Heuristic evaluations are not entirely as complex as they sound to be. They are an excellent way for a design team to execute and examine projects. To be straightforward, a Heuristic evaluation simply helps designers find out the usability of a website. After carefully creating a prototype, designers can check the efficiency of the website to see how much more work is needed. The best part? It is cost-effective.
Moreover, this method of usability examination was introduced about two decades ago by Jakob Nielsen. While the current day evaluation methods have changed a lot, the idea is still the same. Heuristic evaluations are used in UX design and product testing. So, how do these evaluations work? Let us dive deeper to find out!
How the Heuristic Evaluation Works
There are commonly used Heuristics to evaluate the efficiency of a project. The core rule of executing these evaluations is a rule of thumb. This, in return, shows where possible errors may occur so that the team may deal with it. Here are the ten standards of Heuristic Evaluation designed to detect almost everything wrong with a product or website.
- Consistency. The first principle is to eliminate doubts from the mind of a user. Use of similar words that may confuse is to be avoided.
- Visibility of Interface. This guideline suggests that the user should be informed of everything. The user should not be kept in the dark; rather, they should be given appropriate feedback and response.
- Prevention of Error. In case of errors, the website should identify them and solve them as soon as possible.
- Proper Recognition. This rule states that the user should not be confused by not recognizing basic symbols and controls of the website.
- Minimal Design. Irrelevant and unnecessary design that attracts too much of the user’s attention from the main purpose is to be avoided.
- The similarity to Real life. This principle emphasizes that the website should convey its message to the user in a way a normal person would in real life.
- Control. In the case of an error, the user is to be given a quick way out. They should have control over whether they want to stay or not.
- Efficient Use. This principle tells that the website should create shortcuts for ease of use and save the user’s time.
- Recognition and Recovery from Errors. This rule states that the users should be able to recognize when an error occurs and be given access to solve them.
- Help. A website should always provide necessary information about relevant frequently asked questions from users.
Through the standards mentioned above, the Heuristic Evaluation model greatly helps recognize errors in a website and how it can be made user-friendly.