At a macro level, software testing is an activity that seeks to find bugs or problems in software products.

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:

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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  • Learn 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?


Functional 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.


Another powerful benefit of functional testing is confidence. Product and engineering teams gain increased release predictability with an efficient QA and QE functional testing system. 


What 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? 

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.


Functional 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.




Functional 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. 

Tim Ryan serves as the Director of Marketing for Testlio and spends his time between Austin, TX and New Orleans, LA.