Rita M.

UX Research Newbie



Heuristic Evaluation: HipChat


  • The objective of this study was to assess the usability of the Hipchat website through a heuristic evaluation
  • I used Nielsen Usability Heuristics to evaluate the website because they are short and concise
  • The evaluation involved:
  • Identifying areas of the site having potential usability issues and providing recommendations to alleviate the potential issues
  • Begin evaluation of the site, in preparation for a usability study to identify key areas and establish a task list

Product Evaluated

  • Hipchat is a is a Web service for internal/private chat and instant messaging
  • The primary features of HipChat are:
  • chat rooms
  • one-on-one messaging
  • searchable chat history
  • image and file sharing
  • SMS messaging for one-on-one conversations.
  • Hipchat is available as a mobile client, a web client and a downloadable native application


  • This was a tasked-based heuristic evaluation, with the goal of assessing the usability of the HipChat web app
  • Prior to the evaluation, I created a dummy account and two chat rooms
  • A set of tasks were established, and observations were based on the my interaction with the site while performing these tasks.

Evaluation and Recommendations

Entry Page



  • Good display of hierarchical information
  • Consistent use of link styles


Two chat rooms were created. However, only one chat room appears in the topmost navigation bar, making the user wonder what happened to the other chat room


To ensure consistency, do not duplicate information that can be found elsewhere. Remove the chat room name at the topmost navigation bar.

Web App Page



  • Access available to other parts of the website


  • Confusion regarding where one is: Research2016 appears twice
  • Seems to lack organization
  • Lack of hierarchy of information unlike the Home Page
  • Difficult to focus on one area


  • Improve organization of content

Web Page - Chat Room



  • Access available to other parts of the website


  • Chat interface lacks an edit icon to correct errors made by the users. User has to rewrite the entire message.


  • Add an edit button

Web Page App- Attaching Files



  • Access available to other parts of the website


  • File icon is likely to confuse users. It is not evident that users can attach files by clicking this icon.


  • Add a drop menu with an “Attach Files” button

Next Steps

Conduct a HipChat usability study with 5 participarts


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