Our Software Development Process: User Testing

This is the sixth post in our series: Our Software Development Process. In this post we talk about User Testing and how using Agile makes changes easy.

This is another post in our series around the software development life cycle. Our previous post was on quality assurance (QA). Check out our other posts in the series: The Ideation Phase, Gathering Basic Requirements for a Proposal, The Proposal, Gathering Requirements, and Creating a Backlog and Planning Sprints.

This post is the next level of testing after QA: User Testing. After we do QA, we move that code from our dev server to our UAT (User Acceptance Testing) server. This is a very common path in software development.

With UAT, the user or client tests and tries to break the software product, website or mobile app. This means going through every routine action possible, including registering a new user, logging in, editing a profile, adding a comment, making sure the different admin levels work appropriately, etc.

A lot of bugs and issues should have been caught in the QA stage. But bugs are almost always caught in the UAT stage as well. It’s an important process to have the user/client make sure everything is working properly from their perspective.

UAT stage is also a time to fix anything before the code is moved to the live production server. This is the server that hosts the live site.

If the client decides they want to change the workflow or overall user experience in the UAT stage, it’s doable, , just more expensive. This is because a major change at this stage means rewriting a lot of the code and redesigning the architecture and database. If possible, it’s best to avoid this. This is why the early design and requirements stage is so important.

But it’s not the end of the world if major changes are wanted. We use agile, so it’s much easier to adapt and change than it is with a waterfall type approach.

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