UX Essentials - How to Run Heuristic Evaluations (HE) | Ana Santos | Skillshare

UX Essentials - How to Run Heuristic Evaluations (HE)

Ana Santos, UX Designer & CRO Consultant

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13 Lessons (46m)
    • 1. He intro

    • 2. Your Class Project

    • 3. Why is Usability Essential

    • 4. Usability Evaluation Techniques

    • 5. What is Heuristic Evaluation (HE)

    • 6. What are Heuristics

    • 7. 10 Heuristics for User Interface Design

    • 8. When to conduct HE

    • 9. Severity Ratings

    • 10. Heuristic Evaluation Process

    • 11. HE Process - Pre-planning & Briefing Evaluators

    • 12. HE Process - Evaluation & Severity Ratings

    • 13. HE Process - Debriefing & Final Report


About This Class

Why is usability so important?   

According to Usability Expert Jakob Nielsen: On the Web, usability is a necessary condition for survival. If a website is difficult to use, people leave. If the homepage fails to clearly state what a company offers and what users can do on the site, people leave. If users get lost on a website, they leave. If a web site's information is hard to read or doesn't answer users' key questions, they leave. Can you spot the pattern here?

This means that evaluating the usability of a website or app is a pretty essential skill to have. In this course, we will be focusing on one of the many methods you can use to evaluate user interfaces, called Heuristic Evaluation. 

What you will learn:

  • Understand the importance of usability
  • Understand the different usability evaluation techniques
  • When to perform HE
  • How to perform HE
  • What's involved in performing HE (including details like pre-planning and number of evaluators)
  • Nielsen's 10 Heuristics for User Interface Design
  • Using your own set of heuristics 
  • How to write your final HE report 

Who is this class for?

  • Designers and developers interested in improving the usability of their interfaces
  • Aspiring UX Designers and those interested in the UX field

You don’t need any prior knowledge, only interest in improving the usability of your websites and apps.


