At a macro level, software testing is an activity that seeks to find bugs or problems in software products.An essential subset of software testing is functional software testing, defined as a type of black-box testing method that focuses on the functionality of a software product. It’s a technique for ensuring that an application meets its requirements and specifications by executing test cases from the user’s perspective.Functional testing validates that the software is executing as expected, ensuring a quality product. In other words, functional software testing aims to identify and prioritize web and mobile app issues before your users do.What are examples of functional software testing?Whether it’s a button, link, or happy path, every element of your web and mobile software application should work and have a purpose that makes sense to the user. There are hundreds of examples of functional software testing, but let’s home in on four:Exploratory Testing – Exploratory testing is software testing that focuses on the quality over the number of bugs. Exploratory testing can be an optimal way to test new features and for media-driven testing. Highly skilled testing teams must learn about a product, the addressable market, risks, and previous failures. This perspective helps them uncover bugs and new functional test scripts that would have been unlikely to surface with other forms of testing. Imagine users have left several negative app store reviews of your workplace productivity app. For example, the users expressed frustration when the app crashed while attempting to view images in both vertical and horizontal orientation. Structured exploratory test plans based on user feedback give testers high-level guardrails to reproduce issues and uncover new items. Through their exploration, the skilled testers may discover common issues with loading times, orientation changes, search bars, UX/UI issues, speed, performance, and stability issues related to crashes, flashes, and blinking.Scripted Testing – Manual scripted testing is typically performed by a junior tester who follows a step-by-step procedure written by a more senior tester.Regression Testing – Software development requires frequent updates to the code, features, and systems. It’s crucial to ensure that those changes don’t cause any adverse effects on how your software is working. The definition of regression testing is the process of testing a newly changed software program to see if any of the changes have caused unintended consequences. The regression test often identifies bugs or problems with prior code or systems that are impacted by new code updates. Many in-house QA teams find that regression testing consumes too much of their time and prevents them from other types of manual and automated software testing. One approach to accelerate regression testing time is to leverage crowd testers who work on-demand and in short bursts. For example, rather than two in-house testers spending days or weeks to complete a regression testing cycle, a group of 20 crowdsourced testers can each work in 2 to 3-hour bursts to knock out the regression testing overnight or over weekends. In this context, crowdsourced regression testing is more efficient than adding additional full-time testers and provides the speed and flexibility necessary for today’s continuous development initiatives.Smoke Testing – Smoke testing is a type of functional software testing that takes short passes through product elements that are expected to work as intended. A failed smoke test offers a red flag for potential build problems. Smoke test issues also signal the need for more extensive regression tests and are strong candidates for automation. A basic, initial scripted smoke test aims to find severe high-level flaws: Does the app run? Will the systems interface? Does the button do anything? Smoke testing is done for every build and offers a low-level test for every prominent feature and function. Learn more: The Ultimate Guide to Functional Testing for functional software testing examples. What’s the difference between functional and non-functional software testing?Thoughtful QA strategies and testing plans often include functional testing and non-functional testing. Therefore, understanding the difference between functional and non-functional testing is crucial. While both constitute a vital part of the application evaluation process, they serve distinct purposes.One way to look at the differences between functional and non-functional testing is to consider the requirements for each testing type.Functional Testing: If functional requirements describe the behavior/execution of the software system, testing of functional requirements verifies that the software is executing actions as it should.Non-functional Testing: On the other hand, if non-functional requirements describe usability, performance, and compliance, non-functional testing checks broader quality concerns to help verify that customer expectations are being met.Learn more: What’s the difference between functional and non-functional testing? How can leaders enhance their functional testing strategy? Testing every functional combination of a web or mobile app is challenging and often unrealistic for most in-house QA teams. A lack of complete software testing coverage means escaped issues enter the production environment and impact the user experience. Testlio created a functional testing checklist for leaders that combines years of crowd testing (and lessons learned from trial and error!) to quickly address many of the challenges faced by hundreds of software clients. Apply some of these techniques and expect fewer bugs sneaking into production and a better overall customer experience.Download the checklist to learn:Why integrating with test management tools and issue trackers like Jira, GitHub, Asana, Trello, Azure, Shortcut, and Pivotal Tracker is critical. Eight steps to take before writing functional test casesTips for writing detailed test cases that give you the best overall test resultsWhat to consider for functional test runsThe pros and cons of writing your functional tests casesTips for filtering test results so your engineers will love youHow to build a functional testing feedback loopLearn eight strategic steps before writing functional test cases, the pros/cons of writing functional test cases in-house, how to build a functional testing feedback loop, and many more ideas for software engineering leaders.What are the benefits of functional testing?QualityFunctional software testing offers many benefits for software engineering teams. Some may argue that quality is the ultimate benefit of functional software testing. After all, many users will leave an app immediately if it functions differently than intended. In addition, poor software quality drives higher bounce rates, abandoned shopping carts, and lower app-store ratings.With improved web and mobile app quality, you enhance digital product experiences, which leads to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty to your brand. Often, customers care more about their experience than the price. When you build user-centric, reliable software that offers value for your audience, you help foster trust and reliability to keep your audience returning for more.ConfidenceAnother powerful benefit of functional testing is confidence. Product and engineering teams gain increased release predictability with an efficient QA and QE functional testing system. GrowthWhat comes first: positive reviews or functional testing? Well, functional testing ensures better digital experiences. This, in turn, leads to more favorable app store ratings and reviews. Like many algorithms, the quality and volume of app store reviews impact how your app ranks in the app store positioning hierarchy. Online users tend to click on what’s above the fold. They also trust apps with higher ratings. Accelerated product and revenue growth via seamless transactions is the name of the game for many web and mobile app products. Efficient functional testing leads to more successful transactions and higher conversion rates.What to Look for in a Functional Software Testing Service? Functional QA testing services match your product vision with end-user experience, so you always deliver on functional specifications. Functional testing service providers come in many shapes and sizes, with QA, QE, crowd testing, outsourcing, full-time, part-time, and on-demand testing options. End-to-end Options Ideally, you want a functional software testing partnership to augment your in-house QA and QE team. Or one that can take on all your end-to-end software testing needs. At a minimum, look for a vendor that offers a broad mix of functional testing types, solutions, and services for speed, coverage, and a fast track to continuous integration.FlexibilityFunctional software testing services may offer a flexible management approach with either full-managed or co-managed testing options. Also, crowd testing and outsourcing allow you to engage QA and QE testers when and where you need them – on-demand, part-time, or full-time.SolutionsAt a minimum, look for a functional QA and QE testing service to conduct your smoke testing, scripted testing, exploratory testing, plus test automation management.PlatformThe best QA and QE testing services offer flexible, integrated SaaS software testing platforms to manage holistic testing needs.IntegrationsToday’s engineering teams rely on an ecosystem of tools, APIs, and integrations. You’ll want a partner that offers an API and pre-built software testing integrations to match the tools you use for test management, CI/CD, automated testing, issue management, and more.Learn more: Crowd Testing Buyer’s GuideFunctional software testing is a type of testing that focuses on how well the program performs its intended function. Testing different combinations of inputs and outputs help ensure an application behaves appropriately for multiple cases.Whether conducted entirely in-house, outsourced, or a combination of the two, building an efficient functional software testing process helps you quickly release more elevated software with confidence.