User Acceptance Testing - An Approach To Validate Applications
Any product built on a purpose gets to embrace the success only when its own set of audience accept it for a reason. On that note, all products undertake a number of testing and analysis on their performance to have a better launch and reach. Saying so, the software products get to inherit the testing phase as a vital one concerning the software development lifecycle.
In the development cycle, the software testing process engages various quality assurance activities that involve testing of logical aspects and technical aspects of a product. Now, in the series of testing concepts, User Acceptance Testing is the most significant part of testing to validate a digital product or solution. In this post let's address and discuss different aspects of an important testing practice called User Acceptance Testing.
User Acceptance Testing - An Introduction
The User Acceptance Testing or UAT Testing remains to be an inherent part of all software testing irrespective of the development methodology followed. Whether following Agile development methodologies or holding it out with Waterfall, the software product built needs to undergo the User Acceptance Test.
By definition, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a testing process aimed at evaluating user satisfaction and verifying if the end digital product (website, software, or mobile app) works for the user, as intended.
To specify in detail, during UAT the actual users of the end software product test the product in all regards to make sure that it can handle required tasks in real-world scenarios.
It stands to be the last phase of the software testing process and is one of the essential procedures, that needs to occur before any newly developed software rolls out to the market.
User Acceptance Testing (UAT) has various other names, like End-User Testing, Operational, Application, or Beta testing.
The Main Objective of User Acceptance Testing is to confirm system set-up for transactions & user access, to verify performance on business-crucial functions, to validate the integrity of additional data, and finally to acknowledge go-live readiness.
Types Of User Acceptance Testing
A series of product testing procedures are considered as user acceptance testing. The types of UAT processes include,
Alpha & Beta Testing
- Alpha testing is normally carried out within the development team or environment, even before the product gets released to external testers or users. Also, at times the potential user groups get involved in the Alpha Tests.
- This testing invites the internal testing team to validate usability, functions, user experience, and workflow of the digital product developed.
- The test result or feedback collected from the alpha testers aids the development teams to fix certain issues and improve the usability of the product.
- Beta testing is normally carried out in the customer’s environment and involves some extensive testing by selected end-users or designated expert users called as subject matter experts (SME).
- Beta Testing, also known as “field testing”, helps with the feedback about the functions and issues more from users' viewpoints. These, in turn, drive to enhance and improve the product.
Contract Acceptance Testing
- In Contract Acceptance Testing (CAT), the developed software product is subjected to test against certain criteria and specifications that are predefined and accepted in a contract.
- The relevant standards and specifications get predefined by the project team and are used at the end to validate the final outcome of the product.
Regulation Acceptance Testing
- Regulation acceptance testing (RAT), as the name specifies, this testing complies with the governmental regulations and safety requirements.
- This testing, also known as Compliance Acceptance Testing, examines whether the software product meets the necessary legal requirements and safety recommendations.
Operational Acceptance Testing
- Operational acceptance testing (OAT) or Production Acceptance Testing, priorities the final output of the software product and validates them by putting the product to test in a standard operating environment (SOE).
- The test cases here are to ensure, the operational workflows, workflows for backup plans, user training, and various maintenance processes and security checks.
Black Box Testing
- Black Box Testing stands as a method of software testing that examines certain functionalities of the product without revealing the internal code structure.
- Simply, Black Box Tests are done by testers or the end-users who are only aware of what the software is supposed to do. It is like the testers need not require any specific knowledge about the code or any of the app features but just about the requirements which the software should meet.
- In this testing process, the development teams get to collect feedback about the overall user experience, specific features, and functions from the users.
The Key Benefits Of UAT
- It certainly helps to find out some technical/design bugs in the existing software before the release of it.
- It works to meet the purpose of the acceptance test and validates if the product fits the needs of the real users.
- The development team can be close enough to the user's circle and gets to see the picture through the user’s eyes.
- Becomes much easier to find and fix possible issues before the production stage, rather than losing it after launch.
- Though UAT requires organization and preparation for effective testing in the end it ensures your product’s validity to the very extent.
For A Successful User Acceptance Testing
Planning Is Everything: A well-structured UAT plan is key for successful execution. Work on the UAT team, their responsibilities, the test criteria, and the flow before the start.
Include UAT At The Right Time: At times, the UAT results may open up some major defects that require more time to fix and gets hard to meet the project deadlines. Thought, UAT tests are the last project phase in every software development, they can be included and executed depending on your project size and need.
Real Users For Real Reach: Collaborate UAT with the real potential users of diverse credentials so as to tackle and meet distinct use cases and problems they have.
Documentation Deals Big: Documenting the test results in order to analyze and improve, brings in the whole sense of conducting UAT. A simple bug tracker and error reporting tool can be used for documenting the errors and failures that your user's encounter.
User Acceptance Testing plays a vital role in every software development activity. The benefits of well-executed UAT tests are obvious and can ensure that your product or service actually works for your users in the right way intended.
When conducting User Acceptance Tests get to gather a lot of information on how your potential users and customers will use your product and this makes your launch go ease.
And that’s why, and how integrating User Acceptance Testing acts as a standard part of the web development projects. A higher level of user satisfaction is more than all the associated costs. Know your User & Know your Connect.