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What is UAT? User Acceptance Testing Explained

Written by Harsh Vijay
Published on September 28th, 2022

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When it comes to creating software, testing is essential to the development process and should never be overlooked.

Without proper testing, companies risk releasing buggy and unstable software which can lead to a number of consequences, such as dissatisfied customers and loss of revenue.

In 2020, online video conferencing platform Zoom was met with some serious problems when bugs, flaws and hacking vulnerabilities came into light.

The reason was ridiculous: Developers released the system without properly testing it in a production environment first and a faulty privacy policy. It resulted in zoom losing a whopping 17% of market share in just a month.

This highlights the importance of testing, no matter how big or small your organization may be.

Testing can be done at different levels: unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and acceptance testing. Yet, one of the most important testing methods is User acceptance testing (UAT).

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is the final stage in the company's web development process. It's a process in which the software is tested by its target audience to ensure that it meets their needs and expectations.

Hundreds of business owners have used ruttl to get user feedback, ensuring that the application meets user requirements.

So, let’s get started by discussing user acceptance testing in detail, its process, and how it'll help you create a market-ready product that meets user requirements.

What is UAT in testing?

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is the final stage in the software testing life cycle. It evaluates how well the system meets its business requirements and user expectations.

During user acceptance testing (UAT), testers check for bugs and other issues that may have been missed during earlier testing stages and report them back to developers for resolution. They also evaluate the usability, performance, and functionality of applications or computer systems under test by using them as regular users would.

Why do we do UAT testing?

User acceptance testing is the most important part of the development process. It’s the only way to make sure that everything works as expected. But why do we need to do it? There are many different reasons, but here are the main ones:

  • To check if there are any bugs in your application

  • To ensure that all features are working correctly

  • To test new features or changes before they get released to users

When the software doesn't work as expected for real people, it may lead to many problems, like increased churn rate, loss of reputation, and business.

The problems occur when the developers only test the product with other people who know how things should work. That’s where UAT comes into play and helps in making the product market-ready.

Who is responsible for UAT testing?

UAT is performed in several steps, each of which involves different people. Here we’ll discuss the people responsible for UAT testing:

UAT Test Initiation

The first step of the UAT is to initiate the test. This means you need to define what your client needs and how they want it done.

  • Project Managers - They are responsible for monitoring and controlling the project, including making sure that all work is done on time, within budget, and meets quality standards. They’re involved throughout the process.

  • UAT Lead - The UAT lead is responsible for the entire test process. They are responsible for creating the test plan and making sure that it is followed by all team members. They work through all the stages to ensure everything goes as planned.

UAT test design

The next step in the UAT process is to create the test design for UAT execution. The project plan should detail all tasks required to complete the UAT phase.

The UAT test is designed by a team of:

  • Requirements author - To comply with requirements

  • Developers - To ensure proper functioning of code

  • Technical experts - To take care of technical aspect of product

  • Business analysts - To ensure experts are involved in the test creation

  • Independent project manager or business manager - To ensure there’s independent input from experts

They work together to make the UAT test as realistic as possible so that it can be used to determine if your product is ready for launch.

UAT test execution

The next step is to execute the UAT tests. This involves running automated tests against your software and manually testing any non-automated features of your software.

End users test a product under UAT conditions before approving its production release. It works with a variety of stakeholders, including the development and testing teams, business owners, business analysts, and project sponsors.

UAT test closure

After executing all of your tests, you need to close out your UAT testing efforts by documenting any issues identified during testing or any other feedback from users regarding their experience with your product or service.

The UAT lead is responsible for the closure of the test. They prepare a closure report and submit it for further decision making.

What are the 4 types of acceptance testing?

Acceptance testing is a form of quality assurance testing performed to determine whether a web application or system meets the requirements of its stakeholders.

Let's understand the different types of acceptance testing that you can execute. Each of them holds unique importance and should be executed to create a successful end product that’ll help you achieve your business objectives.

Alpha & Beta Testing

Alpha testing is a software testing process that takes place before the UAT team starts working on the actual software release.

Alpha testing is also known as internal testing and is carried out by developers or other organizational employees. Its primary goal is to discover and fix major product issues before they reach a wider audience.

Beta testing, also known as "field testing," follows alpha testing and involves software users testing the product before it is fully released.

Beta testing can help identify usability issues, performance problems, and other bugs that might go unnoticed until launch. It also provides invaluable feedback about how customers use your product, which helps improve future versions of that product or similar ones you offer.

