Tips for Better User Acceptance Testing?

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By Karen N. Johnson

The theory of user acceptance testing (UAT) is straightforward: User acceptance testing is conducted by users of the product. Users test a product to determine whether the product meets their needs, expectations, and/or requirements. But the distance between the theory of UAT and the reality of what takes place in UAT can be a mighty big gap.
The user acceptance test cycle can be one of the vaguest and most poorly planned segments of the whole product development lifecycle. Confusion may abound about exactly what UAT is and who is responsible for running it. One of the larger pain points of UAT is how late in the cycle this testing takes place. Typically UAT is one of the last efforts before product launch. The late timeframe of the testing adds to frustration, leaving some users and product team members wondering, "What's the point of UAT?"

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