Introduction

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) has gained tremendous popularity in the past few years, as it ensures a high-quality software product. Though its methodology is quite straightforward, it requires in-depth knowledge when it comes to its types.

Most common types of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) Types:

     Alpha & Beta Testing

     Contract Acceptance Testing

     Regulation Acceptance Testing

     Operational Acceptance Testing

     Black Box Testing

These types of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) have their importance in the software testing process. As they deal with different aspects of software testing, it’s important to use them to deliver a successful software product.

1. Alpha & Beta Testing

Alpha Testing is usually carried out by the internal staff in a development environment. And it is done within the internal team before it’s handed over to external testers. Although potential users groups are also considered to carry out Alpha Test, the critical thing is that it’s done in the development environment.

Contrary to Alpha Testing, Beta Testing is carried out in the customer’s environment. It’s a type of software acceptance testing known as field testing because it’s executed in the field by a group of customers. These customers run the application in their environment and then provide their feedback.

2. Contract Acceptance Testing

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) tests the software product against a set criteria and requirements specification. These criteria and specifications are agreed upon in a contract before the development begins. The contract is made between the project team and the client and all the relevant specifications are defined for acceptance.

3. Regulation Acceptance Testing

As the name implies, regulations acceptance testing deals with governmental and legal regulations. In software development, it’s important to comply with the technical requirements to do a successful project and deal with governmental and legal regulations. This process is extremely important and cannot be neglected; otherwise, your product can become the victim of a violation of the law. 

4. Operational Acceptance Testing

Operational Acceptance Testing is also known as Operational Readiness Testing. And, it is also sometimes called Production Acceptance Testing. This type of UAT testing ensures that workflows are right in place so that the system can use them properly.
Operational Acceptance Testing deals with the operations of the software product such as

  • workflows for backup plans
  • user training
  • several maintenance processes
  • security checks

5. Black Box Testing

Black box testing is often considered under functional testing and categorized as software acceptance testing. It is because it shares similar principles and practices as User Acceptance Testing.

Black box testing helps analyze some software product functionality without the need to look at the internal code structure.

It focuses mainly on the requirements that software must meet, and the user is unaware of any codebase.

Similarly, testers do not necessarily have to look deeper into the application features. And testers are only concerned about how the software must perform based on the requirements. As it offers great benefits to software testing, it’s quite popular amongst QA and development teams.

There are 5 phases of conducting a successful User Acceptance Testing (UAT):

  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Documentation
  • Evaluation
  • Reporting

These five phases of User Acceptance Testing are followed in a sequence and have proven to drive successful testing outcomes.

Planning

The perfect execution of your User Acceptance Testing depends largely on how you plan it. If you cannot successfully conduct a User Acceptance Testing plan, you definitely can never have successful outcomes. There are several factors involved in the testing process that needs planning for:

  • Time management
  • Staff requirements
  • UAT testing team
  • Communication & Issue strategy

Execution

After successful planning, the next phase is the execution of the test. The testing can be performed by physically visiting the client’s system. Or, you may also execute one-on-one sessions through online means. Online means such as Skype or any other video conferencing software application can be used. During the sessions, you can get qualitative and quantitative data from the users to perform your testing.

Documentation

While you execute your User Acceptance tests, it’s recommended that you must document it too. For that, you must have an efficient system that can securely verify your information and doesn’t lose your data.

You can save defects, feedback, and any irregularities on your user’s browser screen to document the tests. Moreover, you can have a project dashboard that helps all the team members stay on the same page. It also helps to let everyone know about the overview of critical issues.

Evaluation

You have to ensure the software product has been tested according to the set criteria in the evaluation phase. Also, the software must meet those measures and the final product should be as per requirements.

The testers must look at the following concerns:

  • What have test cases failed?
  • What problems occurred during execution?
  • How can we resolve the issues?
  • Who must take responsibility to deal with the issues?

As testers document quantitative and qualitative data and then analyze it, it’s important to answer the following questions:

  • How many testers took part to complete the test cases?
  • How do you rate these test cases?
  • With what state of mind testers performed the tests?
  • What were the emotions during the execution of test cases?

Reporting

While there’s confusion related to the similarity between the evaluation and reporting phases, there’s a significant difference between the both. In the evaluation phase, testers collect, aggregate, and analyze data.

Contrary to this, the reporting collects insights along with the lessons learned by executing tests. It includes details of how the test cases and UAT workflows have been improvised in the past that can be used in the future. It helps in saving time and increases the efficiency of the software testing process.

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