User acceptance testing (UAT testing) is a necessity when it comes to meeting the needs of the user in a business or operational environment. The lack of proper user acceptance testing can jeopardize the overall success of the product that’s being offered. User acceptance testing can be difficult at times. (note: we know, this is why we created DebugMe. We support UAT with our visual feedback tool) If you’re a tester, project manager or a developer this expert guide will give you the run down on the user acceptance testing best practices that you can use to create a successful user acceptance testing plan. Let’s get started.
Keys To A Successful User Acceptance Testing
1. Understand Your Users
A user acceptance testing plan isn’t confined to one area. It requires testing of multiple areas. To perform a successful test, you need to be able to understand your users. To understand your users better you need to place them into different categories. These categories include:
- Very Motivated and Skilled – These are users who are instant testers. They are capable of handling challenges and use their talents wisely.
- Very Motivated/Lacking Skills – These users are generally willing to learn but lack the skills needed. They are often easy to train due to their motivation.
- Somewhat Motivated and Skilled – The user has the right skillset but the motivation isn’t as strong as what it should be.
- Somewhat Motivated/Lacking Skills – Your user has moderate motivation but lacks skills when it comes to testing a product.
- Not Motivated or Skilled – These users don’t understand what a user acceptance testing checklist is and the benefits of it. They lack computer skills and the require lots of training and motivation.
Understanding your user will help to complete your user acceptance testing checklist easier and will also make your test run smoother.
2. Use Real World Connection Factors
Some user acceptance testing best practices come when you use real world connection factors when testing instead of just the user requirements. For a completely successful user acceptance testing checklist you need to work on meeting the test with real world conditions. This will help to not only enhance the test, but also find problems along the way. While meeting user standards, try to consider the real world factors along the way.
3. Plan Testing In Advance
When preparing to test there’s generally three different levels. These include:
- Strategic Level – This determines what is to be performed in the testing of the product. It should contain a high level of description in regards to objectives and direction but doesn’t go into detail about how the test is to be carried out.
- Logistical Level – This is a high-level plan that will describe how the test is to be carried out. It is the project plan for the overall test and focuses on phases of testing including integration, unit, UAT and system.
- Test Script Level – This determines the detail of actions that are required to be performed, the results that are expected and what procedures are needed to perform the test.
When creating a user acceptance testing checklist, it’s important to plan the testing in advance to help make the process go much faster. Detailed testing plans help to make it easier for a team member to design the test and for other team members to carry it out. A user acceptance testing plan also helps you to recreate a test if you have to go over it again.
4. Test Throughout The Project Assembly
Generally, user acceptance testing is conducted when the final system has been installed or assembled. This gives users the ability to test the product as a complete setup. However, this can be bad as it can be the worst time to fix and find problems that may be damaging to the overall user experience. Instead, if possible, try to work on testing the product or system throughout the design and assembly process. This will help to find problems and give you the ability to bring it to the attention of the rest of the team. This can help to generate a very successful user acceptance testing overall.
5. Match The Test To The User
While not all projects have a need for extensive user acceptance testing, it’s a good idea to match how intense you should perform the test to the intensity of the how the user will be using the product or system. For a programme that controls a high level of personal safety or assets, it’s important to ensure the user acceptance testing that’s carried out is also at an intense level. This will help the test to be successful overall and will lower the risk of failure of the system or product when it’s used by the end user.
6. Involve The End User
While many companies use surrogate users to help when performing the tests, it can lead to trouble as these people may not be people who are in the same niche as your end user. Instead, for a completely successful user acceptance testing it’s a good idea to hold limited review sessions with your actual users. With the integration of actual users in the testing phase, it helps to improve the testing success rate because you can use their feedback to better enhance the product or system.
7. Review Your Test Plans and Tools
Testing plans, just like other documents, can still have errors. A user acceptance testing checklist can have errors so it’s a good idea to have it reviewed by the UAT testing team, a project manager, a QA agent or another person who is knowledgeable in the testing phase. Reviewing tests regularly will help you to improve your testing plan for a more successful test outcome. From time to time, you should also re-evaluate your set of feedback and UX tools which you are performing your tests.
User acceptance testing isn’t easy but with the right practices put into place, it can help the process to go a lot easier. When conducting a test, make sure you take great care in the entire process to ensure everything runs smoothly. Are you ready to conduct your user acceptance testing plan?
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