I had been talking to a fellow UX Designer about different tools they use and one of them they brought up was a Red Route Analysis. The backstory is pretty fascinating – in short, the city of London had major traffic issues with a large volume of cars on small roads, so key problem areas “red routes” were identified and mapped, and measures were taken to prevent cars from stopping in these key areas. The result was a decrease in traffic problems. Los Angeles and other cities in the U.S. do similar things by allowing parking in outer lanes of traffic in later hours of the evening after commuter traffic has stopped.
I found the whole concept intriguing and proceeded to try this in my UX work. You start by creating a 4×4 grid with number of users on one side and frequency of use on the other. You then list out all of the tasks/features in your design and place them in their corresponding areas.
The resulting map should give you a clear picture of the most frequently used tasks/features which can help you prioritize where to focus the efforts on a project.
I found this to be very similar to the Eisenhower Matrix, and equally as effective.
After my first test, one of the Project Managers I worked with liked it because it helped her define a clearer features roadmap and more efficiently allocate programming resources.
I find it to be very useful as a communication tool to other members of my team, in helping to get everyone on the same page. I think I’ll add it to my toolkit!