In an SDLC, there are several testing frameworks that help to assess if the application is progressing in the right direction. It could be in terms of usability, security, compatibility, performance, integrations, etc.
Once these aspects are evaluated, the application is tested from its user’s perspective through User Acceptance Testing (UAT). Since the users are going to be the true owners of the app, their acceptance, and satisfaction with it has utmost importance.
User Acceptance Testing (UAT) happens at the final stage of the software development cycle, i.e. before the software goes live. It determines how the software will work in real-world scenarios. In this case, a set of users (similar to the targeted users) test the application to assess if it has the features, performance, or user experience as expected.
There are three different ways to perform UAT- getting the app tested by in-house volunteers, paying test subjects, or providing exclusive access to the application to a set of users (as a free trial). The results availed from the early testers are then forwarded to the development team who creates a plan to make changes to the application. Once the end-to-end business flow is validated, the software is pushed to production.
What’s the Purpose of User Acceptance Testing (UAT)?
Unit testing, system testing, integration testing, quality assurance, etc. are some of the critical aspects of software testing services. These tests qualify a software for its seamless functionality, as designed or planned by the business or development team. But, it might not be similar to what’s expected by the targeted users.
These scenarios are a result of frequently changing client requirements, improper testing of the application in the pre-deployment or pre-UAT phase, or unclear understanding of the persona or the business. If the software is published to production without going through UAT, chances are that the application gets published with errors, lack of features, or an interrupted user experience.
Different Types of Acceptance Testing
Alpha & Beta Testing: During the alpha/beta tests, an application is given to a group of end users for evaluating its functionality, user experience, or the intent
- Alpha tests start as early as in the development phase. It’s a way to validate if the final product would perform as expected.
- The participants of alpha tests, usual engineers from the internal team provide technical feedback and advice on how to fix a problem.
- Alpha tests are followed by beta tests, also known as field testing. The actual customers of the product test the application and provide feedback, which eventually leads to product improvement.
- The beta test participants focus on the usability of the application. There is real-time performance evaluation with multiple users using their own hardware. Also, the expectation of every beta tester is different from the application. Thus, this testing leads to some worthy improvements in the product.
- Contrary to alpha testing which happens at the initial stage, beta testing happens at the end of development. Both, alpha and beta are a type of acceptance test.
Operational Testing: This testing aims to evaluate the application for its compatibility, stability, reliability, etc. In short, it checks for the operational readiness of the application before it is moved to the production phase.
Operational testing is applied in various phases of a software development life cycle to assess system functionality. It helps to examine the environmental factors that influence the behavior of the system and enable feature interaction.
Contract Acceptance Testing: In this type of user acceptance testing, certain criteria or specifications are defined for testing in a contract. This contract, which is known as Service Level Agreement (SLA) includes terms & conditions ensuring that payment will be made only when the product meets the specified requirements. This acceptance testing usually takes place before the application goes live.
Regulations or Compliance Acceptance Testing: Before the application goes live in production, it is important to assess it for industry regulations or compliances that are set by the government (of different countries or regions).
In industries where an inappropriate app functionality or feature could cause major loss, such as healthcare and finance, ensuring compliance is important. Thus, regulations and compliance acceptance testing are important to avoid the loss or legal actions when the app is delivered.
During acceptance testing, if there are any gaps in the systems, the application feature or functionality could be molded accordingly.
Acceptance Testers are skilled examiners who have the ability to think logically and analytically. They have seasoned domain knowledge, analyze competitive products, and assess the application with an end-user perception. These people are expected to understand business, its requirement, and how a technology-driven application can fulfill it.
The Quality Analyst team at Daffodil regularly performs acceptance testing, whenever and wherever required. It enables the team to minimize errors or risks before the application is approaching the production phase.