Is user acceptance testing worth the investment

UAT isn’t always easy. User acceptance testing can sometimes be costly. Acceptance tests take a long time to write and, once implemented, they take a long time to run. User acceptance testing cannot move forward any faster than the speed of the user. UAT can also be expensive to maintain, because it is so intimately tied to user experience. Every change, even the simple renaming of a button, requires updating the tests. Consequently, there is a strong tendency to minimize acceptance testing in order to speed delivery and save money. But is this really a good idea? While user acceptance testing can be a pain, it does have its benefits.
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It is especially beneficial when dealing with complex applications.  While some applications are so simple that the user has only one or two routes to follow, others are complicated indeed.  The greater the number of actions available, the greater the number of possible outcomes and the greater the chance of failure.  In such a situation, writing acceptance tests for the many possible scenarios may be time consuming, but it does provide considerable confidence and contributes greatly to quality assurance.

User acceptance testing exists to provide assurance that a software product will meet the requirements of stakeholders and prospective users.  Its purpose is to measure how closely an application matches the planned design.  However, even in these days of agile testing, UAT can get pushed to the end of the development cycle where money is tight and the temptation is to cut back on expenses.

User acceptance testing can also point out bugs which have been missed in previous testing.  Too many bugs found means that previous testing wasn't sufficient or efficient.  The quality of testing depends a great deal on certain criteria, such as the quality of the testers, the available budget and the amount of time allotted for testing.  All of these can have beneficial or adverse effects on the final product.

Perhaps the single biggest way in which user acceptance and user experience testing saves money is in the combination of quality assurance and public relations.  It improves quality assurance by finalizing performance while eliminating the need for excessive regression tests.  And it improves public relations by making sure that buggy software doesn't end up in the hands of end users, creating a nightmare of patching that end users can then complain about on social media.  All in all, user acceptance testing is not only worth the money, it's worth spending a little extra if necessary.

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