What is user acceptance testing (UAT): A complete guide
Best practices Agile
7 mins read
April 2, 2024

What is User Acceptance Testing (UAT): A complete guide

The software testing industry continues to thrive, thanks to increased technology consumption across the globe. Among the most sought-after types of testing in the $40 billion industry is user acceptance testing

Kirill Chabanov

What is user acceptance testing?

This involves performing a series of operations on an app after other critical app development procedures, such as system, functional, and integration testing. The evaluation is performed by the end-user or business client, and a UAT testing software. It’s done to verify that the product is in line with the intended use before moving it to the production environment. 

What is its purpose?

The evaluation is geared toward validating the product’s viability in a real-world scenario, depending on the prevailing user needs, specifications, or even preferences. The focus here is usually on user feedback, whether positive or negative, which helps streamline the user experience by reducing the number of pain points when the product is finally deployed. 

The available UAT types

Now that you understand the definition of UAT, what are the prevalent types you should know? Well, the AT types may include:


Alpha and beta: giving the app to select end-users to evaluate its usability and give feedback for later improvement


Regulation (RAT): ensuring that the app complies with the required legal regulations


Contract (CAT): evaluating whether the app in question embodies the qualities, criteria, and specifications provided in the development contract


Business (BAT): evaluating whether the product meets certain business requirements in a real-world scenario, against a predetermined business case


Operational (OAT): analysing the predefined workflow of the product in question in terms of compatibility and reliability, as well as its operational readiness in terms of stability

Who performs the evaluation?

It can be performed by two groups of people, including everyday end-users or business clients. For instance, a client might need to test the viability of a commercial app or a custom-built tool before deploying it for real-world applications. Similarly, app developers may avail products to a select group of end-users to gather feedback to streamline user experience before a mass rollout. An issue tracking software is used in this case.

User acceptance testing brings a lot of external people, and most of them have no QA experience. This means that you will run into suboptimal tickets and likely get a lot of duplicate reports, too. aqua’s AI copilot can help end-users make better tickets and spot duplicate items for the QA team to remove.

Cleaner UAT with AI Copilot

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A brief description of the process

Although UAT can be done in many ways, depending on the overall objectives, here is the standard and most prevalent user acceptance testing process flow:

  1. 1
    Analysis of business requirements — this allows strategies, as well as the implementation timeframe to be set. Documents used at this stage include project charter, process flow diagrams, and system requirement specifications (SRS)
  2. 2
    Creation of the evaluation plan — the entry and exit criteria are documented at this stage to outline the strategies that will be used to validate the app product in question
  3. 3
    Identify analysis scenarios and cases — identification of viable test scenarios to build relevant cases, as well as highlight clear guidelines and steps to be followed during the whole process
  4. 4
    Preparation of data — live data is scrambled to preserve its integrity and security. The participants also familiarise themselves with the database flow at this stage
  5. 5
    Run and record the results — a software test tool is used to run the cases, as well as automate bug reporting
  6. 6
    Confirm business objectives met — a sign-off email is sent, signalling the product is ready to move to the production environment
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Main challenges encountered

User acceptance testing techniques minimise the risks of deploying unreliable products in terms of experience. But since this evaluation is critical and often reliable, it faces several challenges too, including:

  • Poor planning — which can happen when the previous stages of app development took more time than initially intended
  • Wrong choice of participating users – which can mean inaccurate or inconsistent feedback and bug reporting
  • App dependencies — if the product is checked and deployed in the same environment
  • Delays — occurring  due to poor communication lines between the evaluators

Enhance your testing experience with the aqua tool for UA

Among the best practices of user acceptance testing includes leveraging a tool that doesn’t limit your opportunities to enhance your experience, as well as ensuring that you deploy a perfect app product. The aqua tool is ideal for anyone in the testing process, including end-users and internal testers. You can perform your checks around the clock with this tool and generate a visual proof of your bug reports.

This tool allows users to execute a user acceptance testing plan in five easy steps:

  • Set the requirements
  • Communicate with your team to stay on track and monitor progress
  • Validate whether your requirements and business objectives are met
  • Monitor the progress of testing and results with pre-set on your project dashboard or custom reports
  • Resolve any highlighted issues and fix bugs


UAT is a critical phase in app development that any business would want to get right from the word go. Typically, it can help if you look into a relevant user acceptance test plan example and replicate it for your app project, especially if you are doing it for the first time. Alternatively, contact us to get started with the aqua tool for UAT.

Get perfect features and granular permissions for your UAT

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What is a user acceptance test?

User acceptance test is part of the wider effort to verify that software meets the needs of the end-user. It is not necessarily a paid customer: if someone develops custom internal software for a company, the user acceptance testing is performed by employees of that company. 

What are the types of acceptance testing?

Alpha/beta acceptance testing is done in the early stages of developing software to avoid and/or resolve major conceptual flaws. Contract acceptance testing happens at the end of development to see if the software can be handed over to end-users. Sometimes, there is also operational acceptance testing for introducing key new functionality or major overhauls of software that has been in use for a while.

What is the difference between UAT and acceptance testing?

UAT is just the acronym for User Acceptance Testing.

Who is responsible for UAT?

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is performed by a group of end-users. For B2B solutions, you would usually want both highly experienced personnel with a good understanding of business requirements and regular staff that will be working with your software. It is somewhat similar for B2C solutions, where you need the input of both savvy users and regular customers. 

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