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Exploratory Testing Guidelines With Example Test Cases

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As the name suggests, exploratory testing is the type of testing that will be done by exploring the whole software without any script. Since the tester using exploratory testing do not have any documentation or test plan, testers interact with the application and learn with the software. You can generate test cases, test results, and documents at the time of testing. So this type of testing may be more completed for new testers than guided or scripted testing. In order to make your testing work easier and faster, I have presented here the most commonly used exploratory testing guidelines with example test cases.

Exploratory Testing Guidelines With Examples

Although exploratory testing will not have any documentation or script, we may use some techniques or strategies for more effective testing. With the use of your own strategy or technique, you may prevent the waste of your hours for unproductive testing and retesting. Here are the most commonly used exploratory testing guidelines along with example test cases.

1. Test Navigation Menu And Links

When you have just started exploratory testing for any software application, start to test with navigation menus first. Check whether all the functionalities of the navigation menu items work properly. After testing menus, go through all the links located on the header and footer area. Check the links for testing whether linked to the proper page or have not any page not found error.

2. Test Search And Filtering Functionality

Try to search by entering the space character and observing the results. Check the search functionality by both clicking on the search button and pressing enter key on the keyboard. You can also search for different terms and check the search results.

In order to check filtering functionality, check whether the user will be able to filter results using all parameters. Select or check for different filter criteria and observe the filter that will display proper results according to the selected criteria. Also, check the software will show a valid message when invalid values are entered for filtered criteria.

3. Test Form Submission Functionality

You can check the form submission functionality for any type of form such as a registration form, order entry form, inquiry form, etc. In order to check this functionality, try to submit the form without entering any field and observe the result. You should also check whether you can submit the form by leaving any required field blank or entering all the required fields. Try to submit the form by entering text on the numeric field and entering special characters on any text field.

4. Test User Registration, Login, And User Account

For testing user registration functionality, try to register a new user account using all of the available options such as registering with email and the details, registering with a Gmail account, and other social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.

While testing login functionality, at first try to login by entering invalid login data and then submit the login form without leaving any of the fields (i.e. user name or password) blank. Go to forget password link and submit an unregistered email and observe whether an error will occur or not.

After testing user registration and login functionality, log in to the account and test the functionalities of the logged-in user. Fill in all the profile information and also check whether you can upload all types of images such as jpg, jpeg, gif, png, BMP, tif, etc as a profile picture. You should also check whether all of the user-level authorities can access an application.

5. Test Upload/Download And Import/Export Functionalities

Try to upload images, documents, or videos on their respective file upload files. Check the upload functionality for different types of files having different sizes (i.e. small or large) and also try to upload duplicate named files, file names having special characters and spaces.

Test whether the file gets exported in the proper file extension and it can be opened with their respective software. Also, check the export functionality for the files with very large sizes. You can check the file import functionality by testing whether the specified file type can be imported.

6. Test GUI And Usability

You should check all the fields such as text box, radio options, drop-down lists, etc are aligning properly in order to test the GUI and usability of the application.  You should also check whether disabled fields are greying out and users are not able to set focus on the fields. Test if the drop-down list options are readable and not truncated due to the field size limit. You should observe whether the items on the list or grid view display with proper column or row spacing. Confirm whether duplicate records are displayed there.

7. Test Video Playing Functionality

Your testing application may contain videos, so you can check whether the videos can be played properly. You should test whether you can maximize the video to full screen and minimize it again. You should also check all the video controls are displaying and working properly on both full-screen and normal screen mode. Test whether the video can continue playing when the internet is interrupted and connected again.


Shuseel Baral is a web programmer and the founder of InfoTechSite has over 8 years of experience in software development, internet, SEO, blogging and marketing digital products and services is passionate about exceeding your expectations.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for providing such an excellent guide on exploratory testing.