Schedule Time & Gather Materials
- Time Needed: 1 – 4 Days
- A late-phase testable version of your product
- Some means for the evaluator to note their experience (Notebook, text editing application, etc.)
Carry Out This Method
Determine who should evaluate the usability of the product. As few as four experienced user experience designers can uncover two-thirds of a product’s usability problems.
Create an evaluation plan which includes a specific task or tasks for evaluators to complete (for example, making a purchase). If the evaluators need contextual information, that should be provided.
Have evaluators perform the tasks assigned and record their experience as it relates to each of the 10 usability heuristics defined by Jakob Nielsen. They are:
- Visibility of system status
- Match between system and the real world
- User control and freedom
- Consistency and standards
- Error prevention
- Recognition rather than recall
- Flexibility and efficiency of use
- Aesthetic and minimalist design
- Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors
- Help and documentation
Collect the inspection results and present the most egregious issues to the design team with heuristic-based feedback regarding how they can be addressed.
Try These Tips
- Heuristic Inspection should not replace usability testing, but rather used in conjunction with it or as a preliminary user experience check before it. Users are still your best source of product usability.