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User Acceptance Testing vs Usability Testing

January 19, 2024Kiruthika Devaraj
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user acceptance testing vs usability testing
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User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and Usability Testing – these terms might sound similar but different. This blog will guide you about User Acceptance Testing vs. Usability Testing.

What is Usability Testing?

Usability testing is when people try out a product, website, or app to see how easy it is. The testing aims to identify users’ issues or problems while using the product. Usability testing can help improve the overall user experience and increase customer satisfaction.

During usability testing, participants are given specific tasks to complete while using the product. The testers observe and take notes on how the participants interact with the product, noting any areas of confusion or difficulty.

After the testing, the results are analyzed, and changes can be made to improve the product’s usability. Usability testing can be done at any stage of the product development process, from early prototypes to finished products.

For example, a company has developed a new mobile app. Before launching it to the public, they conduct usability testing by inviting individuals to use the app and provide feedback. The testers are given specific tasks to complete, and their interactions with the app are observed and recorded. The company can make necessary changes based on feedback to improve the app’s usability and ensure a better user experience.

Read all about – Usability Testing.

Why do you need Usability Testing?

There are several key reasons why usability testing is important in software development:

  • Identify usability issues: When we do Usability Testing, we determine if any issues may hamper users’ use of the product effectively. For example, the layout or navigation should not be confusing for the user.
  • Create a user-friendly product: Usability Testing can help developers create a user-friendly and efficient software product. This can lead to higher user satisfaction.
  • Validate design decisions: Usability Testing provides valuable insights into how users interact with the software, validating design decisions and helping developers avoid unnecessary changes.
  • Improve software performance: It means ensuring your software runs smoothly and efficiently and does not have issues like page loading too slowly or too many pop-ups to click for the user – such issues can make the user leave your application and never return.
  • Increase productivity: A product with good usability can increase end-user productivity, reducing errors and minimizing the need for technical support.
  • Meet business objectives: Conducting Usability Testing can help businesses ensure the software meets their requirements.

Usability testing is essential for developing a high-quality software product that meets business requirements, is user-friendly, and delivers a positive user experience.

When should you do Usability Testing?

Usability Testing is performed at several key stages throughout the software development life cycle.

  1. Early-stage testing: You should conduct usability testing in the early stages of software development before completing any significant design and development work. This allows for identifying usability issues early on and addressing them before they become too costly or time-consuming to fix.
  2. During development: Usability Testing should be conducted regularly throughout the software development process. This ensures that any changes or updates made to the software do not introduce new usability issues. Testing the software while developing it allows for real-time changes to enhance usability.
  3. Pre-launch: Usability Testing should be conducted just before the software launch to ensure that all usability issues have been identified and addressed. This can help ensure the software delivers a positive user experience and achieves business objectives.
  4. After launch: After launching the software, Usability Testing can continue to monitor ongoing user satisfaction and identify any issues that may arise.

What is User Acceptance Testing?

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is testing that end-users or customers perform to ensure that the software or application meets their specific requirements and expectations. It is usually the last testing stage before the product is released.

During UAT, users go through required test scenarios and perform various tasks and actions to ensure the software works in different scenarios. They also report any issues or bugs they encounter during testing, and then the team works on fixing those issues.

Read all about – User Acceptance Testing

Why do you need user acceptance testing?

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is essential in software development for several reasons:

  1. Measure software performance from the user’s perspective: By having real users test the software in a realistic environment, you can get valuable feedback on its performance.
  2. Identify usability issues: UAT tests the software’s usability and user experience. This helps identify and address any usability issues that could impact end-user adoption.
  3. Gain user feedback: UAT gathers feedback from end-users or business representatives. This helps software developers to make necessary changes before releasing the software into production.
  4. Ensure customer satisfaction: UAT helps ensure customer satisfaction by validating that the software meets the end user’s expectations.
  5. Avoid financial loss: UAT helps to avoid financial loss by detecting and correcting any usability-related issues before releasing the software into production. This reduces the costs associated with fixing defects after release.

In summary, UAT is a vital process in software development that helps ensure that the software is of high quality, and satisfies the users’ requirements while meeting the business objectives, ultimately resulting in higher customer satisfaction and reduced costs.

When should you do user acceptance testing?

