In the modern application development and testing process, the testing phase has a critical role in ensuring that the app can stand up to the expectations of both the developers and the end users. This is because due to the increasing complexity of modern app infrastructure, the developers have to ensure not only the individual performance of all the native elements but also the combined application infrastructure. Moreover, automation testing has a critical role in improving the coordination and productivity of the test environment. However certain manual testing instances like exploratory testing bear equal importance in the app development life cycle. Some of the other efficient practices include end-to-end testing, integration of Agile Methodologies, and cross-browser testing.
So with this article, we will guide the new automation testers and developers through the process of finding various hidden software issues with the implementation of exploratory testing.
Understanding Modern App Development Practices and Exploratory Testing
In the modern software development industry, automation testing is one of the most dominant practices. This is because using automation testing, the app developers can automatically run the test cases using predetermined testing parameters. Using these parameters, the system can communicate with the app by replicating human interactions. However, while implementing automation testing, the app developers have full freedom to make required changes and implement them to customize the project as per their requirements.
So by properly utilizing automation testing, the application developers can integrate the following parameters in the test bench:
- Since it is completely devoid of human involvement, automated test cases can run 24 hours round the clock even on holidays. Moreover, the elimination of human involvement makes the test cases more accurate and dependable.
- The combination of automation testing with repetitive test cases like regression testing and data analyst testing is highly effective. This is because by automating these test cases, the app developers can save a lot of time and focus on other creative ideas of the project like developing new features for the app.
- By introducing automation testing the app developers can also integrate dedicated tools and platforms for uplifting the quality of the application that is currently being developed.
- The introduction of automation testing also has a critical role in improving the time and resource efficiency of the company. This is because, in the long run, app developers and testers can remove manual testing teams for their company.
However, app developers need to remember that there are certain instances of a project that cannot be automated. For instance, verifying the proper placement of all the visual elements irrespective of the device configuration, requires the watchful eyes of an experienced human tester. On the other hand, app developers can implement exploratory testing to find certain errors in the application that are often overlooked by automation test cases. This is the practice of allowing the testers to enter the product to find bugs and errors. While performing exploratory testing, the testers do not have to depend on any script or test case.
The primary motive of exploratory testing is to encourage the testers to think out of the box and simulate real-world scenarios, challenges, and actions taken by end users.
Using Exploratory Testing to Find Hidden Software Issues
So we have conducted thorough research about the present market requirements and demands for exploratory testing. Based on our research, we have listed some of the most important factors that justify exploratory testing as one of the viable means for identifying hidden software issues:
- Understanding the Application
Before beginning exploratory testing, the app developers and testers need to understand the basics of the application that is currently being developed. Some of the most important factors that developers must consider include the expected performance, the acts used for the app development, and testing, and the target audience for the application. These parameters will help them to adjust their expectations and create the exploratory test cases accordingly.
- Setting Clear Objectives For Testing
The final step before beginning Exploratory Testing in mobile app testing is defining clear objectives and areas of focus for the test case. This must include the functionalities of the app, the role of specific features, or areas of the application that require special attention. Using these objectives, the app developers will not only remain focused during the testing process but also reduce a lot of time in the overall test cycle.
- Using Realistic Data
It is very important to remember that the sole motive of exploratory testing is to analyze the performance of the application when it is subjected to real-world parameters. So the app developers must use realistic data while testing the functioning using exploratory testing. A great suggestion for this process would be to view the parameters of the application from the viewpoint of an end user rather than a tester. It will help them to understand how a customer can use the application or the problems that they might face in this process.
- Taking Notes
While performing exploratory testing, it is very important to take notes during this phase. Using these notes, the app developers can create reference points to pinpoint the vital errors that might be present in the functioning of the application. It is also important to frequently capture screenshots of all the elements that might be malfunctioning in the core infrastructure. It will help them to save a lot of time in a debugging process when they might be looking for errors.
- Performing Exploratory Tours
We would suggest the app testers consider taking tours of the application while they are focused on specific aspects like performance, security, usability, and compatibility. We would also advise the application developers to perform these processes at different stages or with separate test cases to ensure specific attention toward each of these parameters. It is also advisable to filter the test cases according to the priority based on the functioning of the application.
- Regression Testing and Feedback Cycle
While an application is being updated, it is a common phenomenon that the new elements might harm the functioning of the existing elements in the app. So, it is very important to perform exploratory testing along with regression testing after every app update to guarantee the stability of the core infrastructure. Regression testing is the process of verifying not only the stability of all the new elements but also their influence over the existing elements in the app infrastructure. By integrating regression testing with automation testing, the app developers can ensure that these test cases are automatically initiated after every app update.
The application developers can also introduce the feedback cycles in their exploratory test cases to include all the members of the app development company. By sharing the live session information with other members of the team and the stakeholders, the app developers can gain valuable feedback about some of the possible areas of improvement or errors that they might have overlooked. Creating a definite test plan will also help the application developers lay the foundation of efficient regression testing as it will prepare them for any unexpected errors that might occur in this process.
LambdaTest and How it Can Assist in Exploratory Testing
LambdaTest is a AI powered test orchestration and execution, cloud-based platform that helps developers to initiate automation testing using remote servers. These servers provide access to thousands of real devices through the Internet for performing real device testing on the apps. While using this platform, the app developers can also combine the test reports from multiple real devices and emulation software for improved efficiency and dependability.
Let us now understand the role of the LambdaTest real device testing cloud assisting modern exploratory test cases:
- While using this platform, the app developers will have access to thousands of different browser and device combinations for initiating the test cases. So, they can easily select the configuration that they are currently targeting for their end users. It also provides access to legacy devices and browser versions for improved compatibility.
- LambdaTest provides a real-time browser view of the selected configuration for running the test cases. In this view, the app developers can also interact with the application similar to their local machine.
- Using LambdaTest for performing exploratory testing, the app developers do not have to rely on any pre-written test cases. They can simply interact with different features, scenarios, and workflows to discover issues based on real-world uses.
- LambdaTest also allows app developers to capture screenshots to keep track of all the issues or unexpected behaviors that they have encountered in this process. Later, the testers can use these screenshots as references to eliminate all the errors in the app before forwarding it to the production phase.
- LambdaTest also has a dedicated collaboration feature which allows the developers to share the testing sessions with other team members or stakeholders in the company. This feature lets everyone view the testing session in real-time and provide valuable feedback about the test cases.
- While using LambdaTest for performing exploratory testing, the app developers can save the testing sessions for future reference. It will be available in the testing history and reports tab on the official website of LambdaTest.
- LambdaTest generates highly comprehensive test reports that consist of various important information like screenshots, videos, and test activity logs. It also provides dedicated support for bug-tracking tools like Jira or Trello. This process highly simplifies not only exploratory testing but also the debugging process that will follow soon after.
- Finally, LambdaTest has an efficient support system to assist the automation testers whenever they are stuck with any feature of this platform. The official website provides rich documentation in simple language and uses sample test cases. Moreover for one-to-one support, it has various options like live chat, over-the-phone support, and even a mailing feature. The developers and testers also have the option to discuss among themselves various features using the open-source community of LambdaTest.
The Conclusive Views
All the steps that we discussed in this article will massively help the developers find hidden issues that might be present in the core framework of the application. Although automation testing is continuing to become one of the most dominant trends in the modern app development industry, app developers must remember that manual test cases like exploratory testing will continue to remain one of the most important segments of the app development life cycle. So, the best approach for modern testing is to maintain a proper balance between automation test cases and manual test cases. The app developers can also benefit by constantly monitoring their target audience to identify their requirements and customize the app accordingly.