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Bill Killam <[log in to unmask]>
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Bill Killam <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 9 Feb 2006 22:23:33 -0500
text/plain (64 lines)
I was involved with UAT for many years.  UATing is typically a script based
demonstration of the presence of functionality and provides almost no data
on usability.  It's a through form of system testing with all combinations
of options tested with defend steps and expected results written down.  The
procedures (scripts) are agreed to before hand and it's very difficult to
claim any issue if the expected result is not obtained when the procedure is
followed.  The tests are often even automated.  So, the only user in user
acceptance testing is that the test is witnessed by users or a
representative of the users.  .  The closest I've seen is when a user is
allowed to try to follow the script and produce the results, but that's a
real stretch to think of this as usability testing.  

Bill Killam, MA CHFP
President, User-Centered Design, Inc.
20548 Deerwatch Place
Ashburn, VA 20147
email: [log in to unmask]
Work/Fax: (703) 729-0998
Mobile: (703) 626-6318

-----Original Message-----
From: ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Leslie
Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2006 7:54 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: User Acceptance Tests (UAT) as inroads for Usability Engineering

Has anyone been able to get usability engineering into a software 
development process by becoming involved in the User Acceptance Testing? 

Many web applications are developed in my company, which is a large 
financial corporation.  There is no requirement in our tightly 
controlled development process for usability engineering.  Our 
developers were recently overburdened by new Sarbanes Oxley 
requirements; they are in no mood for additional requirements like 
usability testing.

However, applications are required to undergo a User Acceptance Test 
(UAT) before being deployed.  Currently the UAT process does not mention 
user experience or usability, but it does suggest "user-friendliness" as 
one of the criteria users should assess.

If you seen usability engineering added to a software development 
process via the User Acceptance Testing, please send me your lessons 
learned & I shall summarize for our list.

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