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Heuristic evaluation aka Usability Inspection. and guidelines. Heuristic evaluation. Developed Jacob Nielsen in the early 1990s. Based on heuristics distilled from an empirical analysis of 249 usability problems. These heuristics have been revised for current technology.

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heuristic evaluation
Heuristic evaluation

Developed Jacob Nielsen in the early 1990s.

Based on heuristics distilled from an empirical analysis of 249 usability problems.

These heuristics have been revised for current technology.

Heuristics being developed for mobile devices, wearables, virtual worlds, etc.

Design guidelines form a basis for developing heuristics.

2

nielsen s original heuristics
Nielsen’s original heuristics

Visibility of system status.

Match between system and 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, recover from errors.

Help and documentation.

http://www.nngroup.com/articles/ten-usability-heuristics/

3

slide4

Visibility of system status The system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within reasonable time.  

  • Match between system and the real world The system should speak the users' language, with words, phrases and concepts familiar to the user, rather than system-oriented terms. Follow real-world conventions, making information appear in a natural and logical order.  
  • User control and freedom Users often choose system functions by mistake and will need a clearly marked "emergency exit" to leave the unwanted state without having to go through an extended dialogue. Support undo and redo.  
  • Consistency and standards Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. Follow platform conventions.  
  • Error prevention Even better than good error messages is a careful design which prevents a problem from occurring in the first place. Either eliminate error-prone conditions or check for them and present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action.  
slide5

Recognition rather than recall Minimize the user's memory load by making objects, actions, and options visible. The user should not have to remember information from one part of the dialogue to another. Instructions for use of the system should be visible or easily retrievable whenever appropriate.  

  • Flexibility and efficiency of use Accelerators -- unseen by the novice user -- may often speed up the interaction for the expert user such that the system can cater to both inexperienced and experienced users. Allow users to tailor frequent actions.  
  • Aesthetic and minimalist design Dialogues should not contain information which is irrelevant or rarely needed. Every extra unit of information in a dialogue competes with the relevant units of information and diminishes their relative visibility.  
  • Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors Error messages should be expressed in plain language (no codes), precisely indicate the problem, and constructively suggest a solution.  
  • Help and documentation Even though it is better if the system can be used without documentation, it may be necessary to provide help and documentation. Any such information should be easy to search, focused on the user's task, list concrete steps to be carried out, and not be too large.
activity identify potential trade offs
Activity: Identify potential trade-offs

Visibility of system status.

Match between system and 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, recover from errors.

Help and documentation.

6

slide7

What does this graph tell you?

Shows which evaluators found which usability problems in HEof a banking system.

Each row is an evaluator (n=19) and each column is a flaw (n=16)

Black squares show where evaluator found the problem.

The rows are sorted with most successful evaluators at the bottom.

The columns are sorted with easiest to find problems at right.

http://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-to-conduct-a-heuristic-evaluation/

discount evaluation
Discount evaluation

Heuristic evaluation is referred to as discount evaluation when 5 evaluators are used.

Empirical evidence suggests that on average 5 evaluators identify 75-80% of usability problems.

8

main stages of heuristic evaluation
Main stages of heuristic evaluation

Preliminaries

Agreed set of heuristics to use;

Programming team member overviews system;

And team member is available throughout;

Set of tasks;

Evaluation:

Each expert works independently through the UI;

Team member records problems, so expert can simply state them (single person works well, so they bring all details together);

Also answers any questions (eg expert gets stuck, cannot find how to do a task, may need help with domain expertise aspects)

Multiple passes (overview, then detailed)

Results in a set of identified failures to match the heuristics (part of interface, violated heuristic)

Concluding summary

Summarise all the flaws

Rate these in terms of severity

10

critical to success
Critical to success
  • Set of heurstics
  • Set of tasks
  • Prototype interface
  • Experts!!!
advantages and problems
Advantages and problems

Few ethical & practical issues to consider because users not involved.

Can be difficult & expensive to find experts.

Best experts have knowledge of application domain & users.

Best if experts are not the designers.T

Biggest problems:

Important problems may get missed;

Many trivial problems are often identified;

Experts have biases;

May encourage tinkering with the interface detailed in the identified problems.

