Improving Crowd-Supported GUI Testing with Structural Guidance

Yan Chen, Mauli Pandey, Jean Song, Walter Lasecki, and Steve Oney

Crowd testing is an emerging practice in Graphical User Interface (GUI) testing where developers recruit a large number of crowd testers to test GUI features. It is often easier and faster than a dedicated quality assurance team, and its output is more realistic than that of automated testing. However, crowds of testers working in parallel tend to focus on a small set of commonly-used User Interface (UI) navigation paths, which can lead to low test coverage and redundant effort. In this paper, we introduce two techniques to increase crowd testers’ coverage: interactive event-flow graphs and GUI-level guidance. The interactive event-flow graphs tracks and aggregates every tester’s interactions into a single directed graph that visualizes the cases that have already been explored. Crowd testers can interact with the graphs to find new navigation paths and increase the coverage of the created tests. We also use the graphs to augment the GUI (GUI-level guidance) to help testers avoid only exploring common paths. Our evaluation with 30 crowd testers on 11 different test pages shows that the techniques can help testers avoid redundant effort while also increasing untrained testers’ coverage by 55%. These techniques can help us develop more robust software that works in more mission-critical settings not only by performing more thorough testing with the same effort that has been put in before, but also by integrating them into different parts of the development pipeline to make more reliable software in the early development stage.