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User Acceptance Tests Form the Top of the Test Pyramid

User acceptance tests (UAT) are a type of software test carried out by the end users of an application. The aim is to ensure that the software fulfils certain requirements and expectations. The aim is to test the technical requirements as well as the user-friendliness and functionality.

How Do User Acceptance Tests Work?

User acceptance tests are an important step in the development process of an application and take place in the final phase before the software is deployed. The following factors are usually checked in this test phase:

  • Functional requirements: Here, users check whether the software enables the desired functions and processes and fulfils the original requirements for the software.
  • User-friendliness: Users evaluate the usability and design of the application. “Is the user interface intuitive and easy to understand?” is the key question.
  • Workflow requirements: Users test whether the software maps important workflows and fulfils the specific requirements.
  • Migration and compatibility during updates: When updates or changes are made, a check is carried out to ensure that existing data and functions continue to function correctly and that migrations can be carried out smoothly.
  • Scenarios: Different application scenarios are run through to ensure correct functioning.


What Is a Test Pyramid?

A test pyramid is a concept from software development that depicts the hierarchy of different test types in a hierarchical structure. The idea is to establish an efficient strategy for testing software.

A test pyramid typically consists of the following levels:

Unit tests form the basis of the test pyramid and test individual units of an application in isolation from each other.

The middle layer of the test pyramid is occupied by the integration tests. They check the cooperation of components and interfaces to ensure proper interaction. Any problems are thus detected promptly.

System tests represent a further level and test either parts of the system or the system as a whole. The focus here is primarily on the correct integration of all components. They also test whether functional and non-functional requirements are met.

With the User Acceptance Tests, end users ensure that the system not only meets their requirements, but also offers added value.

The test pyramid is based on two dimensions. The horizontal axis represents the number of test cases that are performed for an application. The vertical axis represents the complexity of the tests.

The vertical axis can be interpreted as the complexity of the test cases, the speed of execution or the type of validation.

Why Are UATs at the Top of the Test Pyramid?

User acceptance testing is crucial to identify potential problems or shortcomings – and therefore serves as the final step before the application is deployed. User feedback and evaluation are essential because they ensure that the application is suitable for the intended target group.

User acceptance tests focus on the customer perspective. When developing an application, the main goal is to maximise customer value. This should ensure that the end product meets the needs and requirements of users in practice.

The different perspectives also contribute to a differentiated picture of the software, as the tests provide important feedback on other use cases. Certain aspects may have appeared acceptable to developers in earlier test phases, whereas they are unacceptable to users.


Placing user acceptance tests at the top of the test pyramid emphasises the importance of the individual customer. They represent the highest degree of customer orientation. UATs are crucial for the commercial success of software, as they ensure that the desired customer benefit is fulfilled and added value is offered.

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About the Autor



Jenny spearheads our marketing efforts. She’s successfully creating and implementing strategies that enhance our brand visibility and market presence. Her expertise is key to communicating our value proposition effectively to our target audience.

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