Quality control of applications, games, or websites is an integral part of the development process. Regardless of the methodology selected (such as Agile, Scrum, or even Waterfall), checking the quality and performance of the project is vital before it is handed over to the customer. The GMInsight research confirms this, showing a positive trend in testing development. The QA services market has reached $40 billion in 2020, and, according to the same analytical group, the industry is expected to grow rapidly to $60 billion with a CAGR of 7% by 2027.
When it comes to the varieties of testing methods and stages, many experts list only the main ones. They focus on checks provided during the work on the product, forgetting about the final stages of quality control. ZappleTech conducted its own research on the QA services market and identified a key element that plays one of the most important roles when working on any IT product. From this article, you will learn what user acceptance testing is, its features, duration, and its key stages. We hope you enjoy the article!
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Terminology and nuances
What is UAT? It is the pre-release and final stage of checking a desktop or mobile app/website for performance and critical bugs. It is usually carried out in several iterations and requires the participation of both the QA team and third-party users. It is called “acceptance” because the basis of testing is real feedback from regular users.
Generally, it looks exactly like this, but the process is deeper and requires preliminary preparation when development starts. We’ll talk about this later. Now let’s go through the nuances of such testing.
When we talk about all types of testing, we mean automating the main cases and checking the code, system, and interface. With acceptance testing, the situation is much more interesting. This kind of QA is always deployed at the final development stage when most problems are either fixed or not critical for users. A virtual environment and ready-made product builds with integrated data are used for checks.
What is the UAT environment? It is a virtual environment that emulates the real conditions of using the product: entering data, creating accounts with limited access rights, simulating the product interaction with internal and external databases. The environment helps to test the functionality safely, i.e., all data is localized and protected. Using cloud technologies, all parties can connect to the deployed program and test it without uploading data to their devices.
No matter how effectively specialists check the finished system, users find problems better and faster. They know in theory how the app works and what they can do with it. That’s why they cause extraordinary situations that complicate proper functioning. Developers most value such cases because they would never have discovered hidden problems without the help of third-party testers.
How to provide such testing?
What is UAT in software development? It is a format for checking the pre-release version of the MVP for critical errors and compliance with the TOR. Due to the nature of each mobile, desktop, or web application, this testing is done on a case-by-case basis. The customer and dedicated team of testers are responsible for this. As a rule, they check compliance with business goals, user experience, and functionality. To achieve this, testing is divided into 6 stages, each revealing different types of problems. Let’s look at them in more detail.
Firstly, you need to determine how the solution must work, its specifications, and ideas. It is worth studying the technical documentation, developer reports, and tester cases. Usually, this work is delegated to contractors who review the product against expectations, specifications, and business models. Compliance with legislative norms and recommendations is also clarified at this stage, and all legal aspects are considered.
The second step is to develop and implement a UAT test script. By analogy with the roadmap, it describes the roles of participants, the timing of the check, and the conditions for a successful outcome or sending for revision.
When your plan is drawn up and put into operation, determine a test vector. It may depend on the key requirements for the IT product. For instance, if you develop an e-commerce project, its main function, commerce, is checked first. It includes catalog, shopping cart, search, payment, and communication. When all points are included in the plan, the next stage begins.
This process is almost the same as during development. Create a description of the situation and note the expected results obtained after testing. The only nuance: if ordinary users are involved in the verification, the cases should be as clear as possible for them.
The acceptance test is based on the black box method. It means that the user does not know how the program works but performs some actions with it. It is the final stage before the project is handed over to the customer, so all functionality must be debugged and configured. It is allowed to ignore minor design flaws and defects, as well as internal glitches. The priority is uninterrupted operation and compliance of the functionality with the specification.
Studying the results
Upon completion of acceptance testing, you need to make a decision: to release the IT product to the market or return it for revision. The app’s productivity, readiness, and customer focus must also be evaluated. Based on the results, conclude documentation, which includes:
- program logs;
- user reviews;
- test plan;
After testing is complete, conduct a UAT meeting. All interested parties should gather here: the customer, analysts, developers, and testers. Based on the results, the product may be sent for revision or published on the company’s website.
As you can see, acceptance testing is one of the most important steps in preparing an app for release. Its success directly depends on the quality of QA. Testing determines the readiness of an IT product, its usability, and stress resistance in any scenario. That’s why it’s essential to entrust this to professionals.
ZappleTech has been testing systems of any complexity for over 10 years. We gathered experts in automation and manual testing of all popular technical stacks. By ordering services from our dedicated testing team, you can spend more time on your core business without being distracted by quality control. We will provide the best QA service so that your product starts generating revenue immediately after the MVP is released. Order the services of ZappleTech specialists by contacting our manager.