Heuristic Evaluation : relevance on user interface and experience design.

Definition

Heuristic Evaluation can be defined as those rule of thumb processes that allow designers to thoroughly assess product Interface and experience in order to detect usability issues that may occur when users interact with a product and determine possible solutions to them.

The heuristic evaluation process is conducted against a predetermined set of usability principles known as heuristics. Evaluators use established heuristics (e.g., Nielsen-Molich’s) and reveal insights that can help design teams enhance product usability from early in development.

There are numerous heuristics, the most commonly used criteria in usability inspection were developed by Jacob Nielsen in 1995, known as the Heuristics for User Interface Design.

Let's briefly breakdown the 10 of these heuristics in more detail:

  1. Visibility of System Status (users should know the system status at all times and get feedback on interactions with it);

2. Match between system and the real world (the system should resemble the experiences that users already had);

3. User control and freedom (users should be able to reverse their action if done by mistake);

4. Consistency and standard (similar system elements should look similar);

5. Error prevention (minimize the likelihood of making mistakes);

6. Recognition rather than recall (users should be able to interact with the system without prior information or context;

7. Flexibility and efficiency of use (both new and experienced users should be able to efficiently use the system);

8. An aesthetic and minimalist design (declutter as much as possible, less is more);

9. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors (make error messages understandable, and suggest ways to fix an error);

10. Help and documentation (if a user has a hard time interacting with your app, make sure there’s help that’s easily accessible).

Benefit

It is an inexpensive usability testing methods that can test the product based on number of in-house UX experts. It is a quick testing tool as it doesn’t require to prepare a representative user sample to do the testing

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C Emmanuel Onyema is a user centered product designer and developer in beta, a physiology student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University.

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C Emmanuel Onyema

C Emmanuel Onyema is a user centered product designer and developer in beta, a physiology student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University.