Contract Acceptance Testing

Contract acceptance testing is the process of verifying that all product or service features are properly implemented and functioning according to the terms and conditions of a contract.

Before you finally deliver the project to your client, it needs to be thoroughly tested to ensure that the system functionality meets all contractual obligations.

Regulation Acceptance Testing

Regulation acceptance testing is also known as regulatory compliance testing. It is done for software or hardware systems that are required to comply with any specific industry, government, or legal standard.

Regulation acceptance testing verifies that data security standards are followed, and that data privacy policies are in place. This helps protect against penalties or other costs associated with non-compliance with regulations.

Operational Acceptance testing

Operational acceptance testing checks whether a system will perform as expected in a production environment. OAT is usually performed after development has been completed but before going live with the new system. It confirms that changes made during development have no adverse effect on existing infrastructure or user experience.

OAT tests check that operations, including performance, stress, volume, support processes, security, backup, and the presence of alerts, are functioning as intended. OAT follows user acceptance testing (UAT) and is the last check before a system is made available.

How is UAT testing done?

The user acceptance testing phase is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of effort and patience. It is not just about getting your app ready for the market but also ensuring that it meets the business requirements and your customers' expectations.

User acceptance testing is done by creating a test environment where testers trained to use the application try out the product before it goes live.

The UAT team is given a list of known bugs and problems that may cause problems with the new application. These bugs are identified during other testing phases, such as the system testing phase, integration testing phase, and regression testing phase.

The UAT team will then test these and every other area, logging any issues they find into an issue-tracking tool such as JIRA or Hubspot. They may also be given a set of tasks or scenarios to complete using the new application to see how well it meets their needs and expectations.

What is UAT testing in agile?

In agile methodology, user acceptance testing is performed at the end of each sprint (iteration) before moving on to another iteration. Sprints are time-boxed iterations of work. In Agile, there is a short period of time for teams to complete the work in their backlogs.

The test automation framework should be able to support this process. The team should be able to run automated regression tests at any time without disturbing other teams and have access to a common repository of automated tests that they can run on demand or as part of nightly builds.

The UAT process starts again after all the defects have been fixed and implemented into the new releases. Agile User Acceptance Testing ensures that only high-quality products are released into a production environment. It helps avoid last-minute changes that often lead to more problems than solutions.

What is UAT and QA?

Point of Difference

Quality assurance

UAT

Definition

QA stands for "quality assurance." QA refers to all the processes involved in ensuring a product is ready for release.

User acceptance testing is the last phase of the software testing process. It is the last step before a new product version goes live for customers.

Activities involved

QA includes planning and test execution; analyzing test results, documenting issues; raising defects; and communicating them with developers.

You can use it to identify any remaining defects that were not discovered during internal or QA testing.

Execution stage

QA is done before the final phase of testing begins.

User acceptance testing starts when the system testing team has finished all their tasks and they have a version that passes all the tests including QA.

Purpose

Error-free software

Product meeting user requirements

What is the difference between testing and UAT?

Point of Difference

Testing

UAT

Definition

Testing is the process of evaluating a product by using it in a controlled environment (or limited number of environments) and by using predefined criteria in order to determine whether or not it satisfies stated or implied needs.

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a type of software testing performed on software that is nearly ready for release in order to determine whether or not it satisfies business requirements.

Purpose

The purpose of testing is to detect software bugs.

The purpose of UAT is to confirm that the released product meets the business requirements, which may include functional and non-functional requirements.

Performed by

Developers

Developers, end-users, QA team

Activities involved

Unit testing, Integration testing, functional testing, acceptance testing, end-to-end testing, performance testing and smoke testing.

Alpha & Beta testing, Contract acceptance testing, regulation acceptance testing and operational acceptance testing.

Is UAT manual testing?

The answer is yes and no.

UAT Manual testing is the process of testing a software product using manual methods. Developers and actual testers use their experience and knowledge to create tests for more complex and subjective requirements. Testers use tools like manual test case design and execution, checklists, observation, walkthroughs, etc.

It's important to perform UAT execution manually as it'll help you to get more information about your application that might get missed in an automated process. More than 60% of web development companies do manual and automated testing in 3:1. However, manual testing is a time-consuming process.

Automated user acceptance testing is performed based on instructions that specify what actions should be taken and what results you expect. Automated user acceptance tests are fast and require little effort, making them ideal for situations where large numbers of user acceptance tests need to be run frequently.

