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Colombo & Pasch's

Colombo & Pasch's

Heuristics for an Optimal User Experience

1. Clear Goals
1. Clear Goals
1. Clear Goals

The purpose of the system should be clear. The system has to fulfill, or even better exceed, user's expectations.

The purpose of the system should be clear. The system has to fulfill, or even better exceed, user's expectations.

The purpose of the system should be clear. The system has to fulfill, or even better exceed, user's expectations.

1.1. The system should be designed with the right affordances
1.1. The system should be designed with the right affordances
1.1. The system should be designed with the right affordances

The system should be designed with the right affordances to explicitly tell users its purpose(s).

The system should be designed with the right affordances to explicitly tell users its purpose(s).

The system should be designed with the right affordances to explicitly tell users its purpose(s).

1.2. The system must be functional
1.2. The system must be functional
1.2. The system must be functional

The system must be functional, meaning that it must fulfill the purposes highlighted by the affordances and meet users’ expectations.

The system must be functional, meaning that it must fulfill the purposes highlighted by the affordances and meet users’ expectations.

The system must be functional, meaning that it must fulfill the purposes highlighted by the affordances and meet users’ expectations.

1.3. Additional features are welcome
1.3. Additional features are welcome
1.3. Additional features are welcome

Additional features (other than the core ones) are welcome, even better if they foresee possible alternative uses of the system: a product that is actually exceeding users’ expectations is often a predictor of a good user experience.

Additional features (other than the core ones) are welcome, even better if they foresee possible alternative uses of the system: a product that is actually exceeding users’ expectations is often a predictor of a good user experience.

Additional features (other than the core ones) are welcome, even better if they foresee possible alternative uses of the system: a product that is actually exceeding users’ expectations is often a predictor of a good user experience.

2. Appropriate Feedback
2. Appropriate Feedback
2. Appropriate Feedback

The user-system interaction should be sustained through steady, prompt and unobtrusive feedback.

The user-system interaction should be sustained through steady, prompt and unobtrusive feedback.

The user-system interaction should be sustained through steady, prompt and unobtrusive feedback.

2.1. The system should provide steady and prompt feedback
2.1. The system should provide steady and prompt feedback
2.1. The system should provide steady and prompt feedback
2.2. The feedback should be as less obtrusive as possible
2.2. The feedback should be as less obtrusive as possible
2.2. The feedback should be as less obtrusive as possible
2.3. Obtrusiveness of feedback should be based on priority
2.3. Obtrusiveness of feedback should be based on priority
2.3. Obtrusiveness of feedback should be based on priority

The “obtrusiveness” of the feedback should be proportional to the level of priority (to establish a sort of hierarchy).

The “obtrusiveness” of the feedback should be proportional to the level of priority (to establish a sort of hierarchy).

The “obtrusiveness” of the feedback should be proportional to the level of priority (to establish a sort of hierarchy).

3. Focused Concentration
3. Focused Concentration
3. Focused Concentration

The system should be simple and intuitive in its use; it should facilitate user concentration on the task at hand by providing meaningful feedback and avoiding non-relevant distractions.

The system should be simple and intuitive in its use; it should facilitate user concentration on the task at hand by providing meaningful feedback and avoiding non-relevant distractions.

The system should be simple and intuitive in its use; it should facilitate user concentration on the task at hand by providing meaningful feedback and avoiding non-relevant distractions.

3.1. The system must be usable
3.1. The system must be usable
3.1. The system must be usable
3.2. The system should provide feedback
3.2. The system should provide feedback
3.2. The system should provide feedback

The system should provide feedback that is relevant and meaningful for the task at hand.

The system should provide feedback that is relevant and meaningful for the task at hand.

The system should provide feedback that is relevant and meaningful for the task at hand.

3.3. The system should avoid distractions
3.3. The system should avoid distractions
3.3. The system should avoid distractions

The system should avoid distractions, namely stimuli that are not relevant for the task at hand.

The system should avoid distractions, namely stimuli that are not relevant for the task at hand.

The system should avoid distractions, namely stimuli that are not relevant for the task at hand.

4. Ergonomical Transparency
4. Ergonomical Transparency
4. Ergonomical Transparency

The system should almost disappear, be transparent, while used to allow users to focus on the activity and to engage in the experience.

The system should almost disappear, be transparent, while used to allow users to focus on the activity and to engage in the experience.

The system should almost disappear, be transparent, while used to allow users to focus on the activity and to engage in the experience.

4.1. The system should be ergonomic
4.1. The system should be ergonomic
4.1. The system should be ergonomic

The system should be ergonomic, it should fit users’ skills and activity purposes.

The system should be ergonomic, it should fit users’ skills and activity purposes.

The system should be ergonomic, it should fit users’ skills and activity purposes.

4.2. The system behavior should be consistent and predictable
4.2. The system behavior should be consistent and predictable
4.2. The system behavior should be consistent and predictable
4.3. The system should be designed with aesthetic integrity
4.3. The system should be designed with aesthetic integrity
4.3. The system should be designed with aesthetic integrity

The system should be designed with aesthetic integrity, in other words the design should be visually appealing and common principles of good design should be followed: it should also provide a graceful flow, namely the interaction between users and the system should be smooth and graceful.

