The importance of testing and quality assurance in developing a digital product cannot be overstated. High-performing product teams with well-defined testing criteria spend 22% less time fixing issues.
This is crucial since an average app or website loses 95% of its users within 90 days. Thus, making a good first impression counts — starting with a program that works as intended for the user.
In this article, we will look at the UAT meaning, its purpose and parties responsible for performing UAT.
We will also discuss the essential steps for performing UAT testing and a specific bug tracking tool, particularly useful for web developers and web designers.
User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a kind of testing that the end-user or a client performs to verify the quality of the software, a website or a system before moving into the production or launch phase.
UAT is performed at the final stage of development and testing after functional, integrational and system tests are complete.
The Purpose of UAT
UAT is implemented to determine if the software does what it was developed to do and if it meets the client’s expectations. UAT also validates changes that were made and evaluates if the development team adhered to the business’s requirements.
User Acceptance Testing does not perform aesthetic or spelling trials – it is carried out in a separate UAT environment with a production-like data setup.
Experts that monitor the technical side of a website or software development shape the UAT cycles and help interpret the results.
However, UAT is performed by the business users that know what the end product should look like, what functionalities it should contain and how it should behave in daily practice.
Developers and testers validate the end product by comparing it to the functional specification document provided by the client. They interpret these requirements to develop and then test the product.
Although the software product is developed and finalized according to client specifications, some business requirements and processes may only be known to end-users or can be misinterpreted and badly communicated.
UAT testing is important because it validates if all business requirements are fulfilled before the product is released to the target audience and market. User acceptance testing helps businesses avoid big losses caused by post-launch issues.
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Before any proper UAT can begin, the testing team in charge must meet these eight prerequisites:
Create a Business Requirement document
Develop the application/website code and wireframe
Complete Unit Testing, Integration Testing & System Testing
Complete Regression Testing with no big defects
Populate all the defects reports
Complete traceability matrix for all testing
Prepare UAT environment
Sign off mail or communication from System Testing Team that the system is ready for UAT execution
These necessary conditions must be met before UAT testing commences to ensure its success and full compliance with the original requirements. Following this step in the UAT process also ensures the end-users get the best version of the end product after the launch.
How to Perform User Acceptance Testing in Five Steps
Although the intricacies of each user acceptance testing will differ based on the tested product type and niche, there are some obligatory stages that each UAT process should adhere to.
Following the best practices below is the key to successful user acceptance testing from start to finish.
1. Gather Necessary Data
The first step to a solid UAT is collecting the information needed to create a comprehensive, all-encompassing test.
To gather this data, relevant stakeholders should answer these questions:
Which processes need to be tested?
What are the guidelines for identifying test data?
What are the intended results of the changes that were made to the system?
Which individuals are responsible for testing?
Bear in mind that the UAT process requires a lot of collaboration between different functional leads, integration managers and relevant business process owners.
2. Define the Scope of UAT
Not all website, app, software or system processes need testing. Some of them you can skip, so do not begin your user acceptance testing before defining the scope of the test.
If you do not determine which part of the system needs testing, it may become very difficult for the testing team to decide on aspects critical for the test’s success.
3. Develop the UAT Design
After identifying the scope, a team should develop the UAT design which consists of mapping and allocating various test steps to different end-users, as well as setting a timeline for the test.
This will serve as a blueprint for the following step – the actual testing – and is there to provide guidelines and ensure an uninterrupted test phase.
4. Execute User Acceptance Testing
Once the UAT process is clearly defined and all steps are established, your team can begin testing and addressing any bugs and defects. The end goal of this step is to decide whether to launch the product or not.
A perfect balance between testers and developers is essential for this step to be a success. Documentation, progress reporting and defect management are particularly vital during UAT execution.
5. Evaluate Product VS Business Objective
After the user acceptance testing is completed and all the bugs have been identified and resolved, the next phase is to sign off on UAT and go live with your product. The product deployment should be approved if it meets the business requirements delivered to you by the client.
How To Conduct UAT Quickly and Accurately
Teams who perform UAT can benefit from bug tracking software to make sure there are no process delays and further errors along the way.
Take BugHerd, for example. This all-in-one visual feedback tool and bug tracking system for collecting, organizing and managing website feedback acts as a digital form of sticky notes for tracking bugs on a webpage.
The tool allows users to leave their feedback on website development directly on a webpage that is in the works or already live. BugHerd can contain data like a screenshot, OS, CSS selector data, browser info and others so that technically-savvy personnel can resolve issues without looking for clarifications from less savvy individuals.
The Benefits of a Visual Feedback Tool and Bug Tracking System
This type of tool benefits all businesses, no matter the vertical, industry, size of their target audience or, indeed, the size of the company itself.
An intuitive and easy-to-use tool like BugHerd allows businesses to:
Remove extensive email or spreadsheet back-and-forth and save time on UAT and QA for new website builds
Save time on coordinating and managing feedback
Store all feedback in one central location so that no feedback falls through the crack
Enable other team members to view feedback on the website
Get instant reports on website bugs and issues
The Cost of Using a Bug Tracking Tool
Bug tracking tools usually come on a monthly subscription basis. The average range is $10 to $50. The costs will depend on the features and the registered number of users.
BugHerd pricing range goes from $39 per month (with access for five users) to $229 per month (up to 50 users) for monthly users.
The software also provides an option of a custom plan. Companies can personalize their BugHerd set of features and the pricing is agreed accordingly.
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BugHerd also offers a free, 14-day trial period with no credit card info needed upfront.
Takeaways on UAT Testing
User acceptance testing is about the client requirements and the end-user entity. Its purpose is to make sure that the final product meets the standards and requirements outlined by the client. UAT testing is also done to ensure the software or program provides value and good usability to the target audience who will use the product.
UAT is the last stage of the software testing process during which actual users put the software to a trial to ensure it handles tasks in real-life scenarios, according to the set specifications.
It is the final verification step before the product is released. If the product works as intended during real-world condition simulations, teams can assume that it will also work properly once launched.
The five essential steps for performing UAT are:
Collect necessary product data
Define the testing scope
Develop the UAT design
Conduct user acceptance testing
Evaluate product VS business objective
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