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User acceptance testing (UAT) is the last phase of the software testing process that verifies whether a product or software is fit for the purpose it was built for in the first place.
During UAT, actual software users test the software to make sure it can handle required tasks in real-world scenarios, according to specifications.
UAT is also known as beta testing, application testing or end user testing, and it’s the final testing performed after the functional, system, and regression testing stages are over.
UAT is one of the final and most critical software project procedures that ensures developed software is ready to be rolled out to the market.
UAT directly involves the intended users of the software. In a nutshell, customers from the target audience will use the application, checking whether it works as expected and trying to detect any bugs, errors, or imperfections.
UAT can be implemented by making software available for a free beta trial on the internet or through an in-house testing team comprised of actual software users.
The UAT strategy is outlined during the planning step. For example, the requirements for each intended feature that is going to be tested are noted, and the minimum standards that should be met are determined.
Test cases are designed to cover all the functional scenarios of the software in real-world usage. Each test must describe a sequence of steps and the expected results to cover an ideal usage scenario of the product.
They are designed in a simple language and manner to make the test process easier for the testers.
The testing team is comprised of real-world end users that should meet certain criteria to be included (for example, knowledge of the business, ability to detect and report issues, etc.).
The testing team executes the designated test cases. Sometimes it also executes some relevant random tests. All bugs are logged in a testing document with relevant comments.
Responding to the bugs found by the testing team, the software development team makes final adjustments to the code to make the software bug free.
After bugs and errors are fixed, a new test can be ran to ensure that the issue was properly addressed.
When all bugs have been fixed, the testing team indicates acceptance of the software application. This shows that the application meets user requirements and is ready to be rolled out in the market.
UAT is important because it helps demonstrate that required business functions are operating in a manner suited to real-world circumstances and usage.
UAT is a necessary step that must be fulfilled before the release of the application to avoid issues such as the developers failing to understand the requirements of the actual public, or changes during the development phases that have not been adequately communicated.