Exploratory Testing In Software Testing

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Exploratory Testing In Software Testing – This article will explain about Exploratory Testing including its Types, Tools, Exploratory Testing Vs Adhoc Testing, its Techniques, its Checklist, its Mobile Applications, its Scenarios, its Advantages and Disadvantages and more. It will also show you examples to help you understand it.

This testing is a flexible way to test software that focuses on creativity, adaptability, and learning as you go.and it is different from traditional scripted testing methods because testers actively explore the application, look for bugs, and find out about unplanned situations.

Testers use their intuition and knowledge of the domain to design, run, and improve test cases on the spot, changing their strategies based on what they learn. This method makes it easier to find complex bugs, test assumptions, and give quick feedback, which makes it a great way to improve software quality and the user experience.

“Exploratory testing is an agile approach to software testing where testers dynamically design, execute, and adapt tests while simultaneously learning about the product, uncovering defects, and gaining a real-world user perspective.”

Exploratory Testing In Software Testing With Example

we have seen what is exploratory testing and why it is called exploratory. Now we will see an example of it by taking one scenario which helps you understand it better.

Scenario: Testing a Social Media Posting Feature

Imagine you are a tester working on a social media platform, and a new feature has been developed that allows users to post text updates. Your task is to perform exploratory testing on this feature.

1. Initial Exploration: You start by accessing the social media platform and navigating to the posting page. You observe the various elements on the page, such as the text input field, the “Post” button, and any character limits.

2. Exploratory Testing Session: During your testing session, you decide to focus on testing the posting feature for various scenarios:

a. Basic Functionality:

  • Enter a short text post and click “Post.”
  • Verify that the post appears on the user’s profile and the main feed.

b. Character Limits:

  • Attempt to exceed the character limit and observe the system’s behavior.
  • Check if the system prevents posting when the limit is reached.

c. Special Characters:

  • Enter text with special characters and emojis to ensure they are handled correctly.
  • Verify that the post is displayed correctly without any rendering issues.

d. Multiple Posts:

  • Post multiple updates in quick succession to assess performance and real-time updating.

e. Edit and Delete:

  • Post a message, then edit it to ensure the editing functionality works.
  • Delete a post and verify its removal from the user’s profile and feed.

3. Unplanned Discovery: While performing this testing, you encounter an unplanned scenario: attempting to post a very long string of text. You observe that the system becomes unresponsive, indicating a potential performance issue.

4. Documentation: Throughout the this testing session, you document your steps, observations, and any issues you encounter. You report the performance issue you discovered during the unplanned scenario.

Exploratory Testing Types

Here in this section we will see some types of this testing.

  1. Session-based Exploratory Testing
  2. Scenario-based Exploratory Testing
  3. Strategy-based Exploratory Testing
  4. Ad hoc Exploratory Testing
  5. Domain-based Exploratory Testing
  6. Error Guessing Exploratory Testing
  7. Checklist-based Exploratory Testing
  8. Agile Exploratory Testing
  9. Risk-based Exploratory Testing
  10. Experience-based Exploratory Testing

Exploratory Testing Tools

we have seen Explanation of it, its example and types now we will learn how many Tools are there and what are those in this section.

  • SessionLab
  • Rapid Reporter
  • SessionTester
  • Testpad
  • ReQtest
  • qTest Explorer
  • Zephyr
  • PractiTest
  • TestRail
  • Xray

Exploratory Testing Vs Adhoc Testing

In this section we will see difference between Exploratory Testing and Adhoc Testing. Click Here to know

Exploratory Testing Vs Adhoc Testing

Exploratory Testing Techniques

This testing techniques use creative and flexible ways to test software without test cases that have already been planned. Testers use their instincts, experience, and real-time observations to find bugs and make sure their assumptions are correct. Here are some ways to do this testing:

