Uncover product risks with Exploratory Testing

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“Did you know that there are 100+ different types of product
risks that can affect your software?”

Dan Ashby | Head of Quality Engineering at PhotoBox


Exploratory testing must be a part of your testing strategy due to the testing effectiveness of your current tests, the ability to find differences in the code, and the ability to remove roadblocks where defects tend to hide.

In our Exploratory Testing eBook, we approach a deeper understanding of the benefits of exploratory testing, all the factors involved in testing, and how you can perform exploratory testing with our Xray Exploratory App.

Xray Exploratory App for exploratory testing

Ensure thorough test coverage with exploratory testing

Test coverage ensures that you are extensively testing your application to identify and comprehend potential risk areas in new features. Traceability aids in locating crucial functional areas in your application and tracking testing progress to determine whether a feature is prepared for deployment to production.

Your software is facing constant risks, and there’s extreme importance in ensuring that your scripted/pre-planned tests cover the entirety of these risks. The best way to do so is to perform unscripted or exploratory testing in order to investigate the system for all potential threats.


“Exploratory testing is a style of software testing that encourages freedom to think and explore within the constraints of a specific goal. It aims to answer questions about risks and relies on documented and shareable observations to help teams make decisions.”

James Bach | Pioneer of Exploratory Testing and Creator of Rapid Software Testing


Scripted testing vs. exploratory testing

A foolproof testing strategy combines several testing approaches to ensure software meets the highest quality. When you diversify your testing strategy and include exploratory testing, you’ll test your product from all different angles and ensure maximum test coverage. 

Don’t mix up exploratory sessions with random or Ad hoc testing. Exploratory testing should have a scope as a means to provide focus and overview of the coverage (i.e., what you are targeting in that session).

To find out the main differences between scripted testing and exploratory testing, check our Exploratory Testing eBook.


The advantages of exploratory testing

Exploratory testing helps test different scenarios using the unique expertise of testers and brings it back to the entire development team to uncover difficult to find errors and gaps in requirement coverage. When combined with an existing testing strategy, you get the most out of your testing efforts. 


Test your system from different angles to uncover unknown risks

With exploratory testing, you start with a purpose or “mission.” Your actions are conditioned by how the system behaves and by your expertise. You iteratively explore in order to learn more about the system. Results and insights build off of each other and ensure you test the system from all scenarios.


Use the skills, expertise, and knowledge of testers to intuitively test the system

Using the exploratory testing approach, you learn and iterate your testing as you test, growing your knowledge and skills along the way. So far, no machine can match the unique combination of skill, knowledge, and experience that a real-life tester brings.


Share insights with the whole team to uncover risks that you might not find alone

Share your insights from your exploratory testing sessions in order to add to the collective knowledge of everyone involved in the SDLC (software development life cycle) and help make a better product, that comprehensively addresses the customer needs and does it without compromising product quality.

You can read more about these advantages in our Exploratory Testing eBook.


Introducing the Xray Exploratory App

To help you effectively and efficiently perform exploratory testing, we built the Xray Exploratory App (XEA). XEA is an exploratory testing companion that assists you in gathering rich evidence during your exploratory sessions.

Using the app you can record videos, take screenshots, do annotations and share your results with your team. The app keeps you focused, eases the process of documentation and note-taking, and lets you concentrate on the testing itself. You can run the app on your desktop and seamlessly integrate it with Xray and Jira to record the results within a test run.

You can install the exploratory testing tool for free and start exploring your systems.


How to effectively perform exploratory testing

To get started with exploratory testing, you want to define your objective. Test charters are a "framework" commonly used in exploratory testing to provide guidance on the exploratory testing session through a statement of objectives.

Once you’ve identified your mission/purpose, you want to timebox your session and have the Xray Exploratory App ready. Follow these steps to perform an exploratory testing session with XEA:

  1. Create a generic/unstructured test in Xray;

  2. Link it to a story/requirement if you want to have coverage visibility;

  3. Plan/schedule that test as usual (e.g., add it to a Test Plan or to a Test Execution);

  4. Execute with the Xray Exploratory Testing App (in the Test Execution issue screen, select "Execute with Exploratory App");

  5. Perform your exploratory testing session and use the Xray Exploratory App to assist you during the process;

  6. At the end of your session, report the status back in Xray. For example, if you consider if it was successful or not, you can assign it a status of PASS or FAIL;

  7. When you're done - export your session to a PDF and save it to your computer. You can edit the report names when exporting locally.

To understand and view these steps better, check out the Exploratory Testing eBook.


Take your quality to new heights with exploratory testing

Exploratory testing goes beyond scripted testing to fully uncover hidden bugs and product risks. With more than 100+ product risks that can affect your system, adding exploratory testing to your test strategy ensures your testing exceeds quality.

Exploratory testing keeps your testing relevant as you continuously learn about your system and discover new ways to test and explore. This continuous innovation and iteration keeps testing at the highest standards.

Even if exploratory testing feels like uncharted water, you can always experiment and see if it works for you. Investigate potential risks, explore the unknown, and use your knowledge and skills as a tester to deeply understand and test your system.


Use the Xray Exploratory App to gather evidence and capture valuable insights, then bring it back to your team to learn and uncover product risks collectively.


Read the full Exploratory Testing eBook to understand all the details about this topic better.


Xray Exploratory App for exploratory testing

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