Best Practices Usability

Heuristics by Laura García on November 14, 2019

1 Min Read

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Summary

Heuristics are broad rules of thumb that help to identify which aspects of the design are problematic to make them addressable and solvable. These rules are used during heuristic evaluation and can be adapted to any product. This method involves between 3 to 5 evaluators examining the interface using some usability principles. Once the problems are found through this evaluation, they are reported to a degree of severity. Jakob Nielsen’s 10 heuristics are probably the most-used usability heuristics for interaction design.

Takeaway

Every product should be intuitive, easy to use and give users an enjoyable experience. Using a heuristic evaluation can help you inspect the user experience and recommend best practices for usability. According to Nielsen's heuristics, the design should comply with the following principles:

  1. Visibility of system status: Keep users informed about the system status through appropriate feedback.

  2. Match between system and the real world: Follow real-world conventions using familiar language and making information and interaction appear in a natural and logical order for users.

  3. User control and freedom: Support undo and redo.

  4. Consistency and standards: Keep language, layout and behavior consistent throughout the system.

  5. Error prevention: Guide users so that they can prevent errors by including helpful constraints, suggestions, good defaults and using forgiving formatting.

  6. Recognition rather than recall: Make information and interface functions easily accessible and visible.

  7. Flexibility and efficiency of use: Use accelerators to speed up repetitive interactions or processes.

  8. Aesthetic and minimalist design: Reduce visual clutter to communicate information and make it easier for users to complete their tasks.

  9. Help users recognize, diagnose and recover from errors: Help users identify errors, diagnose what the problem is and offer suggestions on how they could recover from those errors.

  10. Help and documentation: Offer searchable, task-oriented and concrete documentation and help.

Read more

10 Heuristics for User Interface Design

Recognition rather than recall

Heuristic Evaluation: How to conduct a Heuristic Evaluation