If you haven’t read my previous blog post about another great UX method called Business Origami I definitely recommend checking out that post before reading this one. If you take anything away from reading that post it should be that there’s so many different methods of UX design and there’s no right or wrong way to do any of these methods. Another one of my favorite methods, aside from Business Origami, is the RITE method, also known as Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation. How can you not like the RITE method, it’s literally the right method to use! But enough word puns (for now) let’s talk more about what the RITE method actually is.
UXmag.com explains the RITE method as,
“…similar to typical usability testing in that participants are asked to complete tasks using think-aloud protocol. The major difference is that, instead of waiting until the end of the study to gather the findings and suggest improvements, the team iterates on the design as soon as issues are discovered by one or two participants. In this way, designers can quickly test and get feedback on new solutions and ideas.”
However if that looks like a lot of designer jargon to you I’ll try to explain it in simpler terms. Basically, the RITE method was designed by the gaming devision of Microsoft and their belief was that usability issues should be identified and solved as quickly as possible. So in a traditional study various tests are conducted and once the study finishes then the team steps back and looks for solutions, but with RITE the prototype is altered during the study.
Personally I find this to be a really smart idea, rather than having all of your research be about people discovering the same problem over and over this gives subjects the opportunity to find different issues that need fixing. If that concept seems a little confusing let’s dive into two case study examples that use the RITE method to better illustrate it.
Taken from UXPAMagazine.com where they shared their experience working with The Fund Management Redesign team,
“The Fund Management Redesign (FMR) project is an ongoing effort that has engaged the UX team in the past on various ethnographic studies concept testing and prototype testing. The project centered around pages on a 401(k) management site. A 401(k) plan is a type of employer-sponsored retirement account to which employees may contribute a portion their wages to withdraw at retirement. The money is placed into a variety of investment options and participants are typically allowed to make changes to the amount of money and into which funds they invest. The 401(k) management site in this project allowed participants to make these types of selections online.”
During the test phase each participant would start at the homepage for the sight then from there click wherever they wanted with each sub page offering a new method of changes/ involvement for the 401k plan participant. From there they would select a method and make changes to their portfolio. During the process the subject’s expectations, understanding, level of comfort, and ability to complete the tasks were monitored closely. The website was constantly being adapted in response to the subject’s wishes and were able to receive immediate feedback from this method that helped to point the website in the best direction possible.
In another example from John Patton Associate’s we find the issue of players running into problems while playing the Age of Empires II tutorial game. During each of the RITE method session at least one member of the development team was present. After each session the team would take the notes given by the participants and quickly make edits to each problem brought up by the participants. This continued on for various rounds and various participants until finally there were no more errors brought up.
As seen above, the RITE method offers instant feedback that creators can take into consideration and fix instantly. It’s an incredible tool to use if you want fast results or don’t have the budget to spend on big research projects. I would definitely recommend this method to anybody looking to start collecting a lot of data very quickly.