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  1. #1
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    How to perform User Acceptance Testing, without real users?

    In other places I've worked at, UAT (sometimes known as Independant Business Testing) has been carried out by the users/customers/clients/whatever, who are going to use the product. Now I'm working for a company that doesn't have the luxary of involving the end users until the product is shipped. So, we tried running UAT ourselves and it just ended up being like some sort of advanced Systems Testing!

    Anyone been in the same situation? Can anyone advise me on how they approached it or recommend some good training courses etc?

    Thanks in advance.

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  2. #2
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    Re: How to perform User Acceptance Testing, without real users?

    If you are a company who made the software for a client, then they will do UAT, when they get it. They are going to try it out to make sure the product is what they wanted. You could run an internal UAT based on business requirements, the initial job specification or any other contracts/agreements between the two companies, to ensure the software is what both parties said it should be.

    If you are a company who made shrinkwrap or web-based software for consumers, then you probably will want to have some people test drive it before you go live. Here are some possibilities.

    - Hire some people in the same field to come evaluate the product. This would be like product testing with the demographic market.
    Have them sign confidentiality agreements.

    - Have someone from another project in your company try to use it. This way they will be unfamiliar with the details, assumptions made or design. Give them just a basic introduction based on the business requirements or use cases.

    - Have someone who is not in development try it out (perhaps someone from payroll or another department.)

    - Release it in beta before you go live.
    Thanks,
    Tim Van Tongeren

  3. #3
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    Re: How to perform User Acceptance Testing, without real users?

    For "shrink wraped" or productized software, UAT is often under the domain of the product manager.

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  4. #4
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    Re: How to perform User Acceptance Testing, without real users?

    Thanks to TestGeek for those great ideas. Just to give you all a bit of background, I work in a small company (60 staff) so there is no real customer services or tech support..the development/test team ends up performing those roles in most cases.

    The Products we are creating are in a totally new field, they have an extremely complex scientific core (Quantum Mechanics, Chaos theory etc,) while the user interface uses all sorts of fancy technologies (VB, C++, XML, XSL, JAVA etc) that 'talk' to each other through DCOM, so it is difficult to get anyone who has any experience in using this type of software to Beta Test it.

    I do write my testing scripts to be far more then normal System Testing type scenarios, but I still cannot totally anticipate how these products would be used in the field...hmm.
    Anyone know of any good UAT training courses?

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  5. #5
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    Re: How to perform User Acceptance Testing, without real users?

    Can you get a few physics departments at various universities to try out the software? Perhaps offer a free evaluation in exchange for a UAT feedback process.
    Thanks,
    Tim Van Tongeren

  6. #6
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    Re: How to perform User Acceptance Testing, without real users?

    Thanks TestGeek (sorry for the late reply, Christmas and all!) we have good contacts with Manchester University so I'll explore that possibility.

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  7. #7
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    Re: How to perform User Acceptance Testing, without real users?

    Do you have User Requirements?

    Usually you can build UAT testcases from there.


    ------------------
    JRica, CSTE
    Software QA Engineer Lead
    JRicardo
    Senior SQA Analyst

  8. #8
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    Re: How to perform User Acceptance Testing, without real users?

    Jrica,

    We do have User Requirements, but they are vary vague, things like, 'The user must be able to Optimise their strategy.' That's a whole requirement! In the Use Case it is translated to, "User acesses Network Strategy screen, User Optimises Strategy, Case ends." No screen shots or prototypes are provided.


    We are constantly asking for more in depth/detailed information and the process is improving, but, as is the case in most companies, we have to make do with what we have got!

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