Top Tips To Start UAT

Madigan Johnson

User acceptance testing may not be the most common software testing, however, that does not mean that it is not a valid testing option. User acceptance testing, or UAT as it is shortened, can elicit huge transformations on the software product. If you are reading this article, you probably already know the benefits of UAT and are looking to incorporate it into your testing. But where to start and what are the different phases of UAT? We want to make sure that your adoption of UAT testing is as painless as possible.

What is UAT?

Firstly, just in case you might need a refresher, user acceptance criteria can be defined in simple terms as one of the last phases in the software testing process that ensures authentication of a solution that works for the end-user. There are plenty of other definitions abounding around the internet, but that one works for us and should for you too.

Who is UAT for?

The focus of UAT is not on the developers or the software company, but rather it is entirely focused on the user. The users are the ones that will be using the software and it is important to include them in the overall software testing process, hence UAT. UAT allows for users to be at the center of attention and allows their questions about the software to contain gravitas. While conducting user acceptance testing, one should consider questions such as, is the user able to interact with the software in the intended way? Does the software behave in the designed manner? While some might think that these questions could be answered with other forms of testing, the short answer is that this is not possible.

When to conduct UAT?

During the software development life cycle, it is best to implement UAT near the completion of the project. The specs need to be written down which will help guide the UAT test cases later. The code should be complete, there shouldn’t be any incomplete features that will be tested. The other major tests should also have already been executed such as unit testing, integration testing, and regression testing. If your company has done all of that, then congratulations, you are ready for UAT.

Now that we have defined what, who, and when UAT is designed for, let’s move on to the phases of UAT. These phases are the basic standards of UAT and will need to be adapted and modified to fit your organization. That being said, this outline will give you a good idea of what to expect and how to start the user acceptance testing process. 

Phase 1: Test Initiation

During this phase, the focus is on the requirements from the clients, and the creation of the UAT plan is implemented. Steps during this phase can be ones such as:

  • UAT test approach is defined
  • Users who would be performing this test are identified
  • Environments are picked and organized
  • Test data requirements are identified
  • Support from other teams is outlined and discussed

Phase 2: Test Design

The test design phase means identifying the scenarios and cases that need to be tested with clear steps documented for the user to test. Other points to examine during this phase include:

  • Test case scenarios are identified and documented
  • Relevant test data is identified
  • Scenarios are uploaded into the corresponding form
  • User access is sorted

Phase 3: Test Execution

The execution is where the previous steps will finally be performed and the testers will run the scripts and cases. At this stage in time, acts to undertake would be:

  • Execution of the scenarios is performed
  • Defects are identified and documented
  • Additional testing is performed

Phase 4: Test Closure

The final phase is the test closure. In the course of this, a decision will be made called the Acceptance Decision. It can also be called the Go/No-Go decision. This is the final step and will state if there needs to be more testing or the system can be pushed to production. Step here would be:

  • The test report is generated
  • Systems either pass or fail based on the acceptance decision.


UAT can be a great source of information for your software product. It helps validate whether or not the software is functioning properly and in compliance with the requirements set forth by the user stories. Use these phases as a stepping stone for your own UAT testing or reach out to us for more information or help.

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