What is user acceptance testing (UAT)?

Glossary What is user acceptance testing (UAT)?

The definition of user acceptance testing

User acceptance testing, also known as end-user testing, is a stage towards the end of the software development lifecycle. It takes place before software is ready to “go live”, validating that the software works as intended in real-life scenarios.

Ideally, user acceptance testing is carried out by a sample of real users, rather than testers or developers. This ensures that the testing is reflective of how the software will be used day-to-day when it’s released. As users work their way through processes, any bugs identified or usability feedback gathered is passed to the development team.

When does user acceptance testing take place?

User acceptance testing takes place after software has been developed and quality assurance (the process of ensuring product quality) has been carried out. User acceptance testing is usually the first stage at which anyone outside of the development team is using the software end-to-end.

user acceptance testing

User acceptance testing in mobile app development

User acceptance testing is a key stage in any software development process, and perhaps even more crucial when it comes to the development of mobile apps. A positive user experience is central to app success. With attention spans decreasing and more apps competing in the marketplace, launching an app that will present a real user with bugs or defects is a no-go. User acceptance testing can mitigate this risk by running all “user journeys” (all user tasks within the app) past a test user before the app is deployed.

User acceptance testing focuses on the functionality of an app. To ensure an app functions well, the development team reacts to test results, making improvements before an app is exposed to users. A related but distinct branch of testing is usability testing. This covers how intuitive and user-friendly an app is, including the app’s interface, navigation, and overall user experience. The combined goal of user acceptance testing and usability testing is a well-designed app that is enjoyable to use and functions as intended.

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