Getting Started With User Acceptance Testing

Would your product work with the users the way you want it to? The first step you can take to know that is via User acceptance testing. Here is a guide to get you started with it.
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I see today’s digital terrain as fierce as a dragon! Something that you can do to persist is to deliver software applications that meet end-users’ expectations. One effective way to ensure the quality and usability of these applications is through User Acceptance Testing (UAT). This blog will guide you through the steps and best practices of UAT. We will cover everything so you can incorporate UAT into your software development lifecycle and deliver reliable and user-friendly applications that meet your users’ expectations.

What is user acceptance testing (UAT)?

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is an essential phase in software development, commonly known as beta or end-user testing. Software testing is done by the engaged audience or business representatives in real-world conditions. UAT ensures that the application meets the end users’ needs. It involves testing scenarios that accurately represent the actual usage of the software in the field.

What is the purpose of UAT?

Here is the purpose why we use UAT:

  • Ensure the software or system meets the user’s requirements.
  • To validate that all user interactions and workflows are working correctly.
  • To gather feedback from end users and stakeholders to improve the software’s usability and user experience.
  • To assess the software’s quality, reliability, and performance according to users.
  • To mitigate risks associated with deploying faulty or incomplete software to production.
  • To provide confidence to stakeholders that the software is ready for release.

Who writes UAT test cases?

A team of individuals with expertise in business and software testing typically writes UAT test cases. These individuals may include business analysts, subject matter experts, and quality assurance professionals. 

Who performs UAT?

1. End Users: The primary people who do UAT are the end users themselves. These are the individuals who will be using the system regularly once it is deployed. Their feedback and input during UAT ensure that the system meets their needs and expectations.

2. Business Analysts: Business analysts play a vital role in UAT as they deeply understand the business requirements and goals. They help define test scenarios and ensure the system meets these requirements.

3. Quality Assurance (QA) Team: The QA team coordinates and facilitates UAT. They work closely with end users to plan, execute, and track test cases and report any issues or defects found during testing.

4. Development Team: The development team may also be involved in UAT to address any technical issues or bugs during testing. They collaborate with end users and QA to resolve these issues before the final release.

5. Project Managers: Project managers oversee the UAT process, ensuring it stays on schedule and meets project objectives. They coordinate resources, provide guidance, and communicate progress to stakeholders.

6. Stakeholders: Stakeholders, such as senior management or clients, may also participate in UAT to validate that the system meets their expectations and requirements.

UAT is a cooperative effort involving individuals who collectively ensure the system is ready for deployment. They thoroughly test its usability, functionality, and adherence to business needs.

Importance of UAT

UAT is important for several reasons:

Validation: UAT allows users to validate whether the software meets their specific needs and performs as expected in real-world scenarios.

Bug identification: UAT helps uncover any user-facing defects or issues that may have been missed during earlier testing phases, allowing them to be addressed before release.

User feedback: UAT allows users to provide feedback on the software’s usability, functionality, and overall user experience. This feedback can be invaluable in making necessary improvements and enhancements.

Risk mitigation: By conducting UAT, potential risks and challenges associated with deploying the software can be identified and addressed beforehand, reducing the likelihood of major disruptions or failures.

User satisfaction: Finally, UAT ensures that end-users are satisfied with the software and that it meets their expectations. This leads to higher user adoption rates, increased customer satisfaction, and business success.

Types of UAT

Organizations can choose from different types of UAT, depending on their specific needs. These include:

1. Alpha Testing – The first phase of testing where the developers test the application in-house before it is released to the end-users. 

2. Beta Testing – A limited release of the product to a select group of end-users to discover bugs and issues not identified in the earlier testing phases. 


Can you automate User Acceptance Testing?

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 Testsigma or Selenium 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.


Prerequisites of User Acceptance Testing

Shall we look into some Prerequisites:

1. The availability of Business Requirements is a prerequisite. 

2. The Application Code must be fully developed. 

3. Completion of Unit, Integration, and System Testing is mandatory. 

4. Completion of Regression Testing with no major defects is mandatory. 

5. The fixing and testing all reported defects before UAT are required. 

6. Completion of the traceability matrix for all testing is necessary. 

7. The UAT Environment must be prepared and ready.

How to perform UAT?

