With technology underpinning all business processes today, with the pace at which new technologies are emerging, companies need to introduce new products and services at a faster rate than their competitors using user acceptance testing software to meet the needs of the end user.
Why should they focus their efforts on quality assurance using user acceptance testing?
User acceptance testing is often the most essential to get right. Why? Because of the successful implementation, it’s the most effective in reducing both time and cost, whilst increasing customer satisfaction.
🐴🐴 hold up little ponies. maybe you need to take a step back, and get yourself the ultimate guide on customer feedback first. if so, we got you covered cowpokes 🤠🤠 ok, back to UAT!
What Is A Good User Acceptance Testing Definition?
I’ll keep it simple; according to Techopedia, user acceptance testing (UAT) is:
User acceptance testing (UAT) is the last phase of the software testing process. During UAT, actual software users test the software to make sure it can handle neccessary tasks in real-world scenarios, according to specifications. UAT is one of the final and critical software project procedures that must occur before launching a new software to the market.
User acceptance testing (UAT), otherwise known as User Acceptability Testing, Beta, Application, or End-User Testing, is often the last phase in the web development process, the one before final release or installation of the website or software for the client, or final distribution of it.
UAT testing means the usage of the software by people from the target audience and recording and correcting of any defects . It’s the closest thing to a “_real world_” test available. It gives users the chance to interact with the software and find out if everything works as it should after considering the features, miscommunicated, not communicated, and so on.
DevelopMentor puts it most succinctly when they describe user acceptance testing (UAT) as:
The goal of User Acceptance Testing is to assess if the system can support day-to-day business and user scenarios and ensure the system is sufficient and correct for business usage.
What’s the Purpose of UAT?
Whilst UAT – User Acceptance Testing – is essential, typically, it’s not able to be undertaken until the application is largely feature-complete. Guru99 lists 10 prerequisites, which must be met before UAT can begin. These are:
- Business Requirements must be available
- Need to to fully develop Application Code
- Ensure you complete Unit Testing, Integration Testing & System Testing
- No Show stoppers, or High or Medium defects in the System Integration Test Phase
- Only Cosmetic errors are acceptable before UAT
- Complete Regression Testing with no major defects
- Ensure you fix and test all the defects reports
- Complete traceability matrix for all testing
- UAT Environment must be ready
- Sign off mail or communication from System Testing Team that the system is ready for UAT execution
As we were saying, User Acceptance Testing, also known as UAT (or UAT testing), in a nutshell, is:
A process of verifying that a solution works for the user.
Here’s an example of how this can be done through screen recordings with Usersnap:
And the keyword here is “user”. This is crucial because they’re the people who will use the software on a daily basis. There are many aspects to consider with respect to software functionality.
- Does the application crash?
- Do all the functions accept the correct inputs and give the correct outputs?
- Does the application consume only the minimum amount of resources?
- What’s the load time of the application?
Whilst these are valid and essential, ultimately they’re quite meaningless – if the application doesn’t perform as the end user expects. As software artisans, we need to avoid situations such as:
- Can the user use the software?
- Is it really what they asked for?
- Do they have trouble using it?
- Does it behave exactly as anticipated?
Who should be involved in User Acceptance Testing (UAT)?
The most important peer group to include in UAT testing are “real” end-users of your software. Include every role and stakeholder group, which means that people from each group should be selected to join the UAT team.
How You Can Start With User Acceptance Testing
Now that we are done discussing the groundwork for what UAT is and why it’s essential, let’s finish up by seeing how to start using it. Normally, UAT consists of four steps. But it can vary, based on whether the application is going to satisfy a single customer, or whether it should be off-the-shelf software, available for purchase by anyone.
Firstly, the criteria to consider for the software to be “working” needs to be assembled. These are likely to be collated from the system requirements, and user stories. Next, a set of UAT test cases must be created. Centric defines a UAT test case as:
A set of test steps, execution conditions and expected results developed for a particular objective, such as to exercise a particular program path or to verify compliance with a specific requirement
Each case covers a specific usage scenario of the software. It is normally a set of actions that the user can carry out and be able to verify if the software is working perfectly well.
With these in place, the tests have to be run and the results recorded. Were the tests successful, or did defects result? Any bugs then need to be corrected and re-tested.
