Best Practices For Selenium Mobile Testing


Selenium mobile testing has become incredibly important as mobile usage continues to grow exponentially. Customers expect flawless experiences across all their devices, and desktop applications are becoming increasingly responsive, making the barrier to mobile even higher. Testing teams need to adapt and ensure mobile applications can withstand customer demands.

Automation is key to testing at scale and keeping up with the rapid release cycles companies follow today. While tools like Selenium made the automation of web applications straightforward, mobile applications brought new challenges. Thanks to frameworks like Appium, SeleniumCan can now be used to automate native and hybrid mobile applications.

However, to get the most value out of Selenium mobile automation, certain best practices need to be followed. This article will discuss the top Selenium best practices for mobile testing to help teams build reliable, maintainable, and scalable test suites. We will also look into how cloud-based platforms like LambdaTest can help maximize the potential of Selenium for mobile.

Best Practices For Selenium Mobile Testing

The following are some of the best practices for Selenium mobile testing:

  • Avoid Blocking Sleep Calls

It is widely known that the behavior of web applications (or websites) depends on many external factors such as network speed, device (or machine) capabilities, access location, load on the back-end server, and more. These factors make it quite challenging to predict the actual time taken to load а specific web element. Here, adding а delay (or timeout) before performing any actions on the web element will delay the execution while allowing the particular web element to load.

Delay achieved using а blocking sleep call (e.g., Thread.sleep in Java, time.sleep in Python) blocks the test thread for the specified number of seconds. For а single-threaded application, it will block the thread and effectively the process as well. Blocking sleep calls is instrumental in adding the required delay, but the duration of the delay depends on numerous factors. There is no guarantee that the delay being added will work every time. For example, if you have added а delay of 5 seconds, the specified web element does not load even after 10 seconds.

What is the potential alternative to blocking sleep calls? Selenium provides Implicit wait and Explicit wait that handle delays more efficiently than sleep. Implicit wait informs the browser to wait for а specified time duration for all the web elements present on the page. If the element is available faster than the implicit delay time, the execution moves to the next line of code execution. For example, if an implicit wait of 10 seconds is added for а specified element, but the element loads in 3 seconds, the script does not wait for the remaining 7 seconds.

On the other hand, the explicit wait is another type of dynamic Selenium wait that is used to stop the script execution on а particular condition for а specified duration. WebDriverWait and ExpectedConditions can be used to achieve condition-based waits. In the code snippet shown below, we wait for the web element (with linktext as SITEMAP) to appear on the page. If the web element is not present, an exception is thrown. This is а potential alternative to blocking sleep calls in Selenium.

  • Name the Test Cases & Test Suites Appropriately

When working in а team, there are cases where your team members may be required to enhance the tests that you have written. If you revisit the same test after а couple of months, you might not be able to figure out the purpose of а test until you go through the complete implementation.

These problems can be easily fixed by naming test cases in а manner that they are self-explanatory so that neither you nor your teammates spend time unnecessarily scrolling through the implementation. If some tests have failed during the execution stage, it should be easy to figure out which functionalities are broken by just taking а quick look at the test name.

  • Set the Browser Zoom Level to 100 percent.

Irrespective of the web browser on which automation testing with Selenium is performed, setting the browser zoom level to 100 percent is one of the Selenium best practices that should be followed. This setting gives а native mouse feel and ensures that the native mouse events are set to the correct coordinates.

Along with this setting, Protected Mode Settings (in Internet Explorer) for each zone must be the same; otherwise, you may end up getting а NoSuchWindowException exception.

  • Maximize the Browser Window

One of the first actions performed by а tester for Selenium test automation is taking the web page’s screenshot. Screenshots are taken during the testing process to help developers debug issues and help key stakeholders track product development progress. Screenshots also help detect whether test failure is due to application failure or а problem in the test script being used for automation testing with Selenium.

By default, Selenium does not open the browser window in the maximized mode. This can affect the screenshot (or snapshot) of the web page that is typically attached to test reports. Maximizing the browser window immediately after the test URL is loaded ensures that а screenshot of the entire web page is captured.

  • Choose the Best-Suited Web Locator

One of the challenges with Selenium test automation is that automation tests have to be modified if there are changes in the implementation related to locators used in the test code. ID, Name, Link text, XPath, CSS Selector, DOM Locator, etc., are some of the frequently used web locators in Selenium WebDriver.

A better solution is to use а locator that is least likely to break, such as ID locators or class name locators.

  • Create а Browser Compatibility Matrix for Cross Browser Testing

Cross-browser testing is а critical aspect of testing. Based on the user requirements, tests should run on multiple browsers. Selenium frameworks like TestNG offer annotations like @Parameter & @RunWith, making the testing easier in multiple browsers.

It is а good practice to maintain а Browser Compatibility Matrix, which keeps track of the browsers and operating systems tested. It also contains notes for tests that work and do not work across combinations, which helps with quick decision-making.

  • Implement Logging and Reporting

The logging mechanism in Selenium helps in tracking the progress of test execution. It acts as an evidence of validation and errors. Proper logging with detailed messages, timestamps, browser logs, network logs, etc., is an essential best practice.

Adding screenshots of errors, warnings, and information level logs, along with complete report generation, make debugging and analysis more convenient. Log4j, Log4J2, and Apache Logging are some of the popular logging frameworks used with Selenium.

  • Use Design Patterns and Principles, i.e., Page Object Model.

Implementing the renowned Page Object Model design pattern to organize and structure automation code is а good practice. It separates the web page components and their interactions into separate classes, thereby making test code more maintainable and readable.

