‘User acceptance testing’ (UAT) is also known as beta testing, application testing or end-user testing and normally describes the last phase of a software assessment procedure. During a UAT process, actual software users test the software, in order to verify it can handle all required tasks in real-world scenarios, according to pre-defined specifications.
Even though the term originated from the world of software development, the concept of user acceptance testing can be expanded and applied to other types of contexts and scenarios as well. As part of our [netamorphosis’] user-centric approach we would in fact leverage UAT as one of the most effective evaluation tools to go-to-market without outstanding bugs, reducing both time and cost, whilst increasing customer satisfaction and achieving high-level ROI sooner than typically anticipated.
UAT PROCESS AND QC AT N E T A
In our day-to-day work at netamorphosis, as well as, for the broader digital growth opportunities that we are tasked with securing, UAT has become crucial in our quality control methods and is one of the final and most critical project procedures at the end of each of our neta growth processes.
In fact, if it is through QA/QC that we would guarantee pre-production and process quality assurance, through UAT we test the final products/services we have been tasked with building or refurbishing from a digital perspective, confirming we can roll them out to the market bug-free. The main objectives of the preceding test phases (unit, integration and systems testing) are in fact those of withdrawing identification and certifying that all components deliver working products and solutions.
Acceptance tests are black-box system tests, which may involve the functionality, usability, performance, and UX of an application. Among the most common types of user acceptance testing are: (1) Alpha & Beta Testing; (2) Contract Acceptance Testing; (3) Regulation Acceptance Testing; (4) Operational Acceptance testing.
Traditionally, acceptance testing is seen as marking the change in a system’s ownership from the developers of the system to those that commissioned or will use it. UAT is a very defined phase of testing prior to the final sign-off and delivery to either the customers or the business users. Because of this, the responsibility for acceptance testing may reside with the customer, and hence constitute a CAT – customer acceptance testing opportunity, and/or with the end users themselves. In the instance of a neta project, we are always defined as the client or customer; thus, ensuring robust and detailed UAT, while our neta + Client team can focus on the marketing that will generate revenue growth following the launch or re-launch of a website platform.
6 KEY ASPECTS BEHIND OUR UAT PROCESS
- PLAN: The requirement for acceptance testing should be cleared at the early stages of product development: which is why we outline UAT requirements during the Information Architecture or IA – Planning of our neta growth process.
- DESIGN: to cover all functional scenarios in real-world usage, we would design simple and easy-to-implement test cases that we call ‘use test case scenarios’ that reflect all end-to-end user messaging and back-end data integrity.
- TEAM-UP: to implement UAT we define the most ideal testing team, per each project. The testing team would execute the test cases both front and back-end, across devices and random tests as well. Through such tests, bugs will be identified, logged and analyzed.
- FIX THE BUGS: based on the testing results, our team would make all necessary adjustments following programmatic bug fixing in order to ensure a bug-free go live recommendation.
- SIGN-OFF: upon fixing of all bugs/issues, the testing team would QC and then green-light the platform prior to propagating production or a live environment, from a staging, development or testing environment; this certifies that user requirements are met and that the end product is ready to be rolled out in the market.
If UAT defines the usage validation of a software by its intended audience while also recording and correcting any defects that are discovered, this means that this type of assessment is also the closest thing to a “real world” test available for developers and programmers alike. With user acceptance testing, clients are reassured on what to expect, rather than just assuming: if all is done properly there should be no surprises when a product/website/software is released.
3 KEY RESULTS WITHIN OUR UAT PROCESS
This type of validation ensures:
- That a system can support day-to-day business and user scenarios and is built in a sufficient and correct way for business usage.
- That users are given a chance to interact with the software and find out if everything works as it should.
- That features which have been overlooked, miscommunicated, or not communicated at all are identified and taken into account and resolved prior to an official launch.
In all of our website platform set-up work, and as part of our eCommerce Strategy, neta ultimately serves as the power user or tester, advocating when a site is ‘stable’ from the client perspective and contingent upon the parameters of its launch, recommending when it should go live. This also implies that, when we are in the ‘development’ phase of a set-up, a usual user acceptance testing process also typically refers to our client’s active role and participation within a platform’s bug reporting.
Ultimately, UAT is yet another example of how the neta-way of doing things is based extensively on collaboration and heavily relies on the set-up of ad hoc multi-disciplinary teams per each of the projects we are tasked to support, so to help our clients achieve optimum results.