When we apply for a job or we apply for a degree program, we are always tested if we are eligible or not. Some product before launching is tested and validated to avoid any setbacks in the future. Even in the scientific field, scientists test a hypothesis numerous times before concluding it as a theory. Similarly, UAT (User Acceptance Test) is a type of test which is conducted by a customer or the organization itself before launching the developed application or software. It is conducted to validate if the application is suitable for users or not. This validation can be carried into two types of testing; alpha-testing and beta-testing. Alpha testing includes the techniques of black-box testing and white-box testing. This testing is not biased because the testers have no idea how the system looks like. Its main purpose is to enhance the real users using the techniques.
Another testing is beta testing which is done after beta testing. The members performing it can be business analysts as end-users, users of the previous product, stakeholders that are part of product development, etc. Conducting these tests help the development team to fix the problems related to connectivity, bugs, business requirements. It is important to conduct UAT to match the needs of real users and to assure it is ready for launch. According to an Origsoft survey on UAT usage, over 75 percent of respondents said they conduct multiple cycles of end-user testing with 57 percent of them stating the poor quality of the product as a reason. The development team can never see the application through the user’s eye so it is beneficial to perform UAT rather than losing thousands after the launch failure.
Following steps should be considered using user acceptance tests:
- Analyze product needs and define key deliverables: Here you want to describe the product you are testing, the purpose of user-acceptance testing, types of tests, and objectives. Each user scenario is connected with one or two requirements or user stories. To write good test scenarios for user acceptance testing, consider involving end-users in approval to include all the possible use cases. Most often you will convert your user stories and business use cases to write efficient test cases. Description of what a report should look like and what information an end-user should provide. A sign-off is just a confirmation that the test is successful and it corresponds to the user’s criteria. Traditionally, quality assurance engineers will be responsible for end-user feedback processing. Based on the end-user feedback, the QA team can also provide software quality metrics to measure progress in terms of UAT
- Choose specific time and form of end-user testing: Acceptance tests may be conducted at the very start of the project or the end. The time used usually depends on what methodology is being used. The methodologies that are mainly used in the software are waterfall and Agile.
- Recruit users and form a UAT team: To form a good team it is best to recruit the right people for this job. Finding the right person can mainly be done through crowd-sourcing platforms
- Implement end-user testing tools and onboard testers: There are some test management tools that are used as end-user testing tools available in the market. Some of these test management tools are Usersnap, test goat and big wolf, etc.
- Create a user acceptance environment and conduct training
- Run the tests
- Collect output information and analyze it.
There are several benefits to user acceptance testing (UAT). Some pros of UAT are that if a bug is left during the unification of software, the user acceptance tests can help to identify that bug. With the help of user acceptance tests, It eliminates the risk of finding defects after production. It can help the end-user or the user who actually is using the software to identify the behavior of developed software. UAT sees to it that the application has met the requirements of the business conditions and that that the application is working efficiently. If UAT is not performed, there are several risk factors to it. Implementation of UAT in huge organizations is expensive, and if not done correctly would result in a huge financial crisis. Secondly, implementing inefficient software and then taking it down, changing it, and implementing it again will consume a lot of time. If UAT is not performed beforehand, later there are higher chances of the software to be defective. Also the chances of leaving bugs increases.
As a Senior Marketing Consultant at Kualitatem, Ray Parker loves to write tech-related news, articles, specifically quality assurance and information security. Apart from his techie appearance, he enjoys soccer, reading mysteries, and spending long hours working over at the New York office.