Carry out User Acceptance Testing (UAT) towards the end of the software development life cycle after completing functional testing and other testing phases. Here are some key points to consider about when you should do user acceptance testing:

  1. Testing readiness: Before starting UAT, the development team should fully develop, integrate, test for defects, and consider the software “stable.”
  2. Requirements Completion: All requirements outlined in the software specification should have been implemented. The software should also meet the acceptance criteria agreed upon for release.
  3. Realistic scenarios: We need to define realistic business scenarios that users will perform using the software to ensure that the testing matches the real-world use of the software.
  4. Test planning: You should plan UAT, allowing sufficient time for testing, identifying, and fixing defects.
  5. Testing environment: The UAT environment should match the production environment as closely as possible to ensure the software operates as intended.

In summary, the development team should carry out UAT during the final stages of preparation before releasing the software to the end users.

Usability Testing vs User Acceptance Testing: Key Differences

FeaturesUsability TestingUAT
DefinitionEvaluates software’s ease of use and efficiency, including its interface, navigation, and user experience elements.Verifies and validates that the software meets the user’s requirements and functions as intended in terms of functionality, usability, and performance.
GoalIdentify usability issues and enhance the software’s design and user experience.Ensure that the software meets the business requirements and achieves the desired outcomes.
Testing timeIt is done at all stages of software development.This testing is conducted towards the end of the software development life cycle.
TestersUsability experts, UI designers, and end-users who may interact with the software.Actual end-users, business representatives, or subject matter experts who will perform real-world tasks.
FeedbackFocuses on subjective feedback, including user satisfaction, frustration, and experience.Focused on objective feedback, including defects, issues, and discrepancies.
ToolsVarious tools, such as mockups, wireframes, and design prototypes to observe user interactions and record observations.Test management software, test automation frameworks, and API testing tools to verify functionality and check for defects.

Can they be automated?

Some aspects of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and Usability Testing can be automated using various testing tools, notably the software’s user interface (UI) component. However, it is necessary to note that both UAT and Usability Testing rely heavily on subjective evaluation by human testers, which makes complete automation difficult.

For example, UI testing tools like Selenium or Testsigma can automate functional testing in UAT and simulate user interactions for Usability Testing. These tools can check if the software functions as intended and whether the user interface meets the usability standards.

Some tools for automating your UI testing

Here are some popular automated UI testing tools that you can use to automate your UI testing:

  • Testsigma: This test automation tool is a low code/no code test automation where test automation is as easy as writing sentences in English. It lets you automate for web, mobile, APIs, and desktop from the same place.
  • Selenium: One of the most popular and widely used UI testing tools, Selenium helps automate user workflows on web browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, and Microsoft Edge.
  • Appium: Appium is an open-source automated testing tool for mobile applications. It supports testing native, hybrid, and mobile web apps. It can be carried out for both iOS and Android platforms.
  • TestComplete: TestComplete is a UI automation tool that helps create and execute tests on various desktop, mobile, and web-based applications.
  • Katalon Studio: Katalon Studio is a free, all-in-one test automation solution for mobile and web applications. It supports both manual and automated testing and enables scriptless automation for non-programmers.

Summary

Alright, folks! So, we’ve talked about UAT, Usability Testing, the differences between User Acceptance Testing and Usability Testing, and how important they are for a successful product launch.

User Acceptance Testing aims to ensure that the product meets stakeholders’ requirements, while Usability Testing aims to ensure the product is easy and intuitive for end-users. And lastly, we also discussed some tools that can help us automate some UI tests that would be executed as part of usability and UAT testing.

The best part is that it is no code, and you write your test cases as if you are writing them in English.

Testsigma is also open source.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many types of UAT are there?

There are five types of User Acceptance Testing methodologies which are as follows:

1. Alpha Testing: The development team conducts this type of UAT in-house to identify and fix any issues before releasing the software to external users.

2. Beta Testing: This type of UAT is conducted by a group of external users who test the software in a real-world environment and provide feedback to the development team.

3. Contract Acceptance Testing: This type of UAT ensures that the software meets the requirements outlined in the contract between the client and the development team.

4. Regulatory Acceptance Testing: This type of UAT is conducted to ensure that the software meets the regulatory requirements of the industry or country where it will be used.

5. Operational Acceptance Testing: This type of UAT ensures that the end-users can operate and maintain the software.

Is UAT black box testing?

Yes, UAT is a type of black-box testing. In UAT, the testing is done based on the external behavior of the application/system. The tester is not concerned with the internal workings of the application.

What are the four types of usability?

Four types of usability tests are as follows:

  1. Explorative Usability Testing
  2. Comparative Usability Testing
  3. Assessment Usability Testing
  4. Validation Usability Testing.

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