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Heuristic analysis could be a low-cost tool wherein a UX/UI design can use to take qualitative measures of a product’s usability. However, since the methodology was first given, the User expertise (UX) has become a a lot more known in the industry compares to heuristics, which have remained likely the same.

In this article, Arhippainen User Experience Heuristics, we will analyze the present state of heuristic evaluation or analysis in terms of heuristics in terms of measuring the user experience.

In addition, let us discuss the ten user experience heuristics in detail to better understand how to develop a human system interaction part to improve the overall UX experience.

Like many other UX designers, we use user experience heuristics for user interface design. However, if you only stick to few UX heuristics on evaluating user experience issues it seemed to be too forced.

Thus, we will discuss the ten user experience heuristics by Arhippainen. We also include tutorial of ten user heuristics so you could pick the best approach for your UX or interaction design of product or services.

This article is aim to help product designers and developers or service and product designers for them to grasp which ten user experience heuristics to select and utilize in improving the overall user experience of their products, experience heuristics for service, and use heuristics for an optimal UX.


What is a heuristic evaluation?

In a heuristic evaluation, evaluators compare an interface's usability against accepted usability principles to determine how usable it is. According to Nielsen Norman Group, a usability expert: "Usability engineering uses heuristic evaluation to identify usability issues in user interface design so that they can be fixed throughout an iterative design process. A small group of evaluators will study the interface and assess its adherence to accepted usability criteria (the "heuristics") as part of a heuristic evaluation.

According to Dictionary.com, a heuristic is:

  • serving to indicate or point out; stimulating interest as a means of furthering investigation.
  • encouraging a person to learn, discover, understand, or solve problems on his or her own, as by experimenting, evaluating possible answers or solutions, or by trial and error: a heuristic teaching method.
  • of, relating to, or based on experimentation, evaluation, or trial-and-error methods.
  • Computers, Mathematics. pertaining to a trial-and-error method of problem solving used when an algorithmic approach is impractical.

In the last definition, “…when an algorithmic approach is impractical”, this statement is a good summary of the subjective, qualitative nature of heuristic evaluation methods. And while this subjective nature is primarily true for the frameworks discussed here, the System Usability Scale (SUS) attempts to quantify heuristic evaluations. Or, for more measurable results, you may want to consider the PURE method for evaluating ease of use.


Heuristic evaluation vs. user testing

Heuristic evaluation vs user testing

Now that we know the definition of usability heuristics, your next thought is probably, "How is user experience heuristics different from user testing?" How does usability heuristics differ from this tried-and-true method? Is there any benefit that usability heuristics provides that user testing does not?

That answer to the last question is yes. However, let's first talk about how the two user experience design testing approaches differ in order to understand better.

User experience heuristic evaluation is distinct from user testing in the first place because it is carried out by SMEs. These SMEs will produce in-depth qualitative analysis of the design based on their knowledge of accepted industry norms. As a result, you have trustworthy human computer information at your disposal that you can immediately apply to your infrastructure.

User testing, on the other hand, collects qualitative data from the end user’s perspective. This evaluation process recruits the help of the users to test your model. From there, you get an insight into the actual, true-to-life applications and impact of your design output.

Viewing their applications in the context of the entire design process, it’s best practice that both evaluation techniques (heuristics and user testing) be done; where a heuristic review of your UX can and should be done at the beginning, or any stage of your site’s development, user testing is mostly performed near the end of the process.

Now, let us further discuss the ten user experience heuristics that take user experience aspects into account to provide optimal user experience.


Ten user experience UX heuristics

1. Ensure usability

Usability is perceived by users. It is crucial to make sure the service or product can be used.

There are numerous approaches to address usability issues, but the user should always come first. Make sure your design satisfies their needs by considering what they require and desire from your website or product.

Making decisions based on user feedback is one technique to address usability issues in heuristics UX evaluation methods. Consider user feedback and recommendations when creating new designs. Make adjustments to your design using the feedback you receive from surveys, user testing, and other research techniques.

