upa - home page JUS - Journal of usability studies
An international peer-reviewed journal

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

Article Contents


In the fall of 2011, a traditional usability test was conducted on a system under development. Ten users were recruited and run through the test protocol. The sessions were sparsely attended by stakeholders, and the report took a few weeks to complete and present. During and after the presentation of the results, the development and project management teams disagreed not only with the issues identified but also with the interpretation of the results. There were questions of transparency and trust by the development side, and there was disbelief from the user experience (UX) side that the development team really wanted feedback on the system. Not an uncommon story among usability practitioners.

To overcome these challenges, we tried two things. First, in the winter of 2011, a practitioner, who didn’t take part in the earlier test, conducted another traditional usability test of the system to establish a baseline to see which of the issues from the first test remained and which of the issues had been fixed in the months that had passed. Second, we proposed changes to the user feedback process, which we believed would better align with the Agile design and development practices that the rest of the team was already following. It is this second approach that we describe in the remainder of this paper.

Our purpose for writing this paper is two-fold. First, we have seen little detailed discussion in the literature of successful user research methods in Agile development environments. Second, we wanted to share with other user experience practitioners what we found to have worked well, and continues to work well.


Previous | Next