Exploratory test will generally require some learning of the product as part of, and during test phases.
Experienced Software Test analysts may use ‘Exploratory Test’, n advanced test method used to complement more conventional and formal test activity. Exploratory Test has a structured approach defined by using previous test experience of similar technologies or products. This test activity provides a further level of product confidence to the team and the customer.
Exploratory Test is not an un scripted test event. It is planned in advance to provide additional test cases covering primary risks typically associated with know technology exploits, infrastructure, and security.
When project test time resources are restricted, or product specifications are not highly documented, an experienced tester can use Exploratory Test methods to focus test effort. Using this method can provide higher relevant test coverage, in shorter periods of time.
The downside to only using Exploratory Test is that if it were used exclusively, inherently lower communication of product details to the Test Analyst could result in product functional errors remaining unknowingly. Generally, customer preferences can begin to lack consideration in the test basis.
It should be noted that this is not the same ‘Exploratory Test’ that the boss may grant for Friday afternoon. That is simply a professional ‘thank you’ recreational period, for doing a great job on time.