The system should be designed with aesthetic integrity, in other words the design should be visually appealing and common principles of good design should be followed: it should also provide a graceful flow, namely the interaction between users and the system should be smooth and graceful.

The system should be designed with aesthetic integrity, in other words the design should be visually appealing and common principles of good design should be followed: it should also provide a graceful flow, namely the interaction between users and the system should be smooth and graceful.

5. Technology Appropriation
5. Technology Appropriation
5. Technology Appropriation

Users should be allowed to customize and manipulate the system according to their peculiarities and preferences, to feel familiar with the system, as if the system was tailored specifically for them.

Users should be allowed to customize and manipulate the system according to their peculiarities and preferences, to feel familiar with the system, as if the system was tailored specifically for them.

Users should be allowed to customize and manipulate the system according to their peculiarities and preferences, to feel familiar with the system, as if the system was tailored specifically for them.

5.1 The system should be customizable and manipulable
5.1 The system should be customizable and manipulable
5.1 The system should be customizable and manipulable

The system should be, to a certain extent, customizable and manipulable by users in both its appearance and its functionality.

The system should be, to a certain extent, customizable and manipulable by users in both its appearance and its functionality.

The system should be, to a certain extent, customizable and manipulable by users in both its appearance and its functionality.

5.2. The customization process should be easily accessible
5.2. The customization process should be easily accessible
5.2. The customization process should be easily accessible

The customization process should be easily accessible, and with a predictable outcome.

The customization process should be easily accessible, and with a predictable outcome.

The customization process should be easily accessible, and with a predictable outcome.

5.3. Provide users with multiple choices
5.3. Provide users with multiple choices
5.3. Provide users with multiple choices

Provide users with multiple choices for interacting with the system (doing the same activity in many different ways).

Provide users with multiple choices for interacting with the system (doing the same activity in many different ways).

Provide users with multiple choices for interacting with the system (doing the same activity in many different ways).

6. Challenges/Skills Balance
6. Challenges/Skills Balance
6. Challenges/Skills Balance

The system should adapt to the user in that it should be designed to dynamically provide adequate challenges for both novice, average and experienced users.

The system should adapt to the user in that it should be designed to dynamically provide adequate challenges for both novice, average and experienced users.

The system should adapt to the user in that it should be designed to dynamically provide adequate challenges for both novice, average and experienced users.

6.1. The system should have a steep learning curve
6.1. The system should have a steep learning curve
6.1. The system should have a steep learning curve

The system should have a steep learning curve to help novice users.

The system should have a steep learning curve to help novice users.

The system should have a steep learning curve to help novice users.

6.2. The system should encourage users to explore it
6.2. The system should encourage users to explore it
6.2. The system should encourage users to explore it

The system should encourage users to explore it and to discover all the features and opportunities for interaction.

The system should encourage users to explore it and to discover all the features and opportunities for interaction.

The system should encourage users to explore it and to discover all the features and opportunities for interaction.

6.3. The system should provide advanced features
6.3. The system should provide advanced features
6.3. The system should provide advanced features

The system should provide advanced features or extra functions (e.g. accelerators, macros, advanced settings, etc.) and make them accessible for intermediate/advanced users.

The system should provide advanced features or extra functions (e.g. accelerators, macros, advanced settings, etc.) and make them accessible for intermediate/advanced users.

The system should provide advanced features or extra functions (e.g. accelerators, macros, advanced settings, etc.) and make them accessible for intermediate/advanced users.

7. Potential Control
7. Potential Control
7. Potential Control

The system should make users feel “free” of constraints and, at the same time, in control of the experience.

The system should make users feel “free” of constraints and, at the same time, in control of the experience.

The system should make users feel “free” of constraints and, at the same time, in control of the experience.

7.1. The system should help users to improve their skills
7.1. The system should help users to improve their skills
7.1. The system should help users to improve their skills

The system should help users to improve their skills and to reduce the margin of error in performing the activity.

The system should help users to improve their skills and to reduce the margin of error in performing the activity.

The system should help users to improve their skills and to reduce the margin of error in performing the activity.

7.2. The system should not make users feel trapped
7.2. The system should not make users feel trapped
7.2. The system should not make users feel trapped

The system should not make users feel trapped. Avoid (as far as possible) constraining users’ actions, provide them an exit strategy and make the actions easily reversible.

The system should not make users feel trapped. Avoid (as far as possible) constraining users’ actions, provide them an exit strategy and make the actions easily reversible.

The system should not make users feel trapped. Avoid (as far as possible) constraining users’ actions, provide them an exit strategy and make the actions easily reversible.

7.3. Enable or disable automatic processes
7.3. Enable or disable automatic processes
7.3. Enable or disable automatic processes

Users should be always allowed to enable or disable automatic processes or system aids.

Users should be always allowed to enable or disable automatic processes or system aids.

Users should be always allowed to enable or disable automatic processes or system aids.

8. Follow the Rhythm
8. Follow the Rhythm