UAT: the guide to understanding and creating user tests

In a constantly changing digital world, taking into account the user experience has become essential to the success of a project. The integration of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) into the development of an application, e-commerce site, or software is now essential to ensure the operation and acceptance of the tool by the end-user.

What is a UAT (User Acceptance Testing)?

Also called “end-user test” or “beta test”, the UAT (user acceptance test) is the last step in the development of a software, site, or web application. Future users are required to test the tool to assess their ability to perform the tasks for which it was designed. The user acceptance testing services make it possible to verify the acceptability and compliance of the software or application with customer expectations.

Why perform UAT tests?

After investing time and resources in the development of a product or service, it is essential to validate that it is well accepted by its future users. The objective is then to be able to adjust it so that it is fully in line with users’ expectations. The UAT answers the following question: “Does the product correspond to what is desired by customers?”.

Performing UAT tests makes it possible to detect unidentified problems during tests carried out by developers and functional testers. The goal is to discover any bugs of the product before it is released on the market. The cost of repairing defects in an application or software is much higher after its large-scale deployment than before its launch.

The objective of the UATs is to validate the acceptability of the product by users and to ensure that the expected return on investment will be achieved. For that, you can turn to the help of software testing projects outsourcing.

How to set up UAT tests?

Schedule the test

The different phases of the test must be defined and planned:

Initiation: this step corresponds to the definition of the different parameters essential for the success of the test (objectives, acceptability criteria, responsible).

Design: it is at this stage that the different scenarios are validated and documented.

Execution: this is the test phase itself. Defects are identified in the test management tool and then tested again.

Closing: a report is produced and decisions are made regarding the action to be taken.

Recover all the information necessary for the realization of the UAT

This step is important because it makes it possible to define the basics of the test and not to start without knowing concretely what is to be tested and the expected objectives. The UAT specifications will have to determine:

  • Acceptability criteria, i.e. all the key features of the software, site or application to be validated.
  • The expected result.
  • The person responsible for the UAT test.
  • The role of quality control in the execution of the UAT test.
  • The sequence of actions to follow.

Define the business steps of the UAT test

When carrying out an AWU, not all business steps necessarily have to be tested. Those that have not undergone any changes can be ignored, for example.

It is therefore essential to clearly define the perimeter of the upstream test in order to avoid ending up with an unmanageable amount of parameters to be tested.

Design the UAT

It is at this stage that the acceptability criteria collected from users take place. They will be used to create the UAT test sheet.

This sheet specifies the procedure for each of the test sequences to be carried out in the form of action points to be carried out as well as the expected results.

For example:

  • Action: go to the XXX site and log in.
  • Expected: opening of the connection page of the XXX site.
  • Result: OK.

Perform the test

The UAT usually takes place in a conference room and brings together all the people involved in carrying out the test: users, designers, quality control members.

UAT tests can also be carried out remotely. In this case, they save time in installation and provide a certain comfort for testers. Many tools are available to make DSUs remotely, such as Testapic, User Testing, or Maze.

Evaluate the results

Test results must be evaluated after each test cycle. They should therefore be simple to document and consult.

If the results obtained are not consistent with the expected results, it is necessary to understand the reasons and make the necessary corrections before the deployment of the tool.