What is User Acceptance Testing? Why is UAT important? When to conduct UAT and Who is responsible for UAT?
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Are you heading for a new product launch? Are you ready to deal with the unexpected? Carefully analyzing risks and getting ready for the odds is part of the pre-launch preparation. Are you prepared?
The power to accept or reject the new system rests with users. After all, they are paying for it. They are the ones who are going to bear it — good or bad. So, have you tested the new product with real users? Do you have any idea how your target audience is going to react? Can you estimate the usability and ease of workflow?
If ‘No’ is the answer then you might be sailing in the same boat as Mitch Lacey.Mitch and the team delivered the software product, considering “the true measure of project progress is working software.” But the customer was not satisfied and the project failed.
Investing in unit testing, functional testing, etc. is critical but doing it at the stake of UAT is not acceptable. As stated here:
“ The shipyard can build a new ship for the navy and test every single part but it is not until the navy takes over and tries it out on the open seas that anyone will really know if it will do the job it was built for.”
Now let’s take the concept of UAT step by step.
What is User Acceptance Testing(UAT)
Def: UAT is a testing methodology that involves clients/end-users to validate the business workflow from start to end. Clients/end users verify the product against their requirements and problems.
UAT process comprises, extensive planning and analysis to calculate expected risks and make an informed decision. Quality is not an accident, it’s the outcome of thorough testing. For sure some compromises on quality are inevitable, due to time and resource constraints. But knowing them beforehand helps.
Just ensuring that the product works well is not enough, you need to know will it make money? Will it solve problems?
Beta Testing/End User Testing /Application Testing/UAT act as a market response indicator that lets you evaluate ROI and future course of action before the actual launch. Thus, UAT is an essential step of risk management that serves as a checkpoint for business users as well as product developers to test business outcomes.
When to take up UAT?
AS per the famous Testing V Modal, UAT is considered as one of the last steps. It is done post-development, before getting into production.
But, I think it should be carried out often, right from the product planning phase. So that the flaws can be detected early in the product lifecycle. This saves time and cost as it minimizes rework. This case study from the University of Moratuwa also supports that.
The study advocates UAT for each module rather than the product as a whole.
Business requirements(what the product must do)mark the beginning of product life cycle whereas UAT(is the product usable in real-life scenarios) completes it. If carried out in a regular and structured manner, it can mitigate risks to a great extent.
Who is responsible for UAT?
UAT is beneficial for creators and users alike. As mentioned earlier,
UAT serves as a checkpoint for business users as well as product developers to test business outcomes.
With User acceptance testing creators get to know:
1. Is their product usable?
2. What are the low points of the product?
3. Can the system deal unexpected use cases?
4. Does the product attract the right set of audience?
5. When it comes to users/clients, with UAT they can validate and calculate:
6. Are they getting value proportional to what they are paying?
7. Is their business problem solved?
8. Does the system fit their existing workflow?
9. What extra efforts are required to bring the new system on board?
In short, UAT eases buying and selling decisions. Thus, UAT is a joint affair that involves all the stakeholders(external/internal) and end-users.
Taking an informed decision is always better than an uninformed one. UAT guides you on-what to expect! Delaying a product launch and bad user experience, both are equally unacceptable. So plan and implement a structured user acceptance testing process to set yourself in the right shoes.
Client/User inputs are a crucial part of the project lifecycle. zipBoard makes it easy to manage and track all this User acceptance testing feedback so that your team can collaborate better. Clients/users can annotate on designs, live websites and HTML prototypes and add comments. You can track changes and get everyone in sync on your team. Be it a designer, developer or manager, zipBoard is easy enough and useful for everyone in the team.
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