12

about heuristics

About heuristics

There are many options

The link between design and evaluation

goals of info3315
Goals of INFO3315

Learn about the range of techniques to:

Understand users

Establish requirements

Brainstorm alternatives creatively

Prototyping alternative

Evaluate these

Reflect on strengths and weaknesses of prototypes

Learn how to actually use a core set of these techniques

high level heuristics

High level heuristics

Harder for novices to use effectively

nielsen s original heuristics1
Nielsen’s original heuristics

Visibility of system status.

Match between system and 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, recover from errors.

Help and documentation.

http://www.nngroup.com/articles/ten-usability-heuristics/

16

ben shneiderman s golden rules for dialogue
Ben Shneiderman's golden rules for dialogue
  • Consistency
    • eg location of “quit”
  • short cuts for frequent users
  • informative feedback
    • HTTP Error 404 !!!
  • closure in dialogues
    • (ie clear when action is complete)
  • simple error handling
  • easy reversal of actions
    • undo
  • support internal locus of control
    • Users should feel in control
  • reduce short term memory load
bruce togazzini
Bruce Togazzini
  • http://www.asktog.com/basics/firstPrinciples.html
  • Anticipation
  • Autonomy
  • Color Blindness
  • Consistency
  • Defaults
  • Efficiency of the User
  • Explorable Interfaces
  • Fitts' Law
  • Human Interface Objects
  • Latency Reduction
  • Learnability
  • Metaphors, Use of
  • Protect Users' Work
  • Readability
  • Track State
  • Visible Navigation
many other guidelines
Many other guidelines
  • Company specific
  • Device/OS specific
    • eghttps://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/userexperience/conceptual/applehiguidelines/Windows/Windows.html
  • ISO, ANSI Standards
  • National Standards
  • Military Standards
  • Accessibility Standards
m ore specialised heuristics

More specialised heuristics

Narrower than all interaction

(eg door opener)

heuristics for websites focus on key criteria budd 2007
Heuristics for websites focus on key criteria (Budd, 2007)

Clarity

Minimize unnecessary complexity & cognitive load

Provide users with context

Promote positive & pleasurable user experience

21

os x example
OS X Example
  • “mental model your users have should infuse the design … support the user’s mental model by striving to incorporate the following characteristics
  • Familiarity
  • Simplicity
  • Availability (functionality available)
  • Discoverability
  • https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/userexperience/conceptual/applehiguidelines/Intro/Intro.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP30000894-TP6 (visited 2013)
drill down
Drill down
  • Class activity on heuristic calling for Simplicity
  • What were things you discovered in your Think-Aloud usability evaluations where you discovered that you had failed to do this.
fine grained guidelines

Fine-grained guidelines

Easier for less experienced evaluators

text guidelines
Text guidelines
  • Avoid negatives (sic)
  • Short simple sentences.
  • Active voice (not passive).
  • AVOID UPPER CASE
  • Note: CW Q2 relates to these
tabletop heuristics
Tabletop heuristics
  • General heuristics
    • Shneiderman (1992) Nielsen (1994)
  • Groupware
    • Baker et al. (2002)
  • Large screen Information Exhibits
    • Somervell et al. (2003) Czerwinski et al. (2006)

T. Apted,A. Collins, and J. Kay. Heuristics to support design of new software for interaction at tabletops. In CHI ’09 Workshop on Multitouch and Surface Computing, 2009.

slide27

1. Design independently of table size

(e.g. easily resize interface elements)

2. Support reorientation

(support users working at any table position)

3. Consider human reach

(avoid unreachable, fixed interface elements)

4. Use large selection points

(support large input cursors/fingers)

5. Manage interface clutter

(quick removal/hiding of information; consider multiple users)

6. Use table space efficiently

(avoid modal behaviour, support private/group spaces)

7. Support private/group interaction

(usable as a private or shared resource)

how would one validate a set of heuristics

How would one validate a set of heuristics?

And how would you know about this?

how to select appropriate heuristics

How to select appropriate heuristics?

Context

Validity

Usability (broad versus detailed)

summary of he
Summary of HE
  • No users needed
  • Heuristics needed
  • Experts needed (NOT the designers…)
  • Relatively cheap