The Page Object classes contain locators and methods specific to а page; test classes contain test logic/flow, and test-based setup/teardown methods. This pattern also works well with Appium automation and aligns with OOPS principles followed in languages like Java and Python.

  • Use BDD Framework with Selenium

Behavior-driven Development (BDD) frameworks like Cucumber, when integrated with Selenium, map features to test scenarios and enhance their readability.

Feature files containing business requirements written in а natural language (Given-When-Then syntax) are converted to an executable test code through step definitions. This brings in non-technical stakeholders to validate features along with developers.

  • Follow а Uniform Directory Structure

Maintaining а consistent directory structure across the project helps team members to easily navigate through the codebase. Elements like Page classes, Test classes, Support classes, Reports folder, Configuration files, etc., when stored logically in their own packages, prevent mess. This is one of the best practices for long-term maintenance.

  • Use Data-Driven Testing for Parameterization

A better solution compared to hard-coding values is using parameterization for achieving data-driven automation testing with Selenium. Parameterization helps in executing test cases against different input combinations (or data sets). The more extensive the data set, the better the test coverage. This, in turn, helps in improving product quality.

  • Do Not Use а Single Driver Implementation

WebDrivers in Selenium are not interchangeable. When integration tests are executed in а continuous build environment, the test will only receive а RemoteDriver (i.e., WebDriver for any target browser).

Amongst all Selenium best practices, it is recommended to use Parameter Notes to manage different browser types and get the code ready for simultaneous execution (or parallel testing). This practice will ensure that the implementation is flexible enough to work with different browser types.

  • Come Up with an Autonomous Test Case Design

One of the most critical Selenium testing best practices is to avoid inter-dependency between different tests in а test suite and separate the specification of what the test should do from the test execution strategy. The other major advantage of using autonomous tests is that you can explore parallelism to expedite test execution.

  • Use Assert and Verify in Appropriate Scenarios

Asserts should only be used when you want to halt the test execution in case of а hard failure. If the assert condition is false, execution stops, and further tests will not be executed. On the other hand, Verify should be used where the criticality of the error is low, and you still want to proceed with test execution irrespective of the status of the Verify condition.

  • Avoid Code Duplication

One of the most common Selenium best practices for Selenium test automation is avoiding unnecessary duplication of code. The code that is frequently used in the implementation should be created as а separate API so that code duplication is minimal. Avoiding duplication also helps reduce code size and improves the maintainability of the test code.

  • Leverage Parallel Testing in Selenium

Utilizing parallel testing is one of the core Selenium best practices that automation testers swear by. Running tests simultaneously expedites the testing process substantially by reducing the overall test execution time. Parallelization allows testing multiple test scenarios concurrently instead of waiting for one test to finish before kicking off another. This enables testing more functionality in less duration without compromising quality.

Parallel testing capitalizes on the inherent capability of the Selenium framework to fire up multiple browser instances simultaneously. For this to materialize, test scripts need to be designed autonomously so they can operate independently without relying on other test outcomes. The usage of techniques like data-driven testing helps achieve this by taking test data as parameters. Programmers further take advantage of features in testing tools like TestNG to label and parameterize tests for parallel execution.

To distribute tests across different machines for parallel testing, а Selenium Grid acts as the ace up the sleeve. A Grid facilitates centralized control and distribution of tests to remote Selenium nodes (different machines/VMs hosting different browser types). This helps execute tests leveraging real distributed environments. However, building and maintaining а private Selenium Grid calls for non-trivial efforts and resources.

This is where hosted cloud platforms like LambdaTest come into the picture. LambdaTest is а reliable, scalable, and flexible Selenium Grid service in the cloud. It eliminates the hassle of building infrastructure to run tests in parallel across а variety of OS/browser/device configurations. The platform provides an out-of-the-box Selenium Grid powered by its AI-based test orchestration capabilities.

Testers can easily plug into LambdaTest’s Grid from their test code or test runner without having to install or manage anything. The Grid allows spinning up thousands of real browsers and operating systems on demand. Automation engineers can push their Selenium tests through LambdaTest and have them dispersed across the Grid for parallel execution. This helps slash down test times significantly while improving overall efficiency.

Enhancing Testing Efficiency with LambdaTest’s Robust Capabilities

Some key aspects that make LambdaTest an excellent grid involve:

  • 3000+ real browser and OS combinations – Both popular and obscure configurations are lined up for exhaustive cross-browser testing. This capacity outpaces private Grid capabilities.
  • Live interactive testing – The ability to simultaneously run both automated and manual tests across different configurations leveraging LambdaTest’s Selenium Grid.
  • Device testing lab – Emulation of Android and iOS devices on its infrastructure to smooth out mobile app testing.
  • Automated visual validation – The platform’s AI engine helps automatically validate user interface and interactions across browsers/devices, saving manual effort.
  • Detailed reporting – Comprehensive analytics about test run statuses, timings, and logs help gain deep insights to fix issues in no time.
  • Scalable infrastructure – LambdaTest’s cloud-hosted setup beefs up parallelization prowess with high-performance computing resources on an on-demand basis.


With mobile playing а huge role in digital experiences, it is imperative for testing teams to shift their focus and processes to mobile. Adopting the Selenium best practices discussed here alongside powerful test orchestration platforms can help automate testing at the speed and scale required in today’s fast release cycles. Regular refactoring also maintains the sustainability of test suites to ever changing business and technology landscapes.

The parallel, cross-platform capabilities of cloud testing platforms like LambdaTest further optimize the efficiency, reliability, and maintainability of test suites. With mobile-first becoming the norm, following these best practices for Selenium mobile testing helps deliver the quality mobile experiences customers deserve.

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