Pro tip: It’s a good option to automate browser based tests. They’re fast and run in the same environment that your users will use. This is much easier to do than automating tests that run on the server side, which are often more complex and require more configuration.

Is UAT functional testing?

In functional testing, the software is tested to check whether it can perform all the functions per the requirement specification. It also checks whether the software can perform all the functions in a specified manner.

User acceptance testing is functional testing, as it tests the functionality of a system. However, user acceptance testing is not limited to only testing functionality. UAT encompasses other aspects, such as user interface, APIs, performance, and security.

The software might go through additional testing and be fully functional, yet it might not satisfy the needs of the end customers. That's why UAT testing is done.

In short, user acceptance testing is a comprehensive approach to system testing that covers all aspects of the system, not just its functionality.

How to do UAT Testing?

The user acceptance testing process is a crucial step in your website or app's development, but it doesn't have to be complicated. You can do UAT testing in different ways, but some basic steps need to be followed in the UAT process:

1. Analyze Requirements

The first step in user acceptance testing is to analyze the business requirements. This involves reviewing the business or technical specification document and identifying test scenarios. The test scenarios are based on:

  • Project Charter

  • Business Use Cases

  • Process Flow Diagrams

  • Business Requirements Document(BRD)

  • System Requirements Specification(SRS)

The project manager will also evaluate possible risks and determine whether other factors, such as training or documentation, can mitigate them.

2. Create a UAT Plan

The next step is to create a UAT test plan, which is a schedule of tasks that must be completed before the application can be released into production.

A UAT test plan includes defining tasks such as entry criteria, selecting test data, identify test scenarios, and critical areas that need to be tested thoroughly. The test plan also defines UAT exit criteria and timelines for testing.

The time it takes to create a UAT test plan will depend on your application's complexity. It should take around 10-15% of your overall development time.

3. Identify Test Cases

Your next step in UAT testing is to identify test cases. The number of acceptance test cases for UAT success depends on your project requirements and budget.

You should also consider the number of business users using the website/app/software application etc. It helps you identify how many people will use it at any given time and what kind of features they would like to see in it.

The more UAT test cases you have, the more time it will take for UAT execution. So, try not to have too many test cases unless you have enough time on hand or your budget can support it.

4. Prepare Test Data

Once you have identified all the required test cases, prepare the data for each test case. You need to create multiple combinations of inputs for each parameter and run them against each other.

The purpose of end-user testing data is to verify that the software is working correctly and to ensure it's doing what it's supposed to. User acceptance test data can be either artificial or real. A few ways to generate test data include:

  • Manually generated data

  • Automated data generation

  • Manipulated test data

  • Use prod data into test environment

  • Create backend end

  • Use existing data from the legacy system

User acceptance testing data helps ensure that your application works as expected for different types of business users with different needs and preferences. It provides maximum coverage from your testing effort without missing out on any critical bugs or software defects that negatively affect user experience or functionality.

5. Run Test & Record Results

Once you have chosen the set of tests you need to perform on the application, run test cases and record the results.

Acceptance test records include report identifier summary and results variations recommendations summary.

For example, suppose you're developing an online shopping portal. Then, you'll have to test different aspects like user experience (UX), performance testing, stability, etc., for each feature/functionality your product offers.

The results will help you check whether the application is performing as per expectations or not. The results can also help you identify areas that need improvement in functionality and usability. So, here are a few things you need to do while recording the results:

The test report should include all information necessary for someone else (reviewers) to understand what was tested, what was found and what was not.

The test reports should be easy to read so that reviewers can quickly understand what happened during the testing process.

The test report should also be clear enough so the testing team can easily find errors and make corrections wherever necessary.

6. Confirm Requirements Passed

After running through all the tests, you need to confirm which business requirements passed and which ones failed. This will help determine where your efforts should go and how to prioritize your work accordingly.

To confirm that all the business requirements have been met and passed, you need to run through a checklist to help identify any issues or bugs in your app.

This can be done either manually or automatically. In the case of a manual requirement check, the tester will use a checklist or a form to mark each requirement as it is tested. Automated tests can check off each requirement as it is tested.

Final thoughts

When done right, user acceptance testing uncovers bugs and design flaws that the team may have missed in the previous stages of development. To be sure, it can be a difficult process to organize and implement, but the extra time and effort will pay off in higher client satisfaction, increased user loyalty, and a better end product.

ruttl is a great tool for identifying visual bugs and errors in your web app before they get to your business users. By communicating these issues with your testing team, you can prevent them from causing major problems down the line.

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