Back when I started developing, my company followed the good old-fashioned waterfall method. We provided our customers with a rigorous requirements gathering phase, followed up by a design phase. Each phase resulted in a document detailing the findings, often in a numbered format so we could easily refer back to the requirement. There was sign off at the end of each phase, often followed up by a plethora of change orders as the next phase began.
When the design was solidified and approved by the client, the implementation phase was next. Our implementation phase was followed by deployment, and we were paid and the project was wrapped (theortetically) when the client gave us final sign off by agreeing to and walking through the user-acceptance tests to validate that each requirement was met and user interface was bug-free.
Nowadays I find myself working with agile approaches to software development, but I do still find value in client testing. I am not talking about handing the product over to the client and asking them to start using it. I am talking about creating some test scripts to help the users cover each logical path in the application, and building validation testing into the scripts. Since my company does not have a test team, I recently took a stab at writing a test script myself. How do the rest of you do this? Do you rely on the use cases that are created during design as your test scripts? Do you use an automated testing tool alone to test the user interface, or do you use an automated tool in conjunction with user-acceptance testing? Is user-acceptance testing out-dated?