Finally, assuming that everything is working perfect, there is a need to complete an orderly sign-off . This is done with your client or the team they have assembled for the project, where they will state that what they’ve received is working as expected and meets their criteria.
What are the Legitimate Prerequisites for User Acceptance Testing?
Before you can carry it out, you have to understand what is UAT. While you can pick any UAT definition, the simplest one is that it is the final stage of your software testing process that allows you to determine whether the product built is suitable for the purpose that was intended in the first place. Once you know that User Acceptance Testing is a verification activity, you can identify the key prerequisites:
- Access to business requirements
- A fully developed software code base
- Completed unit, integration, and system testing
- There should be no high or medium defects or showstoppers in integration testing
- Regression testing shouldn’t lead to any major bugs
- Every reported bug and defect should be addressed and tested prior to UAT
- Completed traceability matrix for all types of testing
- UAT environment should be ready
What are the Qualities of a Good User Acceptance Tester?
The UAT process is a detail-oriented task. Whether you are performing it manually or relying on UAT software, a UAT tester needs to have a keen eye for every detail. UAT process is also referred to as end-user testing which means that you need to think and act like a person who has never used the software or app. The tester should be a critical and analytical thinker with the ability to identify and process different types of data.
Apart from that, it is always good to have a basic understanding of the business along with the right UAT Tools to perform the job.
User Acceptance Testing Framework
User Acceptance Tests are not always called User Acceptance Tests in some organizations. There are various buzzwords – such as alpha or beta testing – out there. And sometimes people love asking about the differences between UAT and functional testing.
Therefore we decided to collect all our thoughts and knowledge on the different types of UAT in this article.
And that’s what, why, and how of integrating User Acceptance Testing as a standard part of your web development projects. It reduces the likelihood of issues that is happening, which in turn reduces the amount of work required in development and maintenance.
Sure, it’s another process that you have to manage, but the reduction in overall cost and a higher level of user satisfaction more than offsets the associated costs.
To help you out, we’ve set up a UAT testing template that you can download. This covers everything from preparing your team, the test environment, to test execution and evaluation. Feel free to grab a copy to help you out with your UAT testing efforts.
What’s Been Your UAT Experience So Far?
If up to now your UAT process is collecting emails to put into a PowerPoint presentation, then you have done it wrong. If you are using Asana, Basecamp, Jira, or other ticket and project management platforms, but the UAT full form still needs to be manually filled out, you’re still not right. Luckily, this article is about how to do UAT right, so read on 🙂
First, make sure it’s easy for users to submit feedback. Find a tool that works within your UAT environment so that users do not need to jump back and forth to report an issue. Usersnap is a user acceptance testing tool that can be added to your website or app as a widget, your users can take screenshots or screen recordings whenever they see something wrong.
Because it’s so easy to use, your users will be eager to share problems, and even suggestions. Canva’s design community started sending double the amount of feedback once Usersnap was added to their product. This meant Canva had way more insights to improve its features and UX.
Second, don’t create a long questionnaire for your users. The purpose of UAT is to collect bugs and fulfill the requirements or expectations. You can leave the feedback field completely open-ended and let users tell you what they think. Our customers that are agencies have said 1-3 simple questions for every form are sufficient to understand what is missing and how important the issue is.
Lastly, make sure you act on the feedback of your testing results. It sounds obvious but what we’ve heard from many agencies or companies looking for a good UAT tool is that they have a hard time recreating issues, and therefore, can not fix it.
Usersnap automatically captures user metadata, including console log errors, when feedback is sent. Your engineers will get the context to start troubleshooting and finding a solution right away. Rachel Panush, VP of Operations at Executionists Agency says:
Instead of waiting days to get the necessary information to recreate and resolve bugs, we can now instantly capture the specifications and solve any issues that come up within our projects.
Bonus tip: Get FREE Usersnap UAT Trial
Last but not least, here is a heads-up on Usersnap, which is our very own visual user acceptance testing solution, used by companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.
Start your UAT efforts with a free trial of Usersnap, the #1 visual feedback platform for QA or UAT.
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Getting feedback has never been easier and we hope you’ve realized that after reading this article. Let us know what you think, your feedback is important.