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Chris Bongers
Chris Bongers

Posted on • Originally published at

Chrome DevTools: Recorder

Every new major release of Chrome, I check the release notes, and this time I got super excited to see "Recorder" being added.

This feature can be used to record, replay and measure user flows! End-to-end testing in the browser.

Doesn't that sound amazing? ๐Ÿ‘

Finding the Chrome DevTools Recorder

To find the recorder, you first open up the Chrome DevTools.

Mac Cmd + Shift + C or Windows: Ctrl + Shift + C.

Then you can click on the "More options" button, find the "Mote tools" dropdown, and search for "Recorder".

Find Recorder in Chrome DevTools

Once you open the recorder, it will have some details on how it works.

Chrome DevTools Recorder overview

So basically, we can define user flows that we can re-test over time. This is great for testing essential flows in the application.
And more importantly, measure if they did not deprecate performance in new versions.

I'll be using as my guinea pig for testing user flows.

I will be testing the flow of switching between feeds, adjusting the feed settings, and clicking an article, after which we can upvote it.

In the recorder panel, click the "Start new recording" button.

It will ask you to give the recording a new name, and at the bottom, there is a big red button to start recording.

Start new recording

Once you hit the record button, you can click the elements you want.

And once you are done, hit the "End recording" button at the bottom of the recorder panel.

End recording

Once you are done, you should see your actions in a neat overview.

Recording done

From here, you will be able to "Replay" the recording.

This will look through each step to see if the flow still works. Remember, this recording will stay here so you can test it over time.

Another thing we can do here is to click the "Measure performance" button.
This will loop through the flow you defined and measure that specific recording as you might have seen before in the "Performance" tab.

I find it amazing that we now have a browser way of testing user flows and even measuring those specific flows over time.

Bonus things

We can now do some cool bonus things with this recorder panel.

First, we can manually change selectors by using the little select icon for each event.

Recorder selector change

The next thing we can manually add specific events to our workflow.

Manually change events

Another thing we can do is define a throttle setting for the replay, which is excellent if you want to test out slow connections, for instance.

Recorder throttle settings

And last but not least, we can export a recording. This will generate a Puppeteer script you can further modify and use.

Recorder export function

Let me know what you think of this new feature.

Thank you for reading, and let's connect!

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Top comments (10)

hemantsinghkushwah profile image

I wanna some more details regarding this process. I hope that you will provide to us as soon as possible.

dailydevtips1 profile image
Chris Bongers

On what part would you like more details?

hemantsinghkushwah profile image

After recording the step as we performed on the test case at that time.
Suppose that I am testing a function components button that is working or not and I am performing the steps and recorder record the steps and click on end button and test case have recorded and on that time when I try to check steps and click on reply button but on that time recorder have not played the video as it has recorded. So, On that point, I have to need more details. Thank you.

Thread Thread
hemantsinghkushwah profile image

I hope That you will understand my problem where I am stacked on this problem And I hope that you will provide me with support as soon as possible that I can resolve this problem. Thank You so much, Sir.

Thread Thread
dailydevtips1 profile image
Chris Bongers

Hey there.

So basically the replay is not working for you?
It might be a bug and best to log it with the Chrome DevTools team here:

grahamthedev profile image

When they announced this I was blown away!

One trick I found is to fire this up with CPU throttling on, then try a user process and see where unexpected hiccups occur.

Also really useful for CLS issues that occur after page load or on sites with transitions!

lexlohr profile image
Alex Lohr

That's a neat trick!

dailydevtips1 profile image
Chris Bongers

Ah great tip indeed!
I did indeed try that and gives you a really good view on where things freeze up.

liviufromendtest profile image
Liviu Lupei

I also noticed it a few days ago.
It was a pleasant surprise.
But it sure feels like a first version.

The good parts:

  1. It's easy to record a short script.
  2. You can run that script directly in your own Chrome browser.
  3. The recorded script is saved and can even be exported as a Puppeteer js file.

The not-so-good parts:

  1. The lack of artifacts (detailed logs, screenshots and video).
  2. You can't run the scripts from your CI/CD system.
  3. No options to add advanced actions, logic, reusable components, variables or assertions.
  4. No possibility to collaborate with other team members.
  5. Puppeteer has very limited cross-browser support, you can't run that test on Safari (which has 19% market share).

My two cents:
If you're working on a weekend project, it's a decent way to test if it's working correctly in Chrome.
As for testing complex flows, it's not going to cut it.

As someone working at Endtest, I know that a useful test automation tool needs a lot more than a record and playback feature.

dailydevtips1 profile image
Chris Bongers

Totally is a beta feature for now, but pretty sure Chrome will make it better over time.

Technically you could get a screencap artifact from the performance tab.
And when running puppeteer include that as in the CI/CD.

But get your points, as this is very limited and more a workaround than it could be.

Let's hope they keep improving this.