User Acceptance Testing Tutorial for Beginners

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is one of the most commonly used forms of software testing. User Acceptance Testing is a type of black box testing.

It is the final stage of the software testing before any software product is shipped to stakeholders. UAT is called beta testing, too. 

This article brings you a complete guide on UAT. 

What is User Acceptance Testing?

As its name suggests, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is testing done on any particular software product for user approval.

Let us see what is the definition of the user in the context of UAT. 

A user is a person who desires to have a particular product for himself or herself according to the requirements. 

So, the UAT definition can be derived as testing or verifying a particular software by the user. A user can verify whether the software product works according to his or her requirements. 

UAT is a part of the software testing process of the software development life cycle that considers the user story and generates a test plan according to the required tasks in real-world scenarios.

Unlike other testings such as unit testing and regression testing, which is done by the QA team in an artificial testing environment, UAT is commonly done by the stakeholder or other business users (collectively called as UAT team). It is performed as one of the final stages of the software project procedures, also known as beta testing.

It is executed after the function, integration, regression testing, and system testing when the software development team, testing team, and QA team have performed all artificial execution.

It is done in a production environment with real world scenarios according to actual software users.

Additionally, this testing is referred to as end-user testing, operational acceptance testing (OAT), field acceptance testing, and acceptance test-driven development (ATDD). 

Acceptance Types
Acceptance Types

When is it performed?

UAT testing or end-user testing is usually executed at the last phase of software testing before a particular product is ready to enter the market to be delivered to the end user. 

Before the product is sent for users to examine the software in the user acceptance testing process, the Quality Assurance (QA) team tests the software to make sure there are no problems.

The software users carry out UAT tests to ensure that the product works well and meets all the business requirements stated in the contract before its development. 

Usually, UAT is performed after the product undergoes system testing. As UAT testing is one of the last stages of the product, clients need to consider all the products’ perspectives. 

Who is responsible for performing UAT?

The purpose of the UAT testing is to verify whether the software is reliable for end users or whether it satisfies all criteria and can be used as a perfect solution for the end users. 

The owner of the product overall carries out UAT.

The business users test the software for business or user requirements and not to make sure whether the software crashes, it meets his or her requirements, spelling errors, or other defects. It is all done before the integration testing, system testing, and unit testing phase of the software application.

This end user testing majorly focuses on how the software works. The software should work appropriately with business functionalities and business requirements. 

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User Acceptance Testing Stages

Need for User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

There are individual businesses that have faced a big issue in their software products before releasing them in the market. 

Having issues in the software after stepping into the market may result in a significant business loss. 

Any defect in the product may turn into the loss of end users’ trust and faith, which is not very beneficial for the business. 

Even if the defects occurring in the product are repairable, it requires a lot of time and money. 

So, to avoid software issues after it is released in the market, there is a need for UAT testing

UAT testing ensures that the software is well-grounded and works well as a solution for a particular problem and is in accordance with the business requirements. 

For a particular product, a UAT test is essential to avoid business loss in case of any defects or bugs. 

UAT test also saves valuable time and expenses for the owner of that particular product. 

User Acceptance Testing Checklist 

UAT Checklist includes a complete guide about how to execute the UAT test in software development and the stages involved in UAT testing. 

  1. The initial checklist involves starting the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) test.
  2. Planning the end user allowing research after that.
  3. Checking Concept Consumer Acceptance.
  4. Checking User Acceptance Execution.
  5. Decisions on activation
  6. Post Test Behavior for User Approval.

How to Perform User Acceptance Testing (UAT)?