To perform UAT, you must first gather a group of representative end-users to test the software in a real-world environment. Start by defining test scenarios and scripts that cover all the functionalities of the software. Next, provide the testers with the necessary training and tools to perform the tests effectively. Monitor the testing progress, record any defects found, and prioritize them according to severity. 

Finally, analyze the results, address the defects, and obtain sign-off from the end-users before releasing the software. 

After users do the testing, if certain test cases emerge that you’d like to include in your regular testing cycles, that should be done. These test cases could then be included in your automated test suite, which can be executed every time before deployment. Use a test automation tool that easily integrates with your CICD pipeline, making automating your tests easier.


Challenges of UAT

Here are the major challenges in the UAT process:

1. Lack of training and guidance:

UAT users may need help understanding the software’s features and functionalities or how to perform testing. This can lead to incorrect or incomplete testing, leaving issues undetected.

2. Complex scenarios:

The software may have complex scenarios that require specific testing conditions, which may require more work for UAT users to execute adequately.

3. Different user requirements:

UAT users may have different user requirements, and it can be challenging to determine which requirements to test and how to test them thoroughly.

4. Time constraints:

UAT users may face time constraints that limit the number of test scenarios they can execute, resulting in incomplete testing and unvalidated software.

5. Communication gaps:

Communication gaps between the development team and UAT users may lead to confusion about requirements, how to test them, or how to report issues effectively. This can lead to inaccurate feedback and a longer product development cycle.

To mitigate these challenges, UAT users need proper training and support to conduct thorough testing and provide valuable feedback.

Clear guidelines on testing scenarios, detailed requirements, and acceptance criteria help minimize misunderstandings and ensure testing is executed correctly. It is also important to allocate enough time for UAT testing and maintain continuous communication with the development team to resolve any issues.

UAT best practices and checklist

UAT checklist and Best Practices tick the following:

1. Define Clear Objectives: The User Acceptance Testing (UAT) process should have clearly defined objectives and goals. A shared understanding of what needs to be accomplished during the testing phase is important because it helps all stakeholders.

2. Involve Key Stakeholders: You should involve end-users, business analysts, developers, and project managers. Their involvement ensures that UAT covers all necessary perspectives and requirements.

3. Test Planning: Develop a comprehensive plan outlining the scope, test scenarios, test cases, and expected outcomes for each UAT phase. This helps in organizing the testing effort effectively and ensures maximum coverage.

4. Test Environment Setup: Set up a dedicated testing environment that closely resembles the production environment to simulate real-world conditions accurately. This includes configuring hardware, software, network settings, and any other dependencies required for testing.

5. Test Data Preparation: Test data preparation is essential for ensuring comprehensive and accurate testing, as it allows for identifying potential issues and validating system functionality under different conditions.

Exit criteria for UAT

The below given are the criteria to exit your UAT.

  • All test cases have been executed and passed successfully.
  • All identified defects have been resolved and retested.
  • User acceptance criteria have been met.
  • All required documentation, such as user manuals and training materials, have been prepared and reviewed.
  • The system performance meets the defined requirements.
  • The system is stable and reliable, with no critical issues or errors affecting its functionality.
  • The UAT environment is fully set up and ready for production deployment.
  • All stakeholders involved in UAT are satisfied with the system’s functionality and usability.

What are some tools that help successfully perform UAT?

There are 2 types of tools available when we talk about UAT, one are to automate the complete process of user acceptance testing, and ones that automate the UI test cases that come up and can be used as regression tests post UAT.

Tool to automate UI test cases

Testsigma

Testsigma is a cloud-based test automation platform that provides a unique AI-powered approach to user acceptance testing. It offers features such as codeless test creation, cross-browser testing, integration with popular tools, and AI-powered testing, making it a powerful and efficient tool for testing complex software applications.

