Wednesday 11 August 2021

Heuristic Evaluation

Heuristic Evaluation is poor mans UX inspection method, it's cheaper & faster then usability testing, it also doesn't require users which why it's cheaper & faster. It's an inspection method, you go through the interface and apply Nelsen's 10 Heuristics
  1. Visibility of system status
  2. Match between system & real world
  3. User Control & Freedom
  4. Consistency & Standards 
  5. Error Prevention
  6. Recognition instead of Recall
  7. Flexibility & efficiency of use
  8. Aesthetic & minimalist design
  9. Help user recognize, Diagnose, and recover from errors
  10. Help & documentation
Heuristic Evaluation Technique 
  • Select system or set of screens to evaluate
  • Step through the user journey and apply heuristics to potential problems
    • Be sure to test error case
    • Be sure to test help system
  • Write down all violations big or small 
    • Which heuristic they violate
    • Asses the severity of each violation
      1. Cosmetic problem: no real user experience impact
      2. Minor usability issue: Fix if there's time
      3. Major usability issue: Important to fix
      4. Usability Catastrophe: must be fixed
  • Create prioritized list of violations
    • Highlight top 5 to 10 violations
    • Rank in descending order of severity 
    • Use heuristics to explain importance
Describing a heuristic Violation
Description: Drop down list is not identified as such be inspection
Severity 2/4: Minor issue
Heuristic Violated: Recognition instead of Recall
Summary: the user should be able to identify that the "All Tasks" filter is a drop down with out having to remember to click on it.


Recommendation: Add a downward arrow to the right of the selected value indicating that it's a drop down menu.

having 3 to 5 experts evaluate a system individually then pool their findings is one of the most effective ways to identify a large share of violations 

Heuristic EvaluationUser Testing
  • Cheap
  • Fast
  • Doesn't require users
  • More Realistic
  • Finds more problems
  • Asses other UX qualities beyond Usability

It's normal to use multiple techniques in an iterative process to flush out all usability issues from your system

  • Heuristic evaluation is a quick and cheap way to identify significant flaws in a user interface
  • leverages Nielsen's heuristics 
  • Inspect each screen, potential errors, and help options
  • capture and asses violations
  • prioritize