Most software developers enter the field understanding that the most important facet of their job description is software testing. Generally, testing involves defining and evaluating the success of an application before implementation. During the software development cycle, a product passes through different testing stages.
User Acceptance Testing (UAT testing) is one of the final phases before a product is released to the market. UAT is user-based and is engineered to determine if a certain system meets user expectations.
If you aren’t sure how UAT can improve users’ experiences, here’s a list of insider tips to help you achieve effective User Acceptance Testing.
Plan And Set Clear Expectations
Planning is one of the most crucial steps to achieving effective UAT. Identify which team members will be involved in this phase and allocate specific duties. For instance, you’ll want to assign logistic managers, strategic planners, UAT execution personnel, and other participants, as part of the acceptance testing.
Before the UAT phase commences, you should also set clear expectations of the desired UAT outcome and reemphasize the importance of this process to both test participants and team members alike. By understanding the value of the UAT testing process, participants will be more willing to participate.
Put Your User First
By definition, User Acceptance Testing centers its focus on the user, making your end-result user the primary motivator. Your users can be external or internal members with different experience levels.
If the software is customer-based, you’ll want current and potential customers to demo the product. Enlisting real-life system users and delegating crucial roles should be standard procedure in any User Acceptance Testing scenario.
The best way to recruit the right users is by selecting a diverse set of individuals with unique skills and different educational backgrounds. The feedback collected from these users can inform future product developments, resolve current systemic issues, and will help facilitate any future enhancements.
Document Test Cases
Successfully executing a UAT requires participants to adhere to a step-by-step guide throughout the entirety of the process. Every step of the process that’s executed is characterized by its unique features. Because no two steps are the same, each step should be accompanied by a clear roadmap that highlights the most crucial functions. All these steps should be documented in an easy-to-follow manner.
As you formulate your UAT plan-of-action, you should consider offering in-person testing to guide users through the printed documents, so that they aren’t overwhelmed by the process. Additionally, to incentivize user participation, you can include testing that measures progress and welcome suggestions for improvements.
The process of User Acceptance Testing usually involves a large product team, who may need to communicate in real-time throughout the process. For that reason, you’ll need to figure out a convenient and effective form of communication to streamline team management.
While some people prefer email as a primary mode of communication, emails can be sentenced to spam folders or swallowed up by a sea of promotional emails and calendar alerts. Remember, all UAT team members, including the management team, product development team, testers, and others, rely heavily on communication to make the process a success. Fortunately, there are several feedback tools your team members can utilize to communicate effectively.
Preparing the testing environment for UAT is vital in ensuring the success of the testing process. Make sure that the participants identified receive relevant data and meet the designated credentials, so they’re adequately prepared to conduct testing effectively.
Always review participant credentials in-advance to mobilize a team that’s up-to-the-task. Make sure all pertinent data is set-up ahead of time and be sure to run-through test cases to ensure the User Acceptance Testing functions according to plan.
Remember, this is the first time the testers are interacting with your system’s new features, so you’ll want to make the best first impression possible to avoid soiling the company name. The current system environment is continually evolving. With this in mind, you’ll need to eliminate possible barriers that can interfere with the users’ experience to stand a better chance of garnering raving reviews.
In many cases, the completion of a project marks the beginning of a new testing phase, and your case likely won’t be an exception. After testing and presenting your findings, testers might report new issues that may mention new functionalities or system adjustments.
Since the reporting is completed by real users, you should dedicate the necessary time and resources to clarifying your findings. You can also conduct a quick interview with the participants, if at all possible. These interviews can provide insightful pointers to help improve the current system or implement strategies for future advancements.
User Acceptance Testing process plays a fundamental role in the software development cycle. The benefits of a well-planned and executed UAT process are obvious. It can help you avoid unnecessary frustrations and stress that may arise during the launch of the system.
On the same note, for guaranteed success, you’ll need to gather relevant data and find the most qualified participants to help with your UAT tests. Follow the guidelines mentioned above to execute effective UAT to improve your user’s experience.
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