1. He intro: Hi, everyone. I wanted to frequently this myself before we starts. But it is, and I am a user experience, consistent educator on learning experiences either. So I'm really, really passionate about the education field. I love teaching off their designers and assign you X professionals, so he's pretty much love. I started in design modern it years ago, so that's a long time. And through the years I started falling in love with field of user experience. So I actually worked in many different settings and different roles from the type of generic roles. Why wax for agencies and also more specialized roles like search strategy? And I leave a lot of Borg as ux cultural done. So we discourse what I wanted to teach you how to do your question, which is a good used lots as less professionals to all gets west sides or and this is considered and it's part of one would sigh invented research. So there are two types of doing research office. Weak is not a replacement for testing with your real concern, but it is a great and cost effective to actually spots major usually right, so I hope you enjoy this course, I have tried to make this course beginner friendly, even though its end at all levels. I know that some people are not very community dismissed on just using this method since and why. So I really wanted to explain how we can use the armed nuisances. Kristic. So I do think you can fix all the holes, but I ensure that it's speaking friendly. It's really, really important that you are doing it. So not just listening to me, because that's going to be difficult for you to apply, should do it. So I do encourage you to start a new project that's project based learning, which I really believe. It's very efficient. My experience students. So give it a try on don't worry, doesn't to perfect. So I made sure that there's a specific actual Sepp at the end on each video. So go ahead on the fly. And if you have any questions, you know, just okay, Black Uh oh, 2. Your Class Project: welcome to the first part of this class, and we'll get started by talking about your class project. So what you'll be doing during this bus? Okay, so you're conducting a heuristic evaluation of an existing West Side or up on. For these, you will be taking the role of one event later. And if you have a chance, it would be great if you could invite at least father to friends of tea Knights. Who would take the role of Abdi Evaluates is on. Do you know you can also show in the community and see if someone else was interested to share the same project with you because it's so important to have these different perspectives when doing your mystic evaluation and you learn more doing the class, why its importance and also why three is a magic number. But for now, I just want you to keep these in minds. So if you want, you can do this project. We'd a team so that they say Let's start to project and start sharing with others, and the first thing you want to do is of course, speaker, website or app. You want to follow it, and it's really easy for you to medic your favorite website or app. I recommend you to pick something. You were not as familiar weeds or something that you have just recently and you have found a specific problems. So as the user, there was something you were struggling with because it might help you as well. And you project when you are using who mystics to evaluate the stability. So that sits. And I wish you could. Like Andi, I have. 3. Why is Usability Essential: Hello again. Welcome to today's class, and now we'll be talking about visibility. And why is it essentials? Right? So is ability actually has everything to do with actual ability of your user to use your website, Your interface, your projects? No, they're Axum line things that make a device usable. So, first of all, the user needs to be able to become familiar and competent using the enter vice. A second thing is, of course, it's easy for the user to achieve the ultimate goal. So the reason why I have come to website, for example, on deferred it's easy for your users to recall that inter place and then use it again the next time they visit. Visibility is a part of user experience on and off course is essential. If someone is not able to use your product to your interfacing west side, then all the rest. It doesn't really matter. This is why I love this graphic, and it's an adaptation by our own Walter from the Yorkie of human needs, as you might have noticed and actually talked about the user needs. So what dude user needs and how is that a priority, depending us which stage they are. As you can see here, there's so much more to user experience than just usability. But things need to work and not only didn't work, they need to work properly. Users me to be able to complete tasks easily. Your website needs tow boat properly. Things just need to work smoothly. And why is that? I mean, I want to buy a product I want to visit in Egypt place and as much as I want to do that, if I can do it easily, are. If I'm not able to do it at all, I might just give up right. And that's why it's important to get usually teats on right, and that's the priority. This is what visibility has a real impact on return on investment. If we fix visibility issues earlier in the process, it's much less expensive than fixing a problem after. And that's how it all starts, because we need, in the end to fulfill the user needs. If we don't do that, then you user might just abandon. So despite the fact that is a beauty is not the only thing that will help you improve the conversions, it has a real impact on as we so armed last graphic. It's important to get the priority right. And after that, we can Yes, we can think What does the using want? Because off course, Just because something is usable doesn't mean the user wants it, But then, you know that's another story. 