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RITE+Krug: A Combination of Usability Test Methods for Agile Design

Jennifer (Jen) McGinn and Ana Ramírez Chang

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 8, Issue 3, May 2013, pp. 61 - 68


As user experience professionals, we often face objections that there is not enough time or resources to conduct usability testing during development. With the proliferation of Agile methods being used by development teams to compress the software lifecycle, the focus on time becomes even more critical. To meet the challenges of Agile development, we combined aspects of two discount usability methods: the Rapid Iterative Test and Evaluation method (RITE) and the approach to usability testing taken by Steve Krug. In this paper, we describe why we combined the methods and which elements we incorporated from each. The impact of using this new RITE+Krug combination has been remarkable. Test sessions are getting between 12 and 15 observers on a regular basis. The development, design, product management, and usability teams are engaged and actively participating in the usability testing process. Each test takes only a few hours time from the stakeholders’ schedules, because the testing and debriefing can be conducted and concluded in one to two days. As a result, we can conduct a RITE+Krug test every two weeks and can get feedback on more aspects of the product than ever before.

Tips for Usability Practitioners

We have anecdotal evidence that what we’ve done isn’t that different from what many other Agile teams are doing; however, again based on those conversations, we are achieving better results, so here are the bits that we recommend you work into your process:

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RITE+Krug: A Combination of Usability Test Methods for Agile Design