Understanding Visual bugs
By Jash Unadkat, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack - June 8, 2023
The visual aspect of a website or an app is the first thing that end users encounter while using the app. For businesses to deliver the best possible user experience, especially in a visually-driven culture used to instant gratification, having aesthetically appealing websites is necessary.
However, given the diversity of devices, platforms, and browsers available on the internet, teams are bound to face specific visual bugs. In fact, teams need to spend approx $36,400 per release cycle to fix everything. In particular, teams end up a lot for resolving visual bugs. That is indeed a significant amount spent that could be avoided
This article highlights the basics of visual bugs with examples. It will also guide users on how they can eliminate critical visual bugs using visual testing.
Let’s begin with the most fundamental question.
What are Visual Bugs?
Visual bugs are problems associated with the user interface (also known as GUI) of a web or mobile application. Although these bugs do not have any functional impact, they can ruin that particular website or app’s user experience.
A few examples of Visual bugs would be:
- Misaligned texts or buttons
- Overlapping images or texts
- Partially visible elements
- Responsive layout issues. For example, a button rendering on the desktop browser may not render on a mobile browser
In some cases, the visual bugs obstruct end-users from accessing the key functionalities of an application. In such a case, that bug needs to be reported as a functional bug. For example, if a distorted image prevents you from accessing a button, that is a functional bug.
As mentioned earlier, any visual bug can ruin the user experience of an application. Consequently, this can negatively impact the way end-users perceive a particular brand online.
To understand visual bugs better, let’s consider an example.
A user accessing an e-commerce site on a desktop is able to seamlessly navigate through the website, add products to the cart and finally check out. On the other hand, a user visits the same e-commerce site using a mobile device. However, in this case, while selecting products, the product image overlaps the Add to Cart button. Consequently, the user is not able to add products to the cart. This will obviously annoy users and cause them to bounce off after a while.
Naturally, no brands or businesses would want their customers to experience this inconvenient user journey as it results in a loss of revenue.
Fixing visual bugs manually is a time-consuming and expensive task. On an average a company encounters 6-10 per release cycle monthly, and this might roughly take eight-twelve hours to resolve a specific visual bug.
What’s the Solution?
Considering the stats above one can easily conclude how expensive and inefficient it is to resolve visual bugs manually.
An ideal solution for teams to deal with this is to opt for an automated visual testing tool that allows them to identify visual discrepancies across multiple devices and browsers.
Percy quickly helps identify any visual differences as the same web page is rendered in different browsers. It captures the DOM snapshots, renders, and compares them against previously generated snapshots to identify any visual changes. If detected, it highlights the differences for human testers to review.
Additionally, Percy’s review workflow allows teams to stay updated with automatic notifications, status updates, and comments throughout every visual review. This makes reviewing visual changes convenient for developers with every commit.
Here’s a quick glimpse of how Percy works with its visual testing and review platform:
Learn more about Percy’s diverse features here.
If you are looking for more detailed insight into Percy, check our webinar. Mike Fotinakis, Co-founder of Percy, explains how visual testing with Percy helps you review visual changes across hundreds of pages with every release.
Software teams work extremely hard to develop websites that meet end-user requirements. However, all these development efforts can be in vain if the website doesn’t deliver a uniform user experience across diverse device-browser combinations.
Delivering a consistent and robust user experience, across devices, browsers and platforms is the key to establishing a positive brand impression for diverse audiences.
Although developers perform UI testing, there are certain visual bugs that test suites generally are not equipped to detect. These bugs slip through the cracks, and users encounter them in the production stage.
Visual testing fills this gap to ensure that not only everything works as intended but also looks visually appealing. Tools like Percy help generate and compare screenshots against the baseline on every commit. This helps teams deliver pixel-perfect UI and eliminate the risk of shipping visual bugs.