User acceptance tests (UAT) are an integral part of many different software engineering methodologies. In this paper, we examine the influence of UATs on the relationship between users and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, which are continuously delivered rather than rolled out during a one-off signoff process. Based on an exploratory qualitative field study at a multinational SaaS provider in Denmark, we show that UATs often address the wrong problem in that positive user acceptance may actually indicate a negative user experience. Hence, SaaS providers should be careful not to rest on what we term disengaged user acceptance. Instead, we outline an approach that purposefully queries users for ambivalent emotions that evoke constructive criticism, in order to facilitate a discourse that favors the continuous innovation of a SaaS system. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of our approach for the study of user engagement in testing SaaS applications.
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