To perform UAT testing, there are specific steps involved. These steps are briefly explained below:

  1. Examination of Business Needs: The primary and most important step in UAT includes defining and evaluating the business needs and testing situations. This can also be said as a planning phase. End users in the real world should define test scenarios for the test from various documents, like business use cases, flow diagrams, System Requirements Specification (SRS), etc. 
  2. Developing the UAT Test Plan: The next step includes the development of the UAT test plan. This plan developed by the user will be a strategy that ensures that the software satisfies the business needs. This plan can incorporate entry and exit criteria, test cases, test scenarios, acceptance criteria, and testing timelines based on the end-user. 
  3. Identify Test Scenarios and Test Cases: Testers need to identify high-level business testing situations. Based on the testing situations, these testers need to create clear and clean test cases. The test cases developed should cover all the test scenarios of business. 
  4. Use Live Data: Using live data in the UAT process is very beneficial. This will help the end-user see how the software product works with the current situation’s data. The users use the application and test whether the software is fit for the market with live data.
  5. Run the Test Cases: The developed test cases based on high-level business testing situations should be executed, and the result should be noted. However, the appearance of a bug or defect at this stage is not good. All bugs or defects are detected at the earlier stages. But, if they appear, first testers need to fix it and then re-test the bug. After re-testing, note down the result. 
  6. Ensure the business requirements met successfully: After noting down each test case’s results, testers must ensure that all business requirements are covered and the software is working well in real-time. 

How to Execute User Acceptance Testing Effectively?

As the UAT is one of the most crucial stages in software development and testing, users must carefully and keenly execute this testing. To perform this testing, users need to take into account specific parameters or factors. These parameters are listed below:

  1. Setting clear expectations: The first factor to consider in the user acceptance test is to set clear expectations about the possible outcome of the testing. The user or owner of the product and testing team member should know the reason for conducting the test. 
  2. Conduct UAT in the early stage: This user acceptance test is performed just before the product is about to deliver to the customer. This approach is followed in the traditional product development model, waterfall model, and the Agile model in the modern development models. It should be conducted in the early stages of product development to discover bugs and defects. 
  3. Find the proper testers: Another major factor to be considered while carrying out UAT is to choose relevant testers. Users must select participants that have often worked earlier with this type of testing. 
  4. Make test assignments: In the UAT, the product is tested whether it works well with real-life scenarios and day-to-day operations. So, users must create a list of tasks and tests to be made on the product to ensure that it works well in every situation. But, the test assignment created should be based on high-level business conditions, higher quality of the tests, and should contain concise and clear steps. 
User Acceptance Testing
User Acceptance Testing

Tools for User Acceptance Testing

To carry out UAT, several tools are available in the market. The following are some of the testing tools listed below:

  1. Watir
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Watir is a short form of Web Application Testing in Ruby. It is one of the most popular tools used for executing UAT efficiently. The best part is it is an open-source tool. It is a cross-platform tool that supports all major operating systems. It incorporates three several small projects. Out of them, three are majorly used. They are Watir-Classic, Watir-web driver, and Watirspec. It is written in Ruby programming language and is licensed under the MIT license. 

  1. FitNesse

FitNesse is yet another popular tool used for UAT. It offers a provision of writing test cases on Wiki web pages and executing them from Wiki. Users can create new Wiki pages or edit the existing Wiki pages and list their test cases. This tool was specially developed for Agile development methodology and UAT. 

User Acceptance Testing Template

The UAT team that tests the application handle required tasks according to the UAT template. It is quite different from the software development testing templates used for the quality assurance team. The User Acceptance Testing template may have the following information in it:

  1. Test Case ID: The Test Case ID in the User Acceptance Testing template should be unique for each test case. It is the number that uniquely identifies each test case from the list of test cases. 
  2. Functional Area: The functional area is another parameter in the template. Test cases are combined according to their functional area. 
  3. Business Requirement ID: Like the Test Case ID, a business requirement id is also a unique number that identifies each requirement of the business. 
  4. User Role: The user of the product is responsible for executing the user acceptance testing. So, it is very crucial to identify the role of the user from the stated business needs. 
  5. Test Steps: Having organized test steps will make the testing process effective and straightforward. Test steps include all the sequential actions to be carried out during the execution. 
  6. Expected Result: This module of the template contains each test case’s expected outcome or system behavior on executing each test case. 
  7. Actual Result: This column contains actual results after the execution of each test case in the real world. If the expected result and the actual result are the same, users need to enter “Same as Expected” in this column. 
  8. Test Status: Test Status implies whether a particular test case passes or fails. If it passes, the status is passed and if it fails, users need to raise an issue to the development team. 
  9. Business Impact: This column includes important information and it is used to set the priority of tasks. 
  10. Comments: This module contains comments about the test cases. 