4. Usability Evaluation Techniques: Welcome again. It's time now to talk about usability evaluation techniques, so the proposed here is not to give you lots of information about each single root evaluates user enterprises. What we want here is to understand where a receipt evaluations fits and basically have two main types of techniques to evaluate his ability, and one of them is conducted by experts on the other. One is conducted by users, so you can guess where heuristic evaluations are, right? So, yeah, that's right. Who Mystic evaluation is conducted by experts just like you and me and is what we call is ability inspection method. Now let's keep in mind that is, a good inspection is not a replacement for usability testing, and this one the users come. Okay, It's important to task your interface with your users as well. But for this class will be focusing on heuristic evaluations on. I'll explain more about it on next parts 5. What is Heuristic Evaluation (HE): Hello again. Let's talk about heuristic evaluation and what actually is so so basically, Harris Kid valuations are nothing more, nothing less than a type off design review in which the design is about a weighted against a specific set of heuristics. And that's why it makes a difference. I'll explain more about heuristics a bit later on, So heuristic evaluations are easy guilty inspection method as we've talked about it before , and we've also mention that this means it's conducted by experts, and we generally recommend more than one evil later, in fact, at least free, as recommended by Nielsen Norman, because Vice under research they have done one of elevator is not enough to find most of these ability issues and between free and five would be ideal. Then there's the fact that it falls a set off heuristics, also known as Rules of Thumb. And we'll have a lesson to talk about this more detail. And finally, the proposed of heuristic evaluations are to identify visibility issues. So that's the main goal. Now there are pros and cones off heuristic evaluations off course, as everything and the pros are. It's related Lee, inexpensive and quick to conduct service ticket relations. We can really identify issues early in the process, which is a huge advantage. However, there are cons such as the fact it does require some knowledge to conduct the stock valuation effectively. And then we have these lunatics, birds that can be expensive or hard to find. And we should really combined the results from several experts. Not just one. Hasn't mentioned that being said, we shouldn't forget that any type off inspection mapper is not a replacement for is a beauty testing, so it should be really used in combination with that as well. That is also something called expert review, which is very similar to heuristic evaluation. But some things are a big difference. For example, usually expert reviews expand own heuristics and assess against order, guidelines, principles, cognitive psychology. It's based on the reviewers expertise on and their field. So it's a bit less formal, let's say, than hubristic evaluations because it doesn't really depend on each heuristic and the way the design complex to its it is conducted by an expert and it can be done on its own. And as every other review is complete military to use a good testing. So it's not a placement 6. What are Heuristics: hello again and welcome to today's lesson. And now we'll be talking about you re seeks and exactly what is it and how you use them. Okay, so heuristics are also known as rules off thumb on dis term has become actually known in the design field, thanks to Jack, um nuisance, recirculation leopard, which is what we've been talking about. So when we talk about heuristics, we are usually talking about recognized his ability principles such as Jack of news is 10 is a beauty heuristics for user interface design, which is one of the most known sets out there. No, this is not the only set of every sticks out there that have bean all the reasonability experts who developed other heuristics based on research, and they are now recognized as well on. You can also have your own set of heuristics. But for this class and for this lesson, we will be focusing on the set of your wrist. ICS developed Danielson, which is one of the most used ones. And also it will help you understand how heuristics work. So this heuristics have actually bean developed in the nineties. Andi, they are still used to die so I'm going to go through, went by one so you can understand them. And you can also use these for your final projects. But before that, let's have a look at other sets of your mystics to see what I mean. It's golden. Rules of interface design does have been developed in 1985. Backbench Siderman on bees are so famous that, in fact, other experts such as listen, had inspired to create their own heuristics. If you analyze them carefully, many of these rules will overlap all the recognized heuristics and you'll learn more about nuisance and specifically what you see. Many of these are singular now. Like I said, there are many other sets of recognizing principles that you can use on your heuristic evaluations on. I'm just gonna leave. You hear some of the most popular ones. If you want to have a look on, know more about them. When you are planning your own heuristic evaluations, it's important to establish which heuristics you're using or if you will be using your own set of heuristics, which could be a mix of the many heuristics that already exist. It can be your own based on research. Um, usually they are between five and 10. If you are doing some things with six peak And if you have research that is particularly relevant, then you can use heuristic space. And that's as well. And that was it for this chapter. What I wanted you to learn was what were you mystics? How you could use them and have a general over you. So on the next chapter will be talking about news and heuristics has I've promised you earlier and will be going through Dem one, but one So see you next time. 7. 10 Heuristics for User Interface Design: in this lesson will be going through the 10 year Mystics for user interface design development. Nielsen one by one and the 1st 1 is called Visibility of System Stations on and what Those diseases basically wants the user to be informed at all times on. And if we click a button, if we make a certain action, we want to be sure we are heading towards the right direction towards our goal as a user. So in this example here we have a product on NASA's website, and when we click add to bag. We have the confirmation that product has been added to the bag. It's something simple, and it keeps the user inference. Let's remember this principle. Visibility of system status. Keep the user in Florence next one, much between system and the rial rolled. This one is a very simple one. What we want is that the system speaks your users language. Let's say speak human. So in this example here find homes on Airbnb. You can see that it's really easy to understand, and it's simple language. It's real world conventions, and the information is natural. Many different ways to apply this principle. Maybe sometimes you can design something that looks like something in the real world, How you use it in the real world, that