User acceptance testing (better known as UAT) is the last software testing phase and is performed best with the consultation of UAT testing experts. Though UAT may be a relatively easy concept to understand, implementing UAT best practices is an entirely different beast.
With user acceptance testing taking top priority in the software development world, you should know what these expert testing services entail. Understanding the types of user acceptance testing helps you proceed with confidence to the production stage.
Defining user acceptance testing
User acceptance testing goes by another name of “end-user testing.” Why? Put simply, this nickname took root, given that this phase of software testing puts the end-user experience at center focus.
Although one could argue that, on some level, all testing phases are interested in the end-user, UAT gets to the root of what the client expects of the software on a hands-on, practical level. Functional testing determines if the software technically works. For example, an error, such as origin not launching, is a more obvious functionality flaw.
On the other hand, user acceptance testing determines if the software works in a way that makes the user want to use it. For example, if a particular feature works but takes a long time to load, you might find out that you need to address that feature through user acceptance testing.
There are two types of UAT: alpha testing and beta testing. Alpha testing refers to testing in a controlled environment, meaning that the developers are either testing the software themselves or are working closely with groups of alpha testers.
Some expert advice reported by Shashank Agarwal through Forbes is to try holding a “bug bash session” during the alpha testing phase. While conducting this step, the development team tests the software collaboratively without referring to outside resources.
Thorough alpha testing should catch the most common flaws often detected by user acceptance testing. For example, if you were developing an Android app and knew that the code was technically working, you would still want to find a good Android emulator to conduct alpha testing for cosmetic or otherwise easily overlooked flaws.
In beta testing, developers relinquish more control. The software is exposed to “real-world” testing conditions with a small group of users, which generally is the very last phase of both UAT and testing. It’s the last opportunity to detect anything that might sour the end-user experience
The feedback from beta testing is only helpful if it truly simulates the range of potential future users. Testing across operating systems and devices is an excellent starting point. However, beta testing should also take more subtle factors into account, like the effects of lighting on the screen’s readability or how a mobile app’s notification sound stands out (or blends in) against background noise.
Although extensive user acceptance testing may seem like a long and arduous process, the resulting feedback may be invaluable. It’s worth considering expert assistance with UAT to ensure that your software is production-ready.