One of these is User-Acceptance Testing (UAT) to make sure that the developed product not only functions correctly but also serves its intended purpose.
Don't confuse this with system testing, which verifies that the software meets the specifications and functionality laid out for the build, though. UAT ensures that the client or end-user receives the product in the manner intended.
What is UAT?
To give a more comprehensive definition, consider UAT as the final stage of testing in the software development life cycle. It is sometimes referred to as end-user or beta testing and takes place after integration, end to end, and any other testing required for the product in question.
During the process, testers put the product through the final stages of approval before releasing it into the public realm or handing it over to the client. This is to make sure that the software meets the business needs and user requirements that were set out for it.
Therefore, the end-user, in this case, can either refer to an actual consumer, or the client who is going to be using the product. In other words, depending on who the end-user is, the outcome could be for the B2C or B2B market.
Why User Acceptance Testing Is Important
User Acceptance Testing is critical to the successful full release of a product. It not only checks that a product functions correctly from a technical perspective, but that can be used in the way that it was intended. Undergoing this type of testing ensures that the software serves the purpose set out in the contract between developer and client.
UAT isn't just about doing the bare minimum to guarantee sign off and payment from a client, though. It is also to make sure that the product adds value in the marketplace, and can be adequately maintained in the future for maximum benefit.
Performing testing should answer the following questions about the product in question:
· Does the software function as expected?
· Does it serves the end-users needs?
· Was it difficult to use in any way, and does it function suitably for its intended workflow and users?
Overall, this type of testing is to finalize all other software testing carried out. It is also to tie up any loose ends in the software development life cycle before wrapping up the project.
How to Do It
Effective testing requires a focused team. A UAT Manager is the brains behind the strategy, do the research, planning, and outlines the steps the team should follow. The Project Manager signs off on the test strategy and plan. Finally, there is the testing team that puts the software through its paces.
Each testing scenario will require the team to adapt to specific client needs. However, as a general overview, the steps typically follow this formula:
The first and most crucial step for the team is to define the processes and outline all the necessary outcomes. They should also set up a schedule so that the testing follows a specified timeframe, which is crucial for on-time delivery to a client. After that, responsibilities should be assigned to the relevant members to ensure that the process flows smoothly.
Furthermore, the manager needs to layout workflow processes, as well as set guidelines on how to document workflow. Documenting it provides a record of work done so developers can pinpoint error points and quickly fix bugs and other problems should they arise.
During the execution stage of User Acceptance Testing, the team physically tests the product. The testing is either done online or face to face and with clients or actual B2C end users.
The insights and feedback received during this phase are essential. Often there are factors that the developers had not considered, and these need to be accounted for when iterating the product and making sure it is 100% ready for full release.
As mentioned above, efficient documentation needs to happen every step of the process. The documentation covers all the necessary bases and ensures that all mistakes and bugs are fixed before the final release.
Also, all user insights need to be tracked to help developers in implementing the necessary changes to ensure that the product is as functional and usable as possible. Additionally, documents should demonstrate that the software meets all legal and contractual requirements.
After testing and documenting all of this activity, an assessment needs to be made. This should cover everything that has been tested and documented thus far. After performing an evaluation, the team can decide what needs to be fixed and what other measures to apply to make sure the product meets all expectations and requirements.
This can even include taking into account the emotional responses of users when they engage with the product. This is a very useful litmus test to gauge how easy the product is to use, and whether it serves its intended purpose.
Reporting is an essential component of the process. The account is maintained to keep a record of the improvements and fixes of a particular iteration of the product.
Furthermore, it is also a valuable resource to refer to when developing other products in the future.
From a contractual perspective, efficient reporting is also essential for making sure that the developers have upheld their side of the agreement. In the event of any discrepancies with the product after full release, these documents provide evidence of contract fulfillment.
As discussed in this article, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is the final, and arguably the most crucial stage of software testing. This is because releasing an effective software product is not just about ticking all the boxes when it comes to client sign off. It is also making sure that the product adds value to the end-user.