important here is to design something that is familiar to the user that the user can understand easily. So there you go, much between system and real world theme, user of control and freedom. I'm going to start with a simple example because this one can be tricky. In this example, we have the message sense, like on Gmail when you send something accidentally and then you could easily end do so having the chance to cancel exits and do What are we doing here? We are avoiding forcing users on a fixed path off course, and we are preventing mistakes as well. Now this is where it can get confusing because there is another heuristic about era prevention. But here, what we want to focus on is on the user freedom. Sometimes there are websites that aren't designing for the user control and freedom. Sometimes you have video splaying out of play without you being able to do anything. Sometimes you end up doing mistakes or things you don't want to do just because the system is not giving you control is not leaving your freedom. So the main thing to focus on this heuristic is the user control and freedom. That's why the support and do and redo functionality is so used to in this case is because it gives the control back to the user consistency and standards. The name says it. All right, so here deserve Mystic wants you to follow, got from conventions but also being consistent within your own website and enter Feiss. So, for example, here on Jameson website, you have the card and you have that I could. Everyone is quite familiar with it, and it's also on the top right corner. So that's what it means falling apart from conventions. So your users don't have to wonder whether the same thing or a different thing these different things. So here, for example, you have add to cart, and that's the same thing for every website. But that's something inside Amazon as well, so it's hard to card is the same thing for every product. If you have a specific bottom on your website in a specific color, then you need to have the consistency through your website, so constancy and standards were talking about these two things. Falling platforms, conventions and also being consistent within your own identifies. So users are urine. This means they do, miss takes on. And what can we do to prevent this? We want to make sure that your users are doing what they intended to do. So nothing better than confirming. So, for example, are you sure you want to do with his item on Did? Yes. So when it's something important and it might be very problematic music take, then we want to help users to avoid those mistakes. Do you know that bad visibility can actually que And why's that is because human error on that's so important that there are three heuristics that talk about errors and how to deal with them. What to do to avoid, to prevent or to make you uses recover from them recognition rather than recall another important one. We often forget things that's just natural. So we want our system to help us remember things, so we have a better user experience for this to happen. All options need to be visible. Ended are also some functionalities. We can have to help this. There are many different ways. You can apply or violate these terroristic, but a good example. Here we have on Amazon's Web site again on on many equal Mars platforms where you can check your recently viewed isosceles. It's a recognition rather than recall. We want to minimize the users memory load and have the options visible because it's better to see them than making the users having to remember flexibility and efficiency of use. This one is really easy to understand. On the best example I can give you is the advanced settings, so the system is really easy to work with. But if you are an advanced user than you haven't option to go further. So your system needs to be easier to use for anyone who is an express, but also for someone is more advanced and once more complex options. And that's what flexibility is all about catching to both your user needs. We say we leave in a noisy world, but we don't need noisy inter fights is they want something that is simple and minimalists on and pleasing to the eye. This heuristic is urging us to be relevant to include information that is important so your interface needs to be simple, and it needs to be easy for the user to complete their goals. The more irrelevant info you have, then the less difficult is to your actual important info to be visible. So Dariga aesthetic on minimalist design. Well, you remember I mentioned a little while ago we were going to focus a lot on mistakes. So here you have again, we need to help our users to recognize, diagnosed and recover from his mistakes. Well, I don't know about you, but for me it's simple, frustrating to feel a whole farm and then have all of the mistakes I've done and need to correct them, like starting all over again. And the worst is that most of the time they don't even tell you What did I do wrong? So a good way to solve this is to have in line real time validations. So if I'm feeling a farm, I want to know what did I do wrong? And I want to be able to correct this mistake right away, like you have here in this example off as those West side. So it's really important to have this error messages in plain language, No codes. And you need not only to say what problem is and how can I correct. Like, what is the solution again? So important. Help your users to recognize, diagnose and recover from business likes that's it. Health under cumin intonation. So it's much better that your system is so easy to use that your users don't need any help it'll. But let's be realistic. Sometimes we do need help, and that's why you should include that's on your inter fight. So there are many ways to assist the user and provide them help. But whatever information you feel, it's needed to help the user. He needs to be easy to find as well. And that's it. We are done now. We've just been through the 10 is ability restricts by Newsome, and now what I want you to do is to put this into practice. So do you remember the up or website you shoes and right in the beginning for your project ? I want you to have a look at it and think about these principles you've just learned. So let's think about it. Positive things first, because there's something so important in your Ristic evaluations to think about the positive points first. So just have a look at it. Um, think about which weighs those. This website complained to some of these heuristics. And if you want abs, um, notes on discussed with the