How Usability testing is different from User Acceptance testing

#usabilitytesting, #userexperience


Jay Anthony

29 September 2022 8 min read

How Usability testing is different from User Acceptance testing

User Testing and User Acceptance Testing are very important for businesses mainly because they help evaluate the product or service before making it officially available for the masses. This helps minimize the scope for failure and losses. These testings are done with a smaller group of participants who help validate the design, usability, functionality, ergonomic etc. of the particular service or product. Although both these testings are done at different stages of development, they both help achieve the same outcome i.e a successful product/service.

In this article we will tell you about the importance of Usability Testing and User Acceptance Testing along with the top 3 differences and examples.

What is Usability Testing?

Usability Testing which is also known as User Experience Testing (UX Testing) is the technique of evaluating user feedback and suggestions to measure how user-friendly and easy to use a product or service is. In this testing method, a small group of participants are shortlisted based on the personas defined for the product or service, and are asked questions related to the product/service and are also asked to engage with the product/service. Simultaneously, a moderator keeps noting down or recording the entire session to later evaluate the areas of concerns, pain-points and feedback by these participants. Companies from around the world heavily invest in this testing to minimize the risk of failure or loss in the long run or after the final launch of the product/service.

Usability testing is ideally conducted multiple times during the development of a product or service, at multiple stages of progress. This is primarily done to rectify errors and user pain points to minimize losses or negative reviews with the final product or service. Experts say that Usability Testing is a quantitative measurement with qualitative results. Customer is King – Since the customers or target audience are the final users of a product or service, it is very important for businesses to know their concerns from them. It is only when you hear it straight from the horse’s mouth do you know the actual standing of your offerings. Reports state that problems in development are 10 times more expensive to fix than the problems detected in the prototyping phase of the project, which is why Usability Testing is done at different stages of the project starting from the design phase right up to development and after.

What is User Acceptance Testing (UAT)?

User Acceptance Testing Definition - User Acceptance Testing which is also known as end user testing or application testing is a type of testing which is performed by the end user and the client to check and verify the software system before moving the software application to the production environment. It is carried out in a production like data setup environment and is a kind of black box testing with two or more end users involved. Unlike Usability Testing where the entire user experience is validated, in UAT, more technical and functionality concerns are validated. It is conducted between the client and the end user. It is the last phase of the software testing process where users actually test if the software can handle real world scenarios and operation. 

Experts say that UAT is one of the most critical and final software procedures that needs to be done before the software is launched in the market.

There are 4 types of UAT:

1. Alpha and Beta Testing

2. Regulation Acceptance Testing

3. Contract Acceptance Testing

4. Operational Acceptance Testing

The purpose of conducting User Acceptance Testing essentially is to verify if the solution built works for the users in the real world without any glitches or bugs. It helps developers identify concerns like: does the server crash, do all functions work and accept the correct inputs, do all functions provide the correct outputs, what the load time of the application is, does the application function exactly how it was intended to function etc. These concerns need to be resolved before businesses take their final application to the masses to avoid failures and losses.

Differences With Examples Between Usability Testing and User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

Difference Between Usability Testing From User Acceptance Testing

Both Usability Testing and User Acceptance Testing are equally important for businesses to understand the pain points of their users and their software application. While Usability Testing can be done at multiple touch points of the project development, UAT can be conducted during the end phase of the project.

Below mentioned are the top 3 differences between the 2 testing methods.

1. Usability testing tells us about user behaviour, user pain points, user feedback, user suggestions  while they interact with a product or service, while User Acceptance Testing focusses on the entire functionality of the software application. UAT is strictly technical while Usability Testing revolves around human factors.

For e.g. When a user is shown a screen and asked to interact with it, Usability Testing will verify if a screen is easy to use, easy to comprehend and understand, easy to navigate for a user, while on the other hand UAT will verify if the functionality of the screen like actionable buttons are working the way they are suppose to.

2. Usability Testing is done at multiple levels of the project development and immediate changes are implemented at that very moment, while User Acceptance Testing is conducted at the final stage and only once during the lifecycle of the project, in most cases.

For e.g. Usability Testing can be done 3, 4 or more times starting right from the design phase up until the deployment phase, however User Acceptance Testing (UAT) can only be conducted at the final stage and not before that.

3. Usability Testing helps validate satisfaction, credibility, memorability and desirability of a particular product or service while User Acceptance Testing (UAT) helps validate compatibility, roadmap and test support process. 

For e.g. In a Usability Testing you understand the mental model of the user towards a particular product or service while in a User Acceptance Testing you understand the limitations of the product or service based on the interface and functionality factors.


Both these testing methods are equally important for businesses to ensure that they deliver high quality solutions to their audience and neither of them can be neglected. Usability Testing and User Acceptance Testing go hand in hand for any product or service to be successful. 


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Concluding message

A well-designed website for users with disabilities is a site that is more accessible to use for all types of users.

A well-designed digital business can easily explain the process of online buying and selling for users with disabilities and can add more value to the business.

Therefore, add some mint into the users’ cup of tea and provide an accessible zest to your digital assets by making it more compliant.

Feel free to get in touch with TECHVED Consulting!

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Jay Anthony

Marketing Head | TECHVED Consulting India Pvt. Ltd.

He led efforts to develop a fully integrated marketing communications plan and growing team. He is responsible for successful corporate re-brand and update of all branded assets.

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