The RITE way

RITE stands Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation. The RITE Method is similar to a typical usability testing where participants are asked to complete tasks using think-aloud protocol. The big difference with this method is that rather than waiting for the end of the study to look at the findings and suggest improvements, the team iterates on the design as soon as issues are discovered by one or two participants. Designers are able to test and get feedback on new solutions and ideas quickly.

This method involves implementing changes as soon as a problem is identified and a solution is clear. That can mean within the day or a period of two hours. After each participant, time must be set aside to review results with decision-makers and decide if issues raised warrant changes for the next iteration of the prototype. In order to make changes quickly, the decision makers of the team need to be present.

Doing it RITE

The Nationwide UX team had been using the RITE method for a couple of years with a variety of financial services websites and applications. One project centered around pages on a 401(k) management site. As the project went into a new redesign phase, the UX team suggested RITE as an approach for quick results and feedback at an early stage. This would allow the team to continually make changes based on user feedback.

9-1-douglass_fig1

The prototype tested consisted of easily modifiable wireframes. They had two participant sessions per day for five days, with a three-day gap after the third day. This gave the team time between tests to make quick changes to the prototypes. With the RITE methodology, the project team was able to make several recommendations from the results of the testing. These recommendations were then applied as the project progressed.

Tips for Using the RITE Method

Here are some tips for getting started with the RITE method, according to UX Magazine.

  • Schedule 30 minutes after each session to discuss what people observed, form hypotheses about why users were confused or stuck on certain parts and come up with ideas for improvements.
  • Designate one person as the ultimate decision-maker on what changes should be implemented before the next participant.
  • Have someone on-site who is willing and able to make quick iterations.
  • Be willing to fail early and often. Making decisions quickly before the next participant can help in overcoming any lingering fears.

Conclusion

RITE works best for projects in the early concept phase. The findings can help the team to review and explore new ideas. The RITE method allows the team to examine alternatives quickly resulting in a better user experience more quickly than other  traditional usability testing methods.

The RITE method is a team collaboration and often involves the client, who leaves with a better understanding of the process and the value of the work. It can be fun and rewarding when doing it the RITE way with a collaborative team.

 

Conducting an Empathy Interview

Empathy interviews are the foundation of design thinking. By understanding someone’s thoughts and motivations, you have a better understanding of the choices that person will make. By understanding their behavior, you can better identify their needs. This will help the development team create successful products or services for the user.

interview-clipart-research-interview-3An empathy interview uses a human-centered approach to understand the feelings and experiences of others. Empathy interviews gather insights that may not be apparent without conducting this kind of interview. These insights can then be used to help identify problems or needs to further aid in developing potential solutions.

To create a product or service that is successful with its target audience, it’s important to know the story of the user. Stories help you connect and empathize. They reveal the inner insights and feelings that the development team could only understand by having an interaction with the user. An empathy interview should feel less like an interview, and more like a conversation with a friend or coworker. The goal is to understand the users. The interview will help you comprehend the users’ thought processes, decision triggers, and emotions. These insights will further assist you in making informed decisions based on their behavior, rather than their satisfaction level, purchase frequency, or brand loyalty.

Understanding the user

The user wants to feel like they are being heard and valued. As the interviewer, you need to be an active listener and encourage storytelling. Storytelling allows the interviewer to dig deeper while preventing generic responses. It helps build the conversation as the user talks about experiences rather than opinions. For example, instead of saying “Do you like your car?” try saying “Tell me about the last time you drove your car.” This lets the user know you are interested in what they have to say while telling you their story.

Empathy interviews allow the users to speak about what is important to them. It will help focus on the emotional and subconscious aspect of the user to gain insights on how the user behaves in given situations. The interview may reveal solutions you might not have discovered or help you see needs or challenges you might have overlooked. The interview should make the user feel at ease so they speak from the heart with honest feedback. Additionally, this will also give the interviewer an opportunity to view body language which allows for spontaneous questions base on observations.

Preparing for an Empathy Interview 

To conduct an interview, you should prepare a script as a guide. During the interview, if something comes up that is not on the script, you can explore further beyond what you have prepared. A good opening script introduces a few key things quickly and succinctly:

  1. Yourself / Yourselves
  2. The date, location, and purpose of the workshop
  3. Why you’re the one performing this interview and what role people are playing
  4. The conditions of privacy and anonymity surrounding the event
  5. A request for their permission/comfort to continue the interview

The questions that you prepare beforehand should induce useful and thoughtful responses. You don’t want to ask yes or no questions as these will not give you insight as to why they feel this way. Your questions should be part of a conversation asking them to tell you more about how they feel and why they feel this way. Interviewers should be doing more than just listening and recording. They should be observing their users’ body language, tone and following up on responses that need further explanation.

If you get stuck, ask “why?” Asking why digs deeper into emotion and motivation. This will help you understand user behavior and identify needs.

  • “Why?”
  • “Why did you do/say/think that?”
  • “Really? And why was that?”
  • “Can you say more about that?”
  • “Tell me more.”
  • “And what were you feeling then?”

Three important things to remember as you think about your script:

  • Immerse: experience what users experience.
  • Observe: view users and their behaviors in the contexts of their lives.
  • Engage: interact with and interview users through schedules and “intercept” encounters.

Conclusion

Remember to be fully present and truly there. Have a way to record the interview so that you can focus all of your attention on what they are saying. Always ask “why?” Their answer may reveal aspects that you had not considered. This can lead to solutions you did not anticipate.

Empathy interviews are about having an authentic conversation with the user. This allows you to understand emotions, motivation and the choices the user makes. The findings will help you understand what their needs are and aide in your design to create a better user experience.

And always: Observe, engage, immerse.

 

Always be testing

There’s a joke in the marketing world that A/B testing actually stands for “Always Be Testing.” It’s a good way to remember that you can’t get the best results until you compare one strategy to another. A/B testing can help you visualize a strategy in order to obtain the best results. The importance of A/B testing is to understand the user behavior and how to use that behavior to drive traffic to a site. This will generate more leads and profitability. A/B tests can reveal weaknesses in your marketing strategy, but they can also show you what you’re doing right and confirm your hypotheses.

Without data, you won’t know how effective your marketing assets truly are. Using only a few small tweaks to a form or call-to-action may have a huge impact on the number of leads your company attracts.

Understanding A/B testing

An A/B test is a comparison between two versions of the same marketing asset, such as a web page or email, which you expose to equal halves of your audience. Based on conversion rates or other metrics, you can decide which one performs best. For example, you change the call to action on a landing page. You can A/B test variations of the CTA content by incorporating different verbs and adjectives, or changing the font style and size. An A/B test runs until you have enough data to make a solid decision.

If you’re testing the headline on a landing page, you might also want to test the subject line for your latest email. Changing just one variable at a time ensures that you know what had an impact on your audience’s responses.

Keep testing

You might want to test the same variable multiple times. As the audience evolves and the business grows, you’ll discover that you will have new needs to meet. It’s an ever-changing process that can result in a huge impact on your bottom line.

the-importance-of-ab-testing-3
Source: LinkedIn

Testing

Making aesthetic changes to your landing pages, emails or display ads can have a huge impact on conversions.

For email campaigns you can set up two variations of the campaign and send them to a small percentage of the subscribers. The success is measured by the open or click through rate. This determines the right campaign to send to the remaining subscribers.

  • Subject lines – Test two different subject lines against each other to increase your open rates.
  • CTA – Testing two calls-to-action will help you determine which version increases conversion rates.

On landing pages there are several areas that you can begin testing to see how they impact conversion. You can change around the layout, adjust the color or font and try different navigations to determine how users prefer to interact with your website. These last-minute edits can affect your conversation rate both negatively or positively. Testing is the only way to see the effect of these changes.

Additional edits to consider for testing:

  • Images – Images can have a huge impact on the way a user feels. Testing two completely different images can help you determine which image resonates with the audience.
  • Content – If the content is too lengthy, users may be overwhelmed before reaching the CTA. On the other hand, if the content is too short, the user may be left confused without the necessary information. Testing the length will help determine which will be more successful.

It is important to note that you don’t have to test everything – focus on what elements you think will make a difference. You may not receive the results you were hoping for and that is ok. Learn from the testing and try again with a new strategy.

What to measure

There are a few elements that you should be monitoring. After you deploy your A/B testing you will want to review the results. These metrics include:

  • Conversion rate: Most important metric in testing. Measure conversions per unique visit.
  • Time spent on page: Measuring the amount of time spent on a page will give insight into the user’s interest in the product.
  • Bounce rate: If you have a high bounce rate, you will need to review why.
  • Unique visitors: This shows you how many new people are visiting the page.

A/B testing is a crucial part of any marketing campaign. It will help ensure you run the best possible version to achieve the highest results.

Case studies

Example 1: Humana

Picture1.png
Humana created an A/B test on a banner with a simple headline and CTA as well as an image. After two rounds of A/B testing, they saw that they needed to adjust a couple of elements.

The initial banner had a lot of text while the second variation reduced the copy significantly. Additionally, the CTA changed from “Shop Medicare Plans” to “Get Started Now.” A couple other changes included the image and color scheme.

These small changes led to a 433 percent increase in CTR. After changing the CTA text, the company experienced an additional 192 percent boost.

Example 2: Highrise

Picture2.png
Highrise tested different headline and sub headline combinations to see if this affected the sign up. The testing showed that the variation that said the sign up was quick, produced a 30% increase in click through rates.

Example 3: Groove

Picture3.png
Groove spoke to their customers to find out what wording speaks to them as well as setting up a questionnaire to find out why they signed up. Using this feedback, they developed a landing page test changing up the content with their findings. The conversion rate with this test increased from 2.3% to 4.3%.

Conclusion

To increase conversion and ultimately sales, you need the data to make informed decisions on how to change the marketing. Using the results obtained from A/B testing, you know what elements within the campaign contribute to conversions.  You will have an understanding on what changes will positively affect the audience and affect conversion rates. And remember “Always be testing”.