User Acceptance Testing Best Practices

  1. Know the users of the software: It is significant to know who is using the software in the real world. What are the needs of the customers regarding a particular software? What is their expectation from the software? If all this data is available, user acceptance testing becomes more comfortable to execute. 
  2. Prepare the outlining of the testing in advance: To carry out user acceptance testing, it is essential to develop a detailed outline of how to execute the process. Prior planning of user acceptance testing can assist testers to cover all test cases and execute them efficiently. 
  3. Well-structured User Acceptance Management Testing: As the user acceptance testing is one of the last phases of testing before it gets delivered to the market, the software must work well as per the customers’ needs. The management system used for this type of testing should be well-structured and organized. 
  4. Develop test situations: Testers should use high-level business test situations and create test cases out of them. But, these test scenarios must be based on business needs. 
  5. Define acceptance standards: The acceptance standard implies the rules and standards based on which the software product is decided whether it is passed or failed. So, to determine whether the product is suitable for market use or not, basic acceptance standards are required. 
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User Acceptance Testing Activities

System Testing Vs User Acceptance Testing

System Testing and UAT are two distinct terms. System Testing is performed before UAT. The table listed below will help you to understand the difference between system testing and UAT.

System TestingUser Acceptance Testing
System Testing is executed to check the overall functionality of particular software.UAT is performed to verify whether the software works well with business needs. 
This testing is commonly performed only by testers and developers. UAT is carried out by testers, stakeholders, as well as customers of the software product. 
This testing can be functional as well as non-functional testing. UAT is only functional testing. 
In this type of testing, the performance of the overall product is tested. In UAT, whether the product is suitable as a solution for business is tested. 
System Testing and Integration Testing together make System Testing. Beta and Alpha Testing together form UAT. 
In System Testing, the defects and bugs in the product are repaired and fixed. In UAT, if defects or bugs are found, it is considered as the failure of the product. 
System Testing vs User Acceptance Testing

Conclusion

After looking over all the above elements of UAT, we understand that this phase of the software testing is very essential for any product before it is delivered to the market for the intended users.

These tests ensure that users use the application before it is deployed in the market and make sure it can handle actual use cases.

This testing checks whether a particular product works effectively with business requirements and verifies whether the software can be served as an effective business solution. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is user acceptance testing?

Performed as the last stage of testing, UAT is a type of testing in which actual users are allowed to test the developed software and find errors. Sometimes it happens that testers are unable to find all the bugs and thus actual users provide a fresh set of eyes. Unlike the development environment in which other testings happen, UAT is performed in a production environment. It is also known as application testing or end-user testing.

How do you do UAT user acceptance testing?

UAT is generally done by following the below steps:
Analyze the business requirements from documents such as Software Requirement Specifications (SRS), Business Requirements Document (BRD), process flow diagrams, etc.
The UAT plan is created to decide the strategy to be followed to verify the software. All the entry and exit criterias, test cases, test scenarios, etc. are included in it.
Based on high-level business requirements, various test scenarios are created that include multiple test cases with clear instructions on how to execute them.
Mostly live data is used for UAT which is scrambled for privacy and security concerns.
Once the plan, scenarios, and cases are all set up the test cases are run and tested for any possible bugs. Any bugs found in test execution are fixed and then re-tested to ensure that the fix works. Some organizations and testers use test management tools for execution.
Once all the User Acceptance Testing test cases are executed and bugs reported or fixed, the business analysts or UAT testers sign off implying that the software is good to go for production.

What is user acceptance testing with example?

User acceptance testing is a type of testing in which actual users examine the software for any bugs after the development team fixes it. For example, when we are a part of any beta program for apps in play store then we deploy the app in the actual environment and find and report bugs after which it is resolved. Thus beta testing is also a part of User Acceptance Testing.

What are the types of acceptance testing?

There are five types of User Acceptance Testing:
Beta and Alpha Testing
Black Box Testing
Contract Acceptance Testing
Operational Acceptance Testing
Black Box Testing

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