MVP, or minimal viable product, was used for a long time in order to assess and develop digital product concepts. However, in order to stay afloat, a business needs to constantly improve, move forward, and look for new directions. Now it is not enough. It is necessary to determine whether the product will be popular or sink into oblivion. To do this, professional UX/UI designers use RAT (Riskiest Assumption Test). Let’s figure out what it is and how it works.
To assess the idea’s relevance, the MVP, or minimum viable product, was previously used. A professional UX design company creates a sample with very limited functionality. Then it is offered to the public. Based on its popularity, conclusions were drawn about whether the product is needed by consumers or not. It was believed that this is the cheapest way to test.
However, many investors and entrepreneurs were unhappy with him. Minimum viable product was poorly suited for testing startups since it often required significant cash injections. For example, Uber spent up to $1.5 million on MVPs. This is an example of a successful project, but how many startups fell short of this investment? Given that, a different approach was required, and Rick Hyam, manager of Skyscammer, came up with RAT.
RAT (riskiest assumption test) makes it possible to determine whether the product will be in demand among customers or not at the initial stages of the project. The MVP loop looks like this: generating an idea => creating an MVP => receiving feedback from consumers. RAT has a different cycle: getting an idea => creating a RAT => receiving customer feedback. Testing risky hypotheses ensure against cash injections into a non-viable proposal and helps to determine, in several iterations, how promising a product is.
Testing the riskiest hypotheses involves a clear sequence of actions. First, a business model is created, and the following insights are collected:
After the analytics have been collected, you can proceed to test risky hypotheses. It is proposed to answer the following questions:
Experts believe that the best hypothesis is the one that will affect the maximum number of users, and its verification will take a minimum of time and effort. Once found, an experiment is conducted (often involving potential consumers). If the hypothesis turned out to be viable, proceed to the next one. Sometimes one test is enough to understand that the idea will not take off.
When working with the RAT, the following test criteria should be followed:
RAT isn’t just for startups. Large companies can also use this approach if they want to master new markets and move to another level of interaction with customers. UX/UI design agencies can apply this to save their clients money and time. The RAT theory helps so that you only invest in promising ideas.