, we’ve got a list of the most popular frameworks out there to give you a glimpse into what they can do for your automated UI testing.


One of the oldest players in the game, Selenium is an open-source framework meant to automate actions within a web browser. It supports six programming languages, including trendy ones like Java, Python, and JavaScript.

The core of Selenium, called WebDriver, controls the browser and acts like a user. It enables a range of automated UI testing features, including support for cross-browser testing, test automation and execution, and element identification, all within a straightforward API.


Unlike Selenium, Appium brings its UI testing framework beyond just browsers. It allows you to test nearly any platform — mobile, desktop, browser, and even some TVs. It also uses WebDriver, enabling teams to test applications thoroughly. It also supports multiple programming languages, easily fitting into any project. Their implementation of WebDriver is entirely based on Selenium’s, but with a twist: they connect to individual drivers that rely on the existing automation capabilities these platforms have baked in.


Dialing back from cross-platform tools, Cypress is a JavaScript-based testing framework designed specifically for web browsers. While the previous UI testing frameworks use a headless approach, Cypress uses an actual browser to run its tests. This gives you a speedy and efficient test experience that offers real-time reloading and automatic waiting. However, it only works with JavaScript (and some popular JS frameworks like React and Angular), limiting its flexibility.


SmartBear’s TestComplete software offers an enterprise solution to UI testing frameworks. It can test both web and mobile devices, plus Windows applications too. Their tool also includes a macro recording feature to help speed up test creation without coding tests. They also support eight scripting languages, including JavaScript, Python, and VBScript. Paired with their clean (albeit retro) reporting UI, TestComplete provides an accessible platform for all your tests.


If you want to be significantly more exclusive in your testing approach, Google Chrome’s DevTools team brings you Puppeteer. It’s a Node.js library that automates Chrome and Chromium-based browsers. This tool facilitates automated UI testing and provides a high-level API for interacting with Chrome and web pages, enabling features such as generating screenshots and PDFs of pages while testing. Puppeteer also supports headless test execution and debug capabilities and can create its test environment.


TestCafe (and its sister, TestCafe Studio) brings an accessible, easy-to-use JavaScript-based UI testing framework for the web. It can support any browser that supports JavaScript (aka all the ones you should be concerned about) without needing additional plugins or Selenium’s WebDriver. If you need a tool with a little more, their Studio version has a built-in macro recording feature and isn’t bound to just Node.js.

Telerik Test Studio

Offering a blend of no-code and regular test scripting, Test Studio brings an accessible, robust commercial UI testing framework for the web, desktop, and mobile. They offer another record-and-playback feature we’ve seen with other tools, making writing tests easy for anyone on your QA team. It also can easily integrate into your existing tech stack, blending in with tools like Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server. While it only supports C# and VisualBasic, it more than makes up for it with its code-optional approach.

Katalon Studio

The folks at Katalon bring us a UI testing framework to create and run your tests and manage and report results. Katalon Studio is a free, commercial UI testing framework that works with web, mobile, Windows, and APIs. Their keyword-driven testing helps create tests without coding experience, or they can use the Groovy scripting language for more control. Additionally, Katalon Studio integrates with the most popular CI/CD tools and test management platforms, making it a smooth transition for your teams.

Predictive Test Selection and Your UI Testing Frameworks

While popular UI testing frameworks are powerful, they all lack one thing: brains. That doesn’t make them inferior, but without intelligent automation and analytics, all they can do is run tests and give reports. Data-driven testing is faster, more efficient testing.

With Launchable, you can integrate with your UI testing framework of choice to speed up your test cycles. Launchable builds a machine learning model based on your git data to get deep insights into how your tests run and how efficient they are.

Then, we can show you what tests you should run with our Predictive Test Selection. We’ll only recommend the tests that directly test what was changed, saving you time over a complete end-to-end test of your entire test suite.

Get data-driven insights into your test health and what tests need optimization with Test Suite Insights. These insights can show you what tests are working and what’s flaking out on you, and what may be slowing your team down.


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