Another way to fix usability problems is to keep up with the latest design trends. Pay attention to what other designers are doing or designers to take user trends on their UX evaluation design and process, and see if you can incorporate some of their ideas into your own design. Stay up-to-date on the latest trends by reading design blogs, attending conferences, and taking classes.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment in heuristics. Sometimes the best way to fix a usability problem is to try something new. Be willing to experiment with different design solutions, and see what works best for your users.

Keep these things in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to fixing any usability problems in your design.

2. Provide utility matching with the user’s values

Utility of the product or service affects the user experience. Perceived utility overlooks usability issues or deficiencies in other product attributes. Utility is related closely to the user’s values. The user compares the utility of the product against his/her values when choosing to use it.

Your product's strength is determined by its user base because it promotes human computer interaction. In addition, it has the ability to define bugs, making them a potential source of quality analysis and a crucial component of the business growth.

Additional advantages include:

  • One advantage of human computer interaction is honest criticism from the growing user base.
  • Improve the accuracy and personalization of the app.
  • A loyal user may indulge in the indirect branding of the company, which will increase users.

3. Surpass the user’s expectations

In this industry, we talk a lot about user needs, wants, and goals, but there is another new metric, and way of thinking about your users.

Fundamentally, an expectation is how a person thinks something is going to go. A projection into the future, or an informed estimation of outcomes. Oftentimes, the user’s expectations are negative for no reason.

Expectations arise from the user’s journey. Expectations may have little to do with the product issue simply because they have been formed based on past experiences the user.

The product should be able to attract the user's attention in a good way, encourage the user to begin using the product, and then transcend his expectations by being simple to use, enjoyable to use, useful, or any other attribute that might be appropriate in the situation.

As the user works through their journey, they move closer to where they want to be and begin to form expectations based on their needs. Expectations are unfulfilled needs combined with product promises. When you are designing to solve a problem, and then promise a user that your solution will solve their problem, the user’s expectations shift to match that promise.

4. Respect the user

"Everyone admires someone who respects others. Treat your users with respect if you want them to like your design.

Understanding the target user groups can provide you with a strong impact on how the user will perceive the product or system. In addition to the user’s needs and actions, designers are required to understand the user’s values, prior experiences, user type, skills, restrictions, etc. The better the service fits the user’s world, the better experiences the user will have.

Your design should be generous enough to guide its users politely in case of any erroneous action and help him to find the best possible solution. A usable design makes easier for its user to achieve his objective.

For instance, if a user wants to buy a mobile phone online, the design will show him how to do it the simplest way possible so that he may finish the process without any trouble. Keep in mind that design talks to its users, therefore make it enjoyable for him.

5. Design the product or service to fit the intended contexts

Context is a term used in design to refer to the circumstances, background, or environment in which a person, thing, or idea exists or occurs.

The service or product is always utilized in a certain context: the user uses a product in a physical setting, alone or with a group of people based on their individual cultural customs and way of life. The user experience is impacted by all of these context-related aspects.

Consider a simple example, if you write a letter to a friend, you’ll write in a friendly and warm tone. But if you write an article for a newspaper, you will want to consider the whole situation, the facts, the exact numbers, the statements, the audience. So what differs between the 2 of your writings is the context of use.

Designers need to be keen on creating useful designs that suit the context of how and where users are using them. A good design considers the context of the product, audience and business.

6. Provide different ways to interact, leave choice for the user

Part of a great user experience is nurturing users’ feeling of control over the user interface (UI) they happen to be using. Users should be able to quickly correct mistakes or backtrack on choices made.

People are different and prefer several ways to interact with products and services. It is important to provide several ways to interact. The ability to easily get out of trouble encourages exploration, which facilitates learning and discovery of features. It also increases overall use and sales (in the case of exploring a product space). Conversely, when the UI doesn’t support these actions, users feel trapped and typically report dissatisfaction.

