H is for Heuristic Analysis

H is for Heuristic Analysis

To deliver a positive experience for your visitors, it’s important to make sure you are resolving usability issues

Synonyms: examining, questioning, searching

From a definition standpoint, we are talking about heuristics in regards to a heuristic analysis, which is a UX activity that is focused on identifying a site’s usability issues so that the problems can be resolved. Solving usability issues helps improve the user’s satisfaction and experience, thus raising the chances of a success, positive sentiment, and loyalty. To perform this analysis, you are typically judging a site’s compliance with usability heuristics.

Common heuristics used in a heuristic analysis include:

  • Visibility of system status
  • User control and freedom
  • Flexibility
  • Error prevention
  • Help and documentation

Why do we care about heuristics and heuristic analysis?

A heuristic analysis is a critical component of UX and helps organizations ensure that a site being architected/designed is responding in a way that makes sense for your site visitors. This ensures that you are reducing friction around primary tasks wherever possible in the user experience.

How do we conduct a heuristic analysis?

To conduct a heuristic analysis, first establish your list of heuristics that you wish to evaluate against. Once you select your evaluators (these should not be your end users – it can be internal team members from different departments as long as they have domain expertise in your industry) make sure to brief them on what they need to review during their evaluation. Once heuristics and expectations are shared, evaluators can go through the site and try to complete actions, recording any problems they encounter from the list. When the evaluation is complete, the team should come back together for a debrief and establish a compete list of problems, discuss them and how to address.

If you want to chat more about heuristic analyses or how to conduct one, fill out the contact form or HMU on twitter @jgrozalsky.

Stay thirsty, friends!

Jill Grozalsky

Author: Jill Grozalsky

As Director of Digital Strategy, Jill helps clients develop and execute strategies rooted in data that provide the best experience for their customers.

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