An acceptance test is a form of software testing, performed by the customer or end-user. It is typically the final stage of software evaluation, only conducted once the development team is confident that any bugs or errors have been resolved. It acts as ‘go’ or ‘no go’ from customers — stopping any substandard software from being launched.
During an acceptance test, the emphasis is on ensuring the system not only meets requirements but that it provides the customer with the user experience (UX) they want and need.
In the software development process, acceptance testing is used to fulfill a number of important roles.
For one, the acceptance test is focused on evaluating the software system against the customer’s requirements. This makes acceptance testing unique versus other types of software tests, which tend to prioritize ironing out potential bugs and errors internally.
Should any bugs have slipped through to this phase, they can be identified and eliminated before final production and launch.
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What’s more, by involving end-users in the acceptance test process, the development team can gather feedback on how well the software lives up to market standards. How does it compare to other solutions used by the end-user? Is there room for improvement still?
By conducting an acceptance test, the development team can proceed with confidence knowing they have a green light from genuine potential end-users. This helps to:
Increase customer satisfaction, by improving the standard, quality and UX of software released.
Reduce software maintenance costs, as any issues or confusion in the software’s usability, is identified and resolved before production and launch.