  1. Scenario-based testing: It is when testers make up and try out different real-life use cases to see how the software works in different situations. This method helps users figure out what problems they might face.
  2. Error Guessing: Testers use their intuition and experience to try to figure out where in the software there might be bugs or errors. They pay attention to places where problems are likely to happen or have happened in the past.
  3. Pair testing: It is when two testers work together. One tests the software while the other watches and gives feedback. This method helps people see things from a new angle and learn from each other.
  4. Data-driven testing: It is when testers change the data that is put into the software to see how it reacts to different data. This method can reveal surprising behaviours or weak spots.
  5. Boundary testing is when testers focus on the edges of input ranges and push the limits of software parameters. This helps find possible problems with boundary conditions.
  6. Comparison Testing: During this test, testers compare how the software works to how it should work or how it worked in previous versions. They do this to find differences, regressions, or improvements.
  7. Monkey Testing is when testers interact with software in a way that isn’t like how a user would. This method helps find errors or crashes that don’t make sense.
  8. Exploratory Session Testing: During these sessions, testers look in depth at certain parts of the application. With this method, important details can be covered in detail.
  9. Mind mapping: Testers make visual mind maps to show the structure of the software and possible ways to test it. This method helps find areas that haven’t been tried before.
  10. Parallel Testing: Multiple parts of the software, like different modules or browsers, are tested at the same time to find differences in how they work.
  11. Charters and Test Tours: Testers set up “charters” or missions for testing, which guide their exploration of specific parts of the app. Test tours involve navigating the app along paths that have already been set up.
  12. Adaptive testing is when testers change the way they test based on what they find, constantly reevaluating their strategy as they use the software.

Can Exploratory Testing Be Automated

YES it can be automated in some ways, but not all of them. It can be used with test automation methods to make it easier to reproduce bugs, run regression tests, find proof, etc.

Exploratory Testing Checklist

in this section we will see checklist.

  • Understand the Application
  • Define Testing Charter
  • Select Test Environment
  • Identify Key Scenarios
  • Vary Inputs
  • Boundary Testing
  • User Profiles
  • Error Guessing
  • Data Validation
  • Usability and User Experience
  • Functional Flows
  • Integration Points
  • Performance and Load
  • Compatibility Testing
  • Security and Privacy
  • Visual and Layout Checks
  • Cross-Link Verification
  • Error Handling
  • Accessibility Testing
  • Exploratory Documentation
  • Collaboration and Feedback
  • Adaptive Testing

Exploratory Testing Mobile Applications

Mobile apps is similar to software testing, but there are some things that need to be taken into account for the mobile platform. Testers focus on actively exploring the mobile app, finding bugs, and making sure that it works, is easy to use, and runs well. Here is a check list for testing mobile apps in an exploratory way:

  1. Platform Selection:
    • Test the app on various devices (phones, tablets) and operating systems (iOS, Android) to ensure cross-platform compatibility.
  2. Screen Sizes and Orientations:
    • Test different screen sizes and orientations (portrait/landscape) to ensure the app adapts correctly.
  3. Touch Interactions:
    • Verify touch gestures (tap, swipe, pinch) and interactions for responsiveness and accuracy.
  4. User Flows:
    • Explore user journeys through the app, covering key use cases and scenarios.
  5. Network Conditions:
    • Test the app under different network conditions (3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, low connectivity) to assess performance and offline capabilities.
  6. Push Notifications:
    • Verify the behavior of push notifications and their impact on the app’s functionality.
  7. Device Permissions:
    • Test how the app handles requests for device permissions (camera, location, contacts) and the user’s response.
  8. Battery Consumption:
    • Monitor the app’s impact on device battery life during usage.
  9. Background and Multitasking:
    • Test how the app behaves when minimized, in the background, or during multitasking.
  10. Interrupt Handling:
    • Test the app’s behavior when interrupted by phone calls, alarms, or other system events.
  11. Localization and Internationalization:
    • Explore different language settings, date formats, and cultural considerations.
  12. Device-Specific Features:
    • Test features that are specific to certain devices (e.g., camera, GPS, accelerometer).
  13. Error Handling:
    • Test how the app responds to errors, crashes, and unexpected events.
  14. Performance and Load:
    • Assess the app’s performance under various conditions, such as high usage or resource constraints.
  15. App Updates and Installation:
    • Test the installation and update processes to ensure seamless user experience.
  16. Usability and User Interface:
    • Evaluate the app’s overall user interface, design, and ease of use on mobile devices.
  17. Offline Functionality:
    • Test the app’s behavior and functionality in offline or limited connectivity scenarios.
  18. Security and Data Protection:
    • Verify that user data is properly protected, and sensitive information is handled securely.
  19. App Store Guidelines:
    • Ensure the app complies with the guidelines and policies of the respective app stores.
  20. Feedback Mechanisms:
    • Test any in-app feedback mechanisms and ensure they work as intended.
  21. Exploratory Documentation:
    • Document your observations, defects, and findings during testing.
  22. Collaboration and Feedback:
    • Share insights and collaborate with team members for a holistic assessment.
  23. Adaptive Testing:
    • Continuously adapt your testing approach based on findings and emerging insights.

