On the IxDA’s discussion list for interaction designers, Liam Greig posted his “human friendly” version of a heuristics checklist based on Nielson’s originals and the ISO’s ergonomics of human-system interactions.
Here are just the headings and the human-friendly questions, which are useful at a project’s design stage.
A design should be…
- transparent. Ask: Where am I? What are my options?
- responsive. Ask: What is happening right now? Am I getting what I need?
- considerate. Ask: Does this make sense to me?
- supportive. Ask: Can I focus on my task? Do I feel frustrated?
- consistent. Ask: Are my expectations accurate?
- forgiving. Ask: Are mistakes easy to fix? Does the technology blame me for errors?
- guiding. Ask: Do I know where to go for help?
- accommodating. Ask: Am I in control? Am I afraid to make mistakes?
- flexible. Ask: Can I customize my experience?
- intelligent. Ask: Does the technology know who I am? Did the technology remember the way I left things?
Sometimes, at the analysis end of a Five Sketches™ ideation-design session, the design participants see more than one path forward. Use heuristics to frame the discussion of how each path rates, to reach a decision faster.
The heuristics can be about more than just usability. You can also assess coding costs, maintenance costs, code stability…. And, of course, you must also assess potential designs against the project’s requirements.