Monthly Archives

August 2019

Automation 101 with Selenium IDE

By TestingNo Comments

Testing is a vital part of the software development lifecycle for any team, from small to large. Testing early and often ensures that bugs are found and fixed promptly, preventing them from snowballing into costly issues down the line. An important part of this process is regression testing or making sure that present functionality isn’t broken by the introduction of new features. Because of the iterative nature of software development, regression test suites tend to grow with every update, and it can quickly become tedious and time-consuming to manually perform all of the test cases. 

This is where automation testing comes to the rescue! By using automation software, such as Selenium, regression testing becomes as simple as pressing a button and letting the computer do all the work. This saves time and frees up resources to focus on other issues. However, making the leap to automation testing can be a daunting task for someone who only has experience with manual QA methods. If you find yourself in that boat, then you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we will learn how to use the Selenium IDE plugin for Google Chrome to create and execute our first automated test case!

Before we get started, download the Selenium IDE plugin for Chrome here:

Creating Your First Test Case

Once you have downloaded Selenium IDE for Chrome, before we can create a test case, we will have to create a new project. Start by launching Chrome browser and clicking on the Selenium icon in the top-right corner. Once Selenium IDE has loaded, you should see a window that looks like this:

Click on ‘Record a new test in a new project’. Name the project whatever you like – I will be naming mine ‘Selenium 101’. After choosing a name, you will be prompted to enter a base URL for the project. For this exercise, we will be using the following URL:

This page was created as a resource to help people learn automation testing, so it is perfect for our purposes. Enter the URL and click ‘Start Recording’.

A new instance of Chrome browser should be launched with the base URL entered. You should see the following banner somewhere on the page:

For our first test case, let’s automate the completion and submission of a basic form. While Selenium IDE is recording, click on the link labeled ‘Fill out forms’. On this page, you will see two forms side-by-side. Fill out the leftmost form with your name and a message, and click ‘Submit’. You will notice that Selenium IDE is recording what you do and translating it into steps for it to recreate later. It should look something like this:

Click on the red square icon in the top-right corner to stop recording. At this point you will be prompted to name the test case – I chose to call it ‘Submit Form’. 


Now that our first test case is made, let’s see it in action! Click on the ‘Run current test’ icon at the top of Selenium IDE (or press ctrl+r). You should see a new Chrome browser instance open and automatically navigate to the base URL, proceed to the ‘Submit Form’ page, enter the values that you chose, and then submit the form. Once it’s completed, you will see a message in the log displayed at the bottom of Selenium IDE indicating that the test was completed successfully (unless it failed for some reason). 

It’s that simple! Now, instead of having to fill out forms manually over and over again, you can automate the process and let the computer do the work for you! 

Now that you’ve gotten your first test case out of the way, I encourage you to explore the website some more and try to create some more automated test cases. The page has several different links that have a variety of web elements for you to play with. As you experiment, take note of how what you do is translated into steps in Selenium IDE. 


This is just the tip of the automation iceberg. While the record-and-play function of Selenium IDE is great for simple tests like the one covered here, there are far more possibilities with creating your own custom test scripts. While that is outside the scope of this article, you can start familiarizing yourself with the scripts by exporting your test cases from Selenium IDE into test scripts. You can choose from a few different programming languages, including Java and Python. This is a great way to start automating some simple test cases while also preparing yourself for bigger and better things with custom test scripts!

Custom App Blog Header of iPhone

Custom App or Responsive Web: Which is for you?

By DevelopmentNo Comments

It should come as no surprise that mobile is taking over consumers’ daily lives. With approximately 48.7% of all web traffic coming from mobile devices in 2019, it is important to ask: is your company’s web presence optimized for the mobile? There are many ways to ensure your audience gets the most out of their mobile experience. The two ways we will discuss are responsive web versus a custom app.  

When Responsive Web Makes Sense

It is important to consider the goal of your mobile presence before you dive into the development process.  If you are interested solely in increasing brand awareness, a responsive site may be the more practical option.  Responsive design gives your current website the ability to detect a visitor’s screen size and adapt to fit it. Custom App Blog Responsive Web example of iPhone and LaptopBy using flexible layouts and images, each visitor is given the best view of your current site for their device. The best way to see this design in action is to pull up the same site on your desktop and your mobile device, then inspect the similarities.

While a responsive website is great for mobile outreach, we must understand that it is limited in the experience it can provide. Responsive web falls behind in performance and personalization.  Mobile users tend to have different goals than desktop users when they are on the web. Therefore, the software that they utilize should be altered to match these goals. Mobile users are more task-oriented, utilizing their phones to complete specific transactions rather than surfing for information. 

Benefits of Apps

While it does require more time and capital to create an app, there are obvious scenarios when the benefits outweigh the costs. Based on a study done by Comscore, more than 80% of mobile minutes are spent on apps. Mobile apps are far superior when it comes to completing complex tasks.  Apps are specifically designed with the user’s end goals in mind.  This makes their experience with the company more pleasant and personalized. Regardless if your app is a native or cross-platform design, there are several occasions when apps are superior.

  1. Using Complex Data– Apps are equipped to handle mass amounts of data that users input. Not only are they able to hold this data, but apps can manipulate the data using complex calculations to create easy to read charts or reports about its users. Custom App Blog Complex Data Example
  2. Increased Functionality– Because apps are downloaded directly onto the device, they have the ability to utilize the phone’s tools to complete tasks.  The app is able tosend users push notifications, utilize camera and microphone capabilities, and more to enhance the user’s experience. 
  3. Accessibility & Security– One huge benefit of apps is they don’t always require an internet connection to access important information. Due to the fact that the content is downloaded on your device, some portions of apps can be accessed at any time. Websites, on the other hand, always require connection.  The content in apps is also protected from third-party interventions possible on the internet. 

The Right Choice 

While there are many benefits to each option, your company’s goals will help decide between an app or website.  If you are only interested in increasing reach and visibility, a responsive website can be an affordable option. If you want a greater understanding of and engagement with your customer base, a personalized app can bring your company to the next level.  The team at Bytelion can help your company create a beautifully designed application that harnesses complex data to maximize user experience on mobile devices. Contact us today to see how we can bring your vision to life.