Exploratory Testing Scenarios

Scenario: Testing Product Search Functionality

Objective: Explore and test the product search functionality of an e-commerce website to ensure accurate and user-friendly search results.


  1. Initial Exploration:
    • Open the e-commerce website and navigate to the search bar.
    • Observe the layout, design, and available search options.
  2. Basic Search Testing:
    • Enter a common product name (e.g., “shoes”) and perform a search.
    • Verify that relevant product results are displayed, including different types, brands, and price ranges.
    • Check if the search results are sorted by relevance.
  3. Advanced Search Filters:
    • Explore advanced search filters, such as sorting by price, rating, or popularity.
    • Apply multiple filters simultaneously (e.g., “men’s shoes,” sorted by price).
    • Verify that the displayed results match the selected filters.
  4. Search Suggestions and Autocomplete:
    • Enter a partial product name (e.g., “runn”) and observe the autocomplete suggestions.
    • Select an autocomplete suggestion and confirm that the correct product is displayed.
  5. Misspelled Searches:
    • Enter a misspelled product name (e.g., “shoeees”) and observe the search results.
    • Check if the system provides a “Did you mean?” suggestion or offers alternative results.
  6. Synonyms and Variations:
    • Test synonyms and variations of a product name (e.g., “sneakers” instead of “shoes”).
    • Verify that relevant results are displayed, even if the exact term is not used.
  7. Negative Testing:
    • Search for a product that is not in the inventory (e.g., “unicorn saddle”).
    • Confirm that the system displays a message indicating that no results were found.
  8. Mixed Queries:
    • Enter a combination of product names and categories (e.g., “blue dress” in the “women’s clothing” category).
    • Check if the search results are accurate and include the specified attributes.
  9. Image Search Testing:
    • If the website supports image-based search, upload an image of a product (e.g., a shoe).
    • Verify that the system correctly identifies the product and displays relevant results.
  10. Performance and Load Testing:
    • Conduct multiple consecutive searches within a short time frame to test the system’s responsiveness.
    • Test search performance during peak usage periods (if possible) to ensure quick response times.
  11. Mobile Testing:
    • Repeat the above steps on mobile devices (phones and tablets) to ensure a consistent and user-friendly experience.
  12. Documentation:
    • Record your observations, findings, and any defects encountered during the testing session.

Exploratory Testing Advantages Disadvantages


  • Flexibility: Adapts well to changing software and requirements.
  • Uncover Hidden Defects: Reveals unexpected issues.
  • Realistic User Perspective: Identifies usability problems.
  • Creativity: Encourages innovative testing.
  • Early Testing: Detects defects before formal documentation.
  • Time Efficient: Quick defect identification without extensive scripting.


  • Lack of Documentation: Minimal test case records.
  • Skill Dependency: Effectiveness depends on tester expertise.
  • Limited Reusability: Not ideal for repetitive or automated testing.
  • Incomplete Coverage: May miss certain scenarios.
  • Subjectivity: Tester biases can influence results.
  • Difficult Management: Progress tracking and coverage measurement can be challenging.

Final words

So today we learnt about Exploratory Testing In Software Testing including its Types, Tools, Exploratory Testing Vs Adhoc Testing, its Techniques, its Checklist, its Mobile Applications, its Scenarios, its Advantages and Disadvantages and more. It will also show you examples to help you understand it better.

Frequently Asked Questions

Exploratory Testing Functional Or Nonfunctional

This Testing is a functional testing

What Is Exploratory Testing Used

This testing is good for certain kinds of testing, like when someone needs to learn quickly about a product or app and give quick feedback. It helps look at the quality of a product from the point of view of a user.

Do We Write Test Cases For Exploratory Testing?

This testing gives you the chance to think outside the box and come up with use cases that a test case might not cover.

Why Exploratory Testing Is Required In Agile?

In the Agile method, the team has only two to three weeks to get everything done. It is very important to understand things early on and test in the time you have. This testing is the way to fix this problem. It helps deal with the tight deadlines in a better way.


I'm Priyanka. I have good knowledge of Software Testing. with this blog, by sharing Software Testing knowledge I'm contributing to our Software Testing community. and trying to connect to all the software testers worldwide with this blog.

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