User Acceptance Testing (UAT) refers to verifying software to make sure it works for the user. It’s also called end-user testing or beta testing. The tests determine if the software is easy to use, has all the features the client asked for and behaves as anticipated. It’s the last test a software goes through before going live, so UAT is the final opportunity to make sure everything is in order.
Who performs the test?
An individual who intends to purchase the software or a person who requested a custom-made application performs the verification. The end-user can also conduct the test if asked to provide feedback. Beta testers or individuals from every department in the company chosen by the customer carry out checks.
The importance of UAT
Functional testers and developers validate a software based on the user, software, and hardware interfaces, and the security, criteria of performance and the correctness of the system. These individuals develop or test an application based on their knowledge.
However, there are essential business processes and requirements only known to the end-user that developers might overlook or miss. That’s where UAT testing comes in, offering the client’s perspective about the product and validating the software’s quality. It’s best to involve the customer throughout the development process to keep an eye on their thoughts throughout the process.
Steps of performing UAT
UAT testing might seem complicated. It requires a plan, involves different people, and calls for the execution and analysis of test cases. But if you follow the steps in order, it’s not really that hard.
It’s mandatory to make a realistic and functional plan. Before doing so, make sure you determine your schedule and collect information about your testers and QA agents.
Every team member should know their responsibilities, set up clear channels of communication, and set achievable targets. Have a clear plan for documenting and communicating issues and develop a checklist to help you stay focused and within the time frame.
Once you have a plan, it’s time to evaluate the software regarding specific test cases. You can assess the product in person or via video calls, depending on the client’s availability and end-users. For instance, if the product will serve people on a global scale, you won’t be able to meet everyone face-to-face. Set up video calls to get data from your testers.
Perform documentation and execution simultaneously to avoid missing valuable data. Make sure you record all the feedback from the testers, reported bugs and other issues to address these problems.
In this step, take time to assess whether or not you performed the tests based on the defined criteria and achieved success. Find out the problems you encountered, ways of resolving them, and the number of failed tests.
Determine each tester’s mindset during execution and the number of completed tests during qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Assess the overall rating of each test and the emotions that came up during the process.
Reporting and lessons
While evaluation deals with gathering, clustering, and analyzing data, reporting focuses on the big picture. The main objective of this phase is to develop insights to help improve future tests. You can also establish relationships with the testers.
Types of UAT
Alpha and beta testing
Alpha tests are typically performed by the internal staff at the development environment before issuing the product to external testers. Prospective user groups can also conduct the analysis, but it must occur within the development environment. The tests aim to discover and fix issues to improve the software’s usability.
Beta testing involves extensive assessment performed by the customer in their environment. The feedback from the evaluation goes to improve the product.
Contract acceptance testing
This test ensures the software satisfies the guidelines that have been approved by the client and developer.
Regulation/compliance acceptance testing
These are tests performed to make sure the product adheres to the legal and governmental regulations. The product must also satisfy the government’s safety standards.
Operational acceptance testing
Also called Production Acceptance Testing or Operational Readiness Testing, these particular test cases make sure the software contains all the workflows (like user training, maintenance, backup plans and security checks to allow usage).
Black box testing
Black box testing verifies the functionality of the software without revealing the structure of the internal code. Although it usually falls under the category of functional testing, it can be viewed as a UAT because the Black Box and User Acceptance Testing share the same principles.
A well-executed UAT guarantees that the software will perform well in the market.