How to make usability heuristic assessments

Source: Internet
Author: User
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The most economical user research Method! Today @ Network Qin UEC translation is a real dry goods, sharing a cost-effective user research methods, but also hands-on teaching yo, the entire language Ming Xiao understand, the structure is clear, beginners can also learn new knowledge, students to receive goods!

The user experience can only work best when it penetrates various stages of product development, from creativity to development testing, and often things are not so simple, and user experience specialists need to optimize the finished product to reach what we call the "user friendly" level.

But it is not too late to mend. User experience optimization for existing sites also has its own advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that you can get more real user data and statistics to facilitate user research, but on the other hand, there will be a lot of resistance to change, especially if you want to replace the "beloved baby" of the user.

As a user experience expert, you have the freedom to choose research methods and even to use methods that transcend traditional tools, but today I want to go back to simplicity and talk about heuristic evaluation methods.

  What is heuristic evaluation?

"Heuristic evaluation refers to arranging a group of evaluators to examine the interface and to determine whether it is consistent with the accepted principle of usability (" heuristics "). "-jakob Nielsen

In other words, heuristic evaluation refers to a process in which the evaluator, the user experience expert, browses the Web site's interface and performs a series of actions to identify usability issues and then fix the problem and make the user experience smoother.

According to Jakob Nielsen, one of the founders of user experience principles, the most effective way to use heuristics is to have multiple evaluators examine the interface separately and then summarize their findings. The reason for this is that the more participating user experience experts, the more usability problems can be discovered.

That's fine, but my idea is that a user experience expert is enough to find the most critical usability problem, and if you don't have enough budget, that's a good way to go.

  Using heuristic evaluation method as a user experience research method has advantages and disadvantages.

1. This method is relatively quick and easy compared to other user experience research methods. It provides a quick overview of Web site availability and highlights some of the major issues that can affect the user experience.

2. Heuristic assessments are more efficient in terms of the value and resource requirements provided. Cost less than other user experience research methods such as visual pursuit research, mass user interviews, and more.

3. Since the heuristic assessment does not involve user testing and user behavior analysis, there is a lack of "evidence" and may sometimes appear more subjective.

4. It is more difficult to recruit experienced user experience specialists with sufficient evaluation skills.

  Heuristic evaluation step-by-step explanation

  1. Set Range

Heuristics and other user experience research methodologies require clearly defined goals, and objectives need to be clearly explained to the evaluators. You need to decide what specific content needs to be checked. Check the entire Web site or just the registration process? You can set up a series of tasks that require evaluators to perform in order to discover usability issues. Each evaluator needs to understand the objectives of the project and the expected deliverables to avoid misunderstanding between the two.

  2. Understand the user

Heuristic evaluation is very different from user testing, but it also requires user data. Here are the specific methods. When the evaluator examines the interface, it must use the same perspective and goals as the target user. It is important to know clearly that the target audience is extremely demanding, so if you have a good user feature that you have previously developed, you can use it directly. If not, you need to do some basic user research to find out who is using your product and why they are using it. Otherwise, usability heuristic evaluation will be lack of user core, and then be unsuccessful.

  3. Determining usability heuristic methods

Usability heuristics are basically the general usability principles that can be applied to any Web site or similar digital interface. These principles are defined by usability experts, but are not mandatory. There is little experience in the use of usability heuristics in the assessment, but Jakob Nielsen introduced a universally accepted heuristic in 1995, a methodology that is still valid and applicable today.

Visibility of the system state. Users should be able to keep abreast of the current situation and have a sense of control. For example: is the page load complete?

Connect the system to the real world. Each element of the interface should be consistent with the user's expectations and intuitive behavior. For example, an envelope icon cannot correspond to an action added to a shopping bag.

User control and freedom. Provide "emergency exit" function and other channels, so that users feel relaxed and confident.

Consistency and standards. Ensure consistency between all content (design elements, miniature copies, etc.). The same buttons cannot have several different functions.

Prevent errors. Try to help users make mistakes. Delete the interface elements that may cause misunderstanding or cause errors.

To recognize not to recall. Do not rely on the user's memory.

Flexible and efficient use. Interface navigation must be simple and convenient, can not ask users to pay too much effort.

Design beautiful and simple. Focus on content, not a hodgepodge.

Help users identify, diagnose, and fix errors. Explain the error in a friendly manner and provide further operational recommendations to resolve the error. Never let users feel annoyed.

Help and documentation. Be sure to place a variety of important information and FAQs in the proper place.

  4. Assess experience and identify usability issues

The evaluator browses the interface and performs a predetermined task. When they encounter usability problems, you should record them in a table, and write down the problems that are encountered when performing tasks, which page is the problem, and which heuristic principle is violated. For example, a registration form requires a user to submit a password, but does not specify which symbols are not available in the password, but displays an error message after the form is submitted, requiring the deletion of invalid symbols. The evaluator should document this usability issue and mark down the heuristic principles that were violated: prevent errors.

As long as it is considered valuable, evaluators are free to explore the interface beyond the intended task.

  5. Analysis and submission of results

After all the user experience experts have completed the evaluation, the results should be summarized, the duplication of the questions deleted, and a short list of usability issues to be resolved. Some evaluators can mark the importance of each issue with severity levels and sort accordingly. Severity levels can be graded based on frequency, impact size, and persistence.

The heuristic assessment results are usually presented in the form of a report, which should describe the research methodology, the assessment process and the heuristic principles used, as well as a short and specific list of usability issues, fix recommendations, and so on.

  Written in the last

Heuristic assessment is a powerful tool for finding critical usability issues in a short period of time. It can serve as a starting point for deeper usability testing and user research. You can also develop a set of your own heuristic principles based on your own experience and user data, and apply them to new functional design, product updates, and more.

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