How To Improve your Exploratory Testing in 7 Easy Steps

Apr 15, 2023

Here we will dive into the topic of “How to Improve your Exploratory Testing with 7 easy steps.” Hope you enjoy!

1. Expand your scope:

exploratory testing

A testers job is no longer just to spot defects.  When navigating through your application look for usability issues, design concerns among others.  Consider your users and what they would do with the application and what they would expect from the application.  Don’t fall into the trap of following the user stories, branch out and follow your nose when something smells funny.

2. Consider other Testing: 

Before creating a exploratory testing charter consider all of the other testing taking place on your application.  Look at your automated test suites from unit to UI and the coverage of each of these test suites.  Give thought to what type of defects could escape through each test suite and which have in the past.

3. Consider the Change: 

Look at the changes that are being tested.  Compare them to previous changes and what type of defects were introduced into the application.  At Appsurify, we look into – which area of the code was changed, how many developers were involved in the change, scope and size of the change, task that was completed as part of the change, where defects were in the past, who created the defects previously and a lot more.  These metric can really help you better understand which areas you should explore and what you should be looking for.

4. Use Automation:

This isn’t just about Automated Testing but instead about utilizing automation in order to speed up your testing efforts.  Learn a scripting language and write scripts to create data or to complete mundane or repetitive tasks so that you can get further into the application.

5. Share: 

Share what you’ve done with your team and what you intend to do.  This seems obvious but a lot of time can be wasted by team members completing the same tasks just because they failed to communicate.

6. Brainstorm:

Work with your team to better come up with ideas about which areas of the application to explore.  Look at what ideas you’ve come up with and work out the best way to distribute the tasks, such that fresh eyes see parts of the application and that each person’s strengths are utilized.

7. Keep an Eye Out: 

Exploratory Tests

Don’t just look at the application UI.  Keep a window open with the application logs, the performance of the application, the database, the http requests and whatever else makes sense for your application.  Checking these non UI parts of the application can help lead you to real issues, which you may miss if you are only paying attention to the UI.

Exploratory Testing in Conclusion

The truth is Exploratory Testing is just another tool in the tool box of testers.  With shorter test cycles becoming the norm as we move to an Agile/CD world, Exploratory Testing is being heralded as the solution.  But, Exploratory Testing needs to be utilized correctly in order for it to be valuable.  If not, Exploratory Testing can provide false confidence where there maybe expectations that the Exploratory Testing can provide the same level of confidence as their previous functional testing using test cases.  But if you follow the tips above you are more likely to have success with your Exploratory Testing.  At Appsurify we use our tool, TestBrain, to provide a lot of the information that informs our Exploratory Testing. It helps a lot!