Features Of Testsigma

  • Automate easily in simple English
  • Start test automation in minutes
  • Automate for web, mobile & APIs from the same place
  • Save time on your test maintenance with AI-supported built-in features
  • Easy and efficient test execution on the cloud
  • Debug with the help of screenshots, videos, and logs easily
  • Get reports that you can customize according to your needs
  • Setup all your review and collaboration processes on the cloud
  • Easily integrate with CI/CD tools
  • Access your tests from anywhere, anytime
  • Helpful support that is there for you 24×7

Let’s discuss the three best tools to automate the processes of user acceptance testing:

3 Best User Acceptance Testing Tools

HotJar


Hotjar is a user testing and feedback tool that allows you to understand how users interact with your website. By providing insights into how users navigate your site, Hotjar helps you identify areas where improvements can be made. This makes it an essential tool for user acceptance testing.

Features Of HotJar

  • Heatmaps: It shows where users click and scroll on your website. This provides valuable insight into which areas of your site are the most popular or engaging. This feature is especially useful for identifying areas requiring further testing or optimization.
  • User recordings: Hotjar also offers recordings that allow you to see how users interact with your site in real-time. By watching these recordings, you can identify any usability issues or pain points that users may be experiencing, helping you to optimize your site for user acceptance.
  • Feedback polls: It allows you to create custom feedback polls that prompt users to provide feedback on specific areas of your site. This feedback can be invaluable for identifying areas that require further testing or optimization.
  • Surveys: Hotjar also offers surveys that allow you to gather in-depth user feedback. By asking specific questions about your site or product, you can gain valuable insights into user acceptance and satisfaction.
  • Funnel analysis: It provides funnel analysis tools. They allow you to track how users move through your site, from initial visits to final conversions. This feature is essential for identifying any bottlenecks or areas where users must stay on track. In this way, you can optimize your site for user acceptance.

Limitations

  1. Hotjar focuses primarily on user testing and feedback rather than thorough testing or debugging.
  2. Its features are focused on website testing and may need to be more suitable for testing mobile or desktop applications.

Pricing Model

  • Hotjar offers a free plan with limited features and paid plans starting at $39/month.

Overall, Hotjar is an excellent tool for user acceptance testing. They offer a range of valuable features that can help you optimize your site for maximum user satisfaction.

UserBrain


UserBrain is a remote user testing tool that allows you to get feedback from real users about your website or application. With UserBrain, you can test your site’s usability and user experience, making it an essential tool for user acceptance testing.

Features Of UserBrain

  • Remote user testing: UserBrain lets you get feedback from real users worldwide, providing valuable insight into how users from different backgrounds and locations interact with your site.
  • Screen recordings: It provides screen recordings of each user’s interaction with your site, allowing you to see how users navigate and interact.
  • Task-based testing: UserBrain allows you to create specific tasks for users to complete, such as filling out a form or navigating to a specific page. This feature is essential for testing specific user flows and identifying areas where users need help or clarification.
  • Detailed feedback: It provides detailed feedback from each user, including their overall impression of your site, any usability issues they encountered, and suggestions for improvement.

Zephyr


Zephyr is a comprehensive test management tool that includes support for user acceptance testing. With its intuitive interface and advanced features, Zephyr is a popular choice for managing testing activities across the entire software development lifecycle.

Features Of Zephyr

  • Test case management: Zephyr allows you to create and manage test cases for user acceptance testing, making organizing and executing tests easy.
  • Test execution: It provides a powerful platform for executing user acceptance tests, including tracking test results and automatically generating reports.
  • Integrations: Zephyr integrates with various other testing tools and platforms, including JIRA, Confluence, and Bamboo, making it easy to integrate testing activities into your overall software development workflow.
  • Real-time collaboration includes powerful features, allowing multiple users to work on the same test case simultaneously and providing real-time updates to all team members.

Limitations Of Zephyr

  1. Zephyr’s pricing may be a limiting factor for small teams or organizations with limited budgets.
  2. Some users have reported issues with the platform’s user interface, particularly around the complexity of certain features and workflows.

Overall, Zephyr is a powerful and comprehensive tool for user acceptance testing, providing advanced features for test management and execution. Visit their website to learn more about Zephyr and use it for your testing needs.

Conclusion

The User Acceptance Testing is like the giant final show! It’s important because it ensures the system is easy for users to use, meets their expectations, and gives them what they need. If you plan out the UAT properly, everybody gets relaxed when the product is about to be released. It’s better to strategize and finish the testing beforehand so the development team can fix any mistakes and performance issues before the big launch.

Frequently Asked Questions