Heuristic Evaluation User Experience (UX) topic overview/definition
Heuristic Evaluation: Concept Definition
Heuristic evaluation is a usability engineering method for finding usability problems in a user interface design, thereby making them addressable and solvable as part of an iterative design process. It involves a small set of expert evaluators who examine the interface and assess its compliance with “heuristics,” or recognized usability principles. Such processes help prevent product failure post-release.
Typical usability evaluations of interfaces can be long, difficult, expensive and time-consuming processes that often intimidate developers. They are hence often ignored—at the cost of delivering software that suffers from usability issues and results in frustration and errors during use. To overcome the issue partially, Jakob Nielsen (pioneer of web usability) has advocated for “discount usability engineering methods”—i.e., methods that developers can adopt which are cheap, fast and easy to use. Heuristic evaluation is one of these methods.
In a heuristic evaluation, a set of evaluators assess a designed interface for compliance against an agreed set of principles. Each evaluator works alone and goes over the interface multiple times. At length, the evaluators produce reports which are then discussed, the end result being a list of usability problems (and their causes) to be addressed. In heuristic evaluation, evaluators can supplement sets of general design principles with additional heuristics that match the product category or its characteristics, as necessary. The number of evaluators for each project may vary, but using about five of them is generally recommended, as this number has been shown to be able to discover approximately 75% of all usability issues. Because evaluators are inspecting the interface and not actually using it, heuristic evaluation is suited to early use in the development life cycle, where the interface may consist of nothing more than paper-only designs. By its nature, such evaluation facilitates catching oversights before they become truly problematic.
For your convenience, we’ve collected all UX literature that deals with Heuristic Evaluation. Here’s the full list:
Information Visualization – The Big Challenge is How to Analyze the Effectiveness of Our Work
UX, Usability, Interaction Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), etc. professionals know that in order for their work to be worthwhile – they need to be able to validate it. Ideally, they need to be able to evaluate the effectiveness of their work before it is released to a large number of users. There are many tools within these disciplines...
Stand on the shoulders of giants and follow international standards
Design can be very subjective. This leads UX practitioners facing criticism and a lack of credibility when dealing with other more scientific disciplines. Fortunately, you can rely on international standards to refer to and easily bridge the gap. The ISO 9241 Standard for the Ergonomics of Human-System Interaction is directly aligned with...
Mobile Usability Research – The Important Differences from the Desktop
It’s important to remember that while we may use the same methods for mobile usability research as we use for other types of usability research; the mobile environment is different to the environment at the desktop. This means being aware of the context and adapting research to take advantage of that context. It’s not so much learning new resear...
Heuristic Evaluation: How to Conduct a Heuristic Evaluation
Learn to conduct a heuristic evaluation on any given user interface design. This article will teach you how to generate and conduct your own heuristic evaluations so you can improve the usability, utility, and desirability of your designs. The best practice is to use established heuristics like Nielsen and Molich's 10 rules of thumb and Ben Shn...