Thu, is is always better to provide the users manual and adaptive controls and, touch, gestures and voice based controlling when possible.

7. Respect the user’s privacy and security

The world is more digital and technical. Even though attitudes have changed to be more receptive to technological solutions, concerns over security and privacy still exist. The reliability of the service in terms of privacy and security always affects the user experience.

Consider the data and information that your service will gather, store, and provide this privacy and security. Determine and handle any risks associated with the service, legal obligations, concerns about confidentiality and privacy, and security threats. Consult specialists when necessary.

8. Support the user’s activities - do not force

Somewhere, a while ago now, I read a Chinese proverb that says: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

This is a fact! So the best course of action is to try to foresee all of the potential behaviors that the user may exhibit; do not focus on the best or ideal scenario, and do not assume that everyone will think or act in the same manner as everyone.

Every service should be described in terms of how it will support the target in my actions and day-to-day life, for example. A user cannot be forced to utilize a certain service. user experience will be negatively impacted by forcinthis way of forcing

Whether you embrace the principles of ergonomics of human system or user-centered design or not, it’s not an easy task to force behavior on users, and perhaps not even a good idea.

9. Go for a perfect visual design

In the wonderful world of design, there aren’t too many hard and fast rules. That’s part of what makes the work so much fun: you’re not always confined to a strict set of requirements or standards, and there’s plenty of opportunity to experiment with different ideas to your heart’s content!

But it takes time to develop an eye for design, and if you're brand new to it, the seemingly limitless possibilities can feel a little daunting, to say the least.

From a user experience point of view, visual aspects have two meanings. The first is that the visual design can improve usability by making the user interface more understandable, consistent and guiding. The other meaning is to make the user interface aesthetically pleasurable by designing visual aspects. Moreover, selections in visual design, for instance, use of colors, can have an impact on user experience by the values one respect (such as health, fitness, nature, beauty).

From the perspective of the user experience, visual aspects have two meanings:

The first is that the user interface may be made more clear, consistent, and guiding by using visual design to increase usability.

The other meaning is to make the user interface aesthetically pleasurable by designing visual aspects.

Additionally, choices in visual design, such the usage of colors, can affect user experience depending on the values one upholds (such as health, fitness, nature, beauty).

Creating a visually appealing website or blog can be tricky, but with the right tools and techniques, you can achieve a look that is both timeless and modern. This article will provide five tips for achieving the perfect visual design, from choosing the right fonts and colors to creating effective layout designs.

10. Give a surprise gift

User experience (UX) is a quality aspect that considers the emotions evoked by the system, extending the usability concept beyond effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction. Practitioners and researchers are aware of the importance of evaluating UX. Thus, UX evaluation is a growing field with diverse approaches. Despite various approaches, most of them produce a general indication of the experience as a result and do not seek to capture the problem that gave rise to the bad UX.

This means that people want more. Usability is not enough. “Jackknife phone” is not enough. Users need some extra, which makes them happy: surpass expectations, increase and improve user’s experiences. Breadth of experience is not allowed to decrease. User experience is the seventh sense that people use for sensing technology – sensing life within technology.


Key takeaways

If you’re an expert web developer looking to improve your user experience design, then you should put ten user experience heuristics on your essential web design checklist.

Don’t forget these key takeaways based on the tutorial of ten user experience heuristics when you apply heuristics analysis for your next UX design evaluation:

  • While it sounds complex, heuristics analysis for User experience design is straightforward and simple. Heuristics is just an expert review of the human system interaction part to make it as user-friendly as possible.
  • Heuristics evaluation or evaluation methods arms you with reliable and qualitative insights from actual subject matter experts (SMEs), prior to any lengthy user testing stages.
  • Since you’re setting the heuristics for review, credibility is key. Get the best SMEs possible to evaluate your website based on the ux evaluation methods and insights.

Mary Ann Dalangin

About the author

A content marketing strategist and a UX writer with years of experience in the digital marketing industry.

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