User acceptance testing...but make it fashion!

When it comes to User Acceptance Testing (UAT), one week, your stakeholders are on top of the tasks, and the next week, they are out … of time!

Planning for UAT is like planning a successful fashion runway show. We learned some lessons from the esteemed Tim Gunn that helped us perfect user acceptance testing with our clients here at Fíonta.

Step 1: Know your challenge

UAT is complicated. However, with the right amount of planning, you can set your team up to succeed. Here are some helpful tips on how to better understand your challenge:

  • clarify some basic questions: what, when, who, and how
  • outline user roles, including skill levels
  • understand the type of testing required for your project
  • determine timeframes for UAT process and how they fit into the larger picture
  • decide on the documentation standard

Step 2: Sketch your pattern

Once you understand the basics of your UAT challenge, you’ll want to break it down into its components. You need to flesh out:

  • process for writing test scripts
  • plan for training the testers
  • managing the testing process and testers
  • collecting and processing feedback

Your UAT pattern is sketched out, now grab your wallet and let’s head to the Mood.

Step 3: Go to mood

When selecting the tools and materials for your look, it’s essential to choose items that work for you and not against you. Don’t grab a bolt of leather if you’re making a flowy wrap dress! Duh!


Now, it’s easy to get lost in the accessories aisle at Mood! With so many options to choose from (Basecamp, Jira, Asana, etc.), it’s crucial to pick the best tool for your project and team. At Fíonta, we meet our clients where they are – sometimes, the classic elegance of Excel gets the job done. Other times, you need a couture piece like Jira.

If you are using a robust tool, consider building a testing board. At Fíonta, we love using Kanban boards to help us keep our audience engaged. Commonly used swimlanes include to help us through the process include:

  • Assigned
  • Testing
  • Questions
  • Failed
  • Fixing
  • Passed

Step 4: Build your garment

You have a plan and have gathered all your tools, so let’s get to work!

A test script is an outline of the steps the user will need to perform to validate a solution provides a successful outcome. If your project is utilizing user stories, it is usually one test script per user story.


Everyone will have a different method or format for writing test scripts. We recommend writing a few scripts to receive buy-in from the project team. Here are some best practices when writing a test script:

  • Test yourself: write out steps as you are performing the test yourself.
  • Be specific: don’t assume the users will know how to do everything.
    • Generic
      • Create a Contact record
    • Specific
      • Click on the Contacts tab
      • On the Contact page, click “New”
      • Fill out the Name, Date of Birth, etc
      • Click Save
  • Make a list: identify the expected outcomes for a test to be accepted.

Step 5: The fitting

Your garment is coming together, but it’s not runway ready yet. Now it’s time to make sure the garment fits the model and to teach them how to work the look. So, let’s get them trained!

Here is how we approach UAT training at Fíonta:

  • Walk your testers through what UAT is and explain their role in the testing phase
  • Describe the UAT process:
    • Review the selected testing & documentation tools
    • Convey which tests they are responsible for
    • Illustrate the process for questions, troubleshooting, failed tests, and feature requests
  • Review all functionality users will need to execute their tests
  • Walkthrough a test together and set testing expectations

Step 6: Walk the runway

It’s the day of the show, the garments are flowy and gorgeous, and the models are runway ready. Now they need to walk the walk! Keeping the testers engaged during UAT is crucial to delivering a fierce look.


Keep your testers engaged by

  • monitoring the progress of each test
  • ensuring the testers have access to key points of contact…office hours are a great way to provide consistent and reliable contact
  • responding promptly

Step 7: Face the judges

Your models nailed it! The dresses moved elegantly down the runway! The lighting? Chef’s kiss! However, it wasn’t 100% flawless (honey, what is?), and you’re about to face the judges.


Tim Gunn says he’s “cautiously optimistic,” and you’re feeling great about the next steps. Compile your testers’ feedback and apply these tips below to help you nail through this challenge.

  1. Collect feedback: be consistent, make your chosen tool chose work for you
  2. Process feedback: classify the input into buckets like:
    1. bug fixes – in scope
    2. new enhancements – out of scope
  3. Fix the bug and retest those items
  4. Discuss how to handle new enhancements with your project manager and client

Step 8: Auf wiedersehen

UAT can be as robust and complex as your project needs are. This guide should help you build your fabulous user acceptance testing process that is always “in.” The greater your preparation, the higher your chances of not hearing “Auf wiedersehen” from Heidi.

So, what are you waiting for… go make your UAT process work, and good luck!

Need any assistance crafting your UAT plan? Contact us to get started.