community, feel free to act your project. That's it. Good luck. 8. When to conduct HE: Hello. Hello. It's time to find out when to conduct you heuristic evaluation. Let's find out. So, generally speaking, you would be perfect if you could do it. You in the earlier stages self development. And that's easy to understand why you want to do it as soon as possible. Because in order to avoid higher costs, you want to prevent these evil. Timmy strikes now rather than fixing it later with expensive redesigns. The cost problem off finding visibility problems is general. It's cheaper than other methods, and that's what research tell us. Also, another reason as we've talked about before, is the fact that we probably be combining these with visibly testing. And if we have been arrested, revelation before then we will reduce the number and severity of errors later. Apart from that, we already know that we can use your Ristic evaluations. We'd love Fidelity products, Ives paper prototypes, so that's not a good reason why we can do this during a very early stage. So conducting heuristic evaluations as part of its parity design cycle is the perfect way to do it, so you can easily all tonight these design reviews and heuristic evaluations committed by experts with the validation by the real users of your projects are you enter FIEs, however, and that's the cool part. Heuristic in relations can be applied toe all stages and all levels of readiness, so it's just easier to fix these mistakes as soon as possible. But you can still review an existing website. In fact, it's good practice to review your old website and understand what can be improved the next one. 9. Severity Ratings: Okay, now that we have found the usability issues, it's time to rape them. Okay, so severity ratings are so useful because we can use these to understand what are the most serious problems that we can fix and so we can allocate the right Reeser since and also Evan estimates off the need for those efforts. So it's important to take notice not only on the amount of euros, but also how seriously are so things like frequency. Is this a common or rare mistake on impact? Is it easy or difficult for the users to overcome this problem and also the persistence of the problems? So it is a one time thing that I can easily over Cone will send know about it, or maybe something that I'll be Balderas repeatedly. So all of this aspect are more sticking consideration when we give the final severity rating and then the writing itself. There are many rating scales that you can use even your own. What is example. We are giving news and severity rating scale, and as you can see, it goes from zero, which would not be a problem at all. One cause knocked problems, so it's something that you love to be fixed unless extra time is available. And of course, we have for which is a really serious usability problems. As inside, There are differences reiterating skills, and these two are just other examples. You can also create your own based on the goal off the evaluation. So as you can imagine, different people will have different opinion on how to rates usability issues. And that's why recommends each of a waiter to write independently all these evil issues that have been found. So in the end, if you have an average off the ratings from three evaluators, that's good. So if you are doing this project in a group, you know what you have to do. You need to have the average of those severity ratings from your teammates as well. 10. Heuristic Evaluation Process: the process to conduct a Ristic evaluations in this section. I just want to give you a quick overview off the steps to conduct a proper heuristic evolution. So in the next videos, I'll be going produce one by one. But for now, all you need to know is that our six minus steps starting field planning, breathing, your little waiters, the evaluation itself severity, ratings, debriefing on the final report. So the final project will be a final records. Ideally, even if you're doing on your own and don't have a team. So I have some links on the resources of this class. So if you wanna have a look to heaven and yet, what would your final report look like, then go ahead. But for now, I just want you to have an idea off the general structure and what the next steps would be . And as I said, we'll be going through this one by one, and you will understand better. Let's do this 11. HE Process - Pre-planning & Briefing Evaluators: Welcome again. This is the fun part will be going through all the steps and you'll be able to do this on your own as well. So let's do this. The first step is pre planning, and it's so important because it's where we will define what we need from these revelation . Is that the things you need to do when you are planning your evaluation? You need to set objectives and goals. You need to think off the methodology and the usage scenarios. What's your website? Audience? What are the typical user tasks? How many evaluators will be using and we know we should use which in free and five Ideally , because that's how we will spot most of visibility issues and also off course, we need to define the set of mystics, which we have been talking about in your lessons. All of this needs to be defined it before we go ahead and talk. Toa are evil waiters, which take us to our next step number two. Ripping those evil waiters. Second consideration that little writers are ideally is a beauty. Experts on some of them are being hard to find are expensive, but still we need to explain the user population and main generally. So if the system is general, or if we're talking about experts in that domain, then they might need more assistance. That's otherwise. You do have to provide additional info. So one possible approach that is very common when briefing Leoville waiters for your recirculation is to supply them with a typical user scenario. So even though her recent revelations are not task focused on like, for example, company walk food, it is still important that your evaluators understand what are the uses trying to accomplish so they can expect these interface better. Theo Lies is considered is as your first assignment on. If you're doing this project on your own, you can just try to imagine how you would brief your evil waiters at this stage based off course on yeah, 05 she's in. So let's think about what I am trying to evaluate. What do you want to show you? What would be a typical using scenario? What are the distance on we can use using serious sticks for disguise? And since it's not your first heuristic evaluations, just a simplified beat. But imagine you are briefing people now If you're doing this project as a group with your teammates, we should discuss together so discussed together objectives and goals. You can book a call, weaken book meeting on, decide on these things, and that would be your first stage. Good luck. 12. HE Process - Evaluation & Severity Ratings: Welcome again. Let's continue with the a restrictive elevation process onto evaluation and severity ratings. So we have already planned and breathe the evil waiters, and this would be our step number three, the evaluation itself. So each evaluator inspects the interface individually and recommend they go through the interface at least twice done. He makes the least off the issues found based on the heuristics creeds on the first city. This can be recorded by an observe a ter r. This can be simply a written report as I'm giving you the example here. So in the end, when we have all these ability issues, those are compelled to get up. Let's also remember that besides love websites and apps, you can also evil with sketches, paper prototypes, digital prototypes, any level or fidelity. And that's why it's so useful during the earliest stages of developments. So let's get back to project and let's say you are one off the violators. What you have to do now is inspector interface off the app or website. You have chosen do it at least twice first to get a feel for the flow and then focusing on the specific issues and then I want you to least each usability problem separately based on each touristic. So, for example, for each problem, you find you assigned the heuristics there has been violated. If you go to the class project in full, I have included links to some resource is some templates you can use on. You can also use this tool called U X check dot Co. So what do you want to include? Ease the screen shots off the problem where you have funded on the usability problem along with the heuristic has been violated. Okay, if you're doing these project as a group, then everyone in your team will be doing the same. So after that, we need to think about the security off each one of those issues you've spotted. So here we want each evil waiter to rate visibility issues individually because, as I said, everyone will have a different opinion. So it's important that it is done individually, and then, in the end, all the results are done aggregated so again. Let's produce into practice as well. And if you're doing these on your own, you need to sign a severity rating to each visibility. Problems found And if you're doing this as a group, you still need to do this individually first and then in the end, to calculate the average. So let's did is good like 13. HE Process - Debriefing & Final Report: welcome to your last lesson. You've made it. Those are the final steps to complete your project for your first heuristic evaluation. Now that you have gone through evaluation on the severity ratings for all visibility issues , it's time to sit down with your team and do the debriefing. There are many ways to do it is debriefing. Let's think about it as a brainstorming session. So this is when you'll discuss the results with the team. And when I say team in here, I don't mean the team you're using for this project. So the evil waiter steam. That's a different thing. What I mean here is the actual team who implement the project place of these recommendations. What? So you have those final results. You have already assessed different evaluations on, and you need to discuss this with a team including the positive aspects, which is really important to start with, especially because you'll be talking about those who created up or the website and you don't want to start to negative. It is easy to forget these because you're Ristic. Evaluation is a method to spot the issues, but it's important to understand your ideals and also take in consideration this positive aspects to keep it. Even if there's a case of redesign, it is also important to assess priority. Take this opportunity to review the security of the civility problems which ones are more important and how easy our deutsche implements. So that way you're able to make an action plan with actual priority off the different things you want, implements and improve. And then you have the final report where you will be writing all your findings and all the conclusions. There are many important things we want to include in this final reports the executive summary off course, because we want to talk about the main findings and methodology for those who don't have time to go through the whole report, which can be quite long, we should us include a short introduction with the main goal of devaluation and the motivation. So why did we do this evaluation in first place? What is the objective? We need to explain the methodology, the target audience and the user profiles which would, based on we need to state the experts, evaluators will have been involved. We need to state which heuristics have been used as well and the severity rating scale. And, like I said before a least off positive findings, it's so important. We have to remember we're talking two human beings who have created his website or these up , and we don't need to be harsh. So not only we want to consider these people's feelings, but we also want to make note of this positive findings so we can keep these things. And then the mine think which is the least off the actual issues. So we have a screenshot we have the heuristic violated the severity rating and very important a recommendation for each of these issues. So what can we do to solve these issues into cruise? So I want you to think about this, and I want you to start doing your final report for your project. If you go to the class project info, you can see I've left there some links to other reports off other heuristic evaluations. So go have a look because it will help you. And when you're ready, you can do your own. So that said, I really hope you have enjoyed thes class, and I do hope it may be more motivated to think about his ability. Think about the issues that you can improve easily. So I would love for you to engage with the community and see what everyone else is doing and how everyone else use going about the project or even bring people you know so they can do this project with you on talk more about this. You can also connect to me via social media on dive left, mild ings up in my profile on, I would be really happy to hear from you, so that seats until next time.