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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

What Is Heuristic Evaluation and Why Do You Need It

Heuristic evaluation is a thorough assessment of a product’s user interface, and its purpose is to detect usability issues that may occur when users interact with a product, and identify ways to resolve them. It is conducted against a predetermined set of usability principles known as heuristics. The process relies on in-depth tests run by several usability experts at a time - What Is Heuristic Evaluation? - the overview explains the following questions:

Often, this term is used interchangeably with cognitive walkthrough and user testing. Here are their key differences:

Cognitive walkthrough:

  • Who: New user.
  • What: Performs specific user tasks in line with user goals.
  • Why: To determine if the sequential processes to get from point A (user task) to point B (user goal) work in the correct order they were designed to.

User testing:

  • Who: End-user.
  • What: Uses the digital product in realistic circumstances.
  • Why: To understand how representative users will complete typical tasks in real-life situations.

Heuristic analysis:

  • Who: System expert.
  • What: Compares usability to predefined heuristics.
  • Why: To see if the digital product can be used in a way that is most compatible for users and aligns with recognized usability principles.
  • What Is the Difference Between Heuristic Analysis, Cognitive Walkthrough, and User Testing?
  • Using Heuristic Analysis for Usability Evaluation & Why Should You Do It?
  • What Are the Pros and Cons of a Heuristic Evaluation?
  • How to Conduct an Effective Heuristic Evaluation? (step-by-step guide & template)
  • Should You Pay for a Heuristic Evaluation or Do It Yourself?
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