User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

2 min read

by Louise Bellamy on 6th June 2024

Busting testing myths #1: “We can automate UAT”

Test automation is great, there’s no doubt about it. But a quick Google will reveal that many companies (usually the ones selling test automation solutions) offer test automation as a way to handle one of the most tricky test phases, user acceptance testing (UAT)

In this blog, we’ll take a look at whether test automation can replace current UAT practices. 

What does UAT involve?

UAT is the final testing phase before a piece of software goes live. As the name suggests, it’s all about making sure that users can actually do their jobs with the new software. That’s partly double-checking nothing functional has changed that gets in the way of them doing their jobs, but also to check that they are happy with the process as it works in the new software. 

It can get a bit subjective (“I don’t like the color of that button, it makes it hard to see”) but that’s sort of the point – it’s about making sure YOUR employees are happy working with your new software. 

Even with AI, test automation isn’t human

You can see where we’re going here. UAT is specifically looking for a human’s reaction to the new software; the truth is that any test automation currently available is still a long way off being able to provide a genuinely human reaction. They’re even further away from being able to reproduce the reactions of YOUR humans, since it’s important to remember that we’re all different. 

So, yes, you can automate your UAT (you could even do it with our Test Automation solution if you fancied it), but you’d never be able to say with 100% confidence that your tests had caught every issue. The risk of issues making it through into production would creep up – and so would the risk of damage to your business as a result of those issues. 

But don’t worry, automation fans – there’s hope for you yet.

When is UAT not UAT?

In truth, a lot of what many organizations call UAT is technically regression testing. Regression testing is where you make sure that your software still works as expected after an update. In that sense, it’s a type of functional test, which actually makes it a great candidate for automation. 

Our Test Automation solution, for instance, shows you every change to your software. That includes new or removed screen components, and quality checks such as spelling and system performance, augmenting user feedback. So what you can do is look critically at your UAT test cases, find the elements of them that are actually regression tests, and automate those. It’ll save your manual testers time, and allow them to focus on the parts that genuinely need their attention.

Myth: partially busted

Can you automate UAT? No, not really. UAT relies on humans interacting with your software to work, and test automation still isn’t good enough to replicate human responses. Automating UAT entirely would reduce its effectiveness. 

That said, many organizations include a lot of regression testing in their UAT. That CAN be automated, saving your manual testers time and (depending on your automation solution) improving the quality of the testing.

If you’re looking for a legendary testing platform, we’d love to talk to you about Original Software. Our platform gives you one place to manage, capture, and automate your testing to deliver better software to your organization, faster. Click below to get in touch and discuss your situation with us.

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