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Amie Cornwall


In an industry devoted to the people that use our products and applications, research is paramount.

Research serves many purposes in a mobile design agency; it inspires our designs, evaluates our solutions and measures our impact.

I recently attended a talk at the Moo offices and found their research methods particularly insightful. After brainstorming ideas, and having a ‘Collaborative research was-up’ as they liked to call it, the outcome was a roadmap full of solid ideas from the team. The next step involved prioritising those ideas by applying the RICE method. (Reach, Impact, Confidence, Effort)


Reach: How many users will this impact?

Impact: How much will this impact each user?

Confidence: How sure are we of our estimations?

Effort: How much time will this take the team?

The team then writes down all of the tasks/problems on post-it notes and sticks them on the graph accordingly. This then determines what tasks to begin with, (the ones of high importance to the user, but easier for the team) and what tasks will come later (the tasks that are time-consuming and of lower importance to the user). Of course, RICE scores shouldn’t be used as a hard and fast rule. There are many reasons why we might work on a project that is lower down on the graph, maybe, for example, it is more technical and time costing or maybe it’s dependable on another project.

RICE helps give you a score for every item in your list that then allows you to sort in descending order. Now you have an objective prioritization of the things you need to work on.

If you're working in a mobile design agency, a prioritisation framework such as RICE is a good place to start and can go a long way in helping you to make better-informed decisions about what to work on first and defend those decisions to others. What makes RICE such a strong framework is that you are empowered to give a score for every item that needs accomplishing and to sort through this in descending order. This simple act gives you an objective prioritization of the things you need to work on - the objective nature of the prioritisation process makes it easily justifiable, and largely takes away the inevitable political biases of other, subjective, decision-making frameworks.


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