Test Your Website Like a Pro! A Checklist to Perform User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

If you are responsible for launching a new website or web application and your development team just finished developing it, it’s very important to perform thorough User Acceptance Testing (UAT) before the new website goes live. Here is a checklist for testing your website or web application to ensure users are presented with the desired first impression.

1. Create the Test Plan and Screen Inventory

Review the site map and create a checklist specific to this so that all pages are tested. It is disappointing for a team at go live to have the first comment being an issue.

  • Prepare a list of all screens that need to be tested
  • Jot down some notes on what you want to test on each screen
  • Identify the criteria for the feature to pass your test
  • Identify if a page or feature needs to be run on a special browser, e.g. older versions of Internet Explorer
  • Share this with your test team so that everyone is on the same page

2. Testing

Now it’s time to buckle up and get down to testing! The rest of the process is grouped into Functionality, Usability, Basic security and Design testing. You may want to do all of these at once when testing a screen.

Functionality Testing

Links

  • Test for broken links
  • Test outgoing links from all pages from a specific domain
  • Test internal links including the ones that jump to the same page
  • Are links properly styled and named?
Forms
  • Check field validation for each field
  • Check the default values in each field
  • Go through each of the Create, Delete, or Update forms as needed
  • If there is a multi-step form, check if it shows you what stage you are at when completing the form
  • Does the form tell the user what to do next, e.g. Submit, Next, Continue, Save?
  • Does the form show proper confirmation messages after each action?
Cookies
  • Check to see if cookies are encrypted
  • Check session cookies for login sessions and user stats
  • Check effect on application security when cookies are deleted

Usability Testing

Navigation
  • Identify the top five things people will want to know or want to do when on your website. Check the overall navigation to see if users will be able to do them easily.
  • Check that a navigation menu is provided on each page and is consistent
  • Check that clear instructions are provided to indicate the purpose of each screen
  • Test how users use buttons, search or filter boxes, and navigation links
  • Check to see that the website is easy to use
Content
  • Check to see if content is organized logically with good use of headings, subheadings, paragraphs and bullet points, so it is easy to understand. 
  • Avoid big blocks of text.
  • Check spelling and grammatical errors in content
  • Check for solid background colors that may distract users
  • Check that the content is meaningful and is relevant to the page
  • Ensure all content is accessible through the main navigation menu
  • Validate all items for User Interface (UI) testing
Help
  • Check that a search option is included only if needed
  • Check that a site map is added, with links

Design Testing

  • Compare the original design to the end product to ensure the coded version is true to the design approved by the designer
  • Check image quality on various devices and time to load them
  • Test font colors and size on different browsers and devices 
  • Test website with other browsers
  • Test website with various screen resolutions

Basic Security Testing

  • Check that protected pages do not open without proper login
  • Check how features behave when nonsensical information is provided in form fields, for example a last name like gh@#$$$%$#^
  • Check that directories and files cannot be directly accessed without a download option provided from a page
  • Test the CAPTCHA for automated scripts logins
  • Check if SSL is used when sensitive information is presented or accepted on the website
  • Check to see that all payments, error messages, security breach attempts get logged in log files on the server

Creating a solid test plan and putting yourself in your users’ shoes is essential for a successful launch. It is realistic that some features need to be left out because of time and resource constraints, but your developer may be able to offer alternatives, or at least build the site so that these features can be easily added in the future.
Let us know your experience with User Acceptance Testing – connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn or leave a comment below. Which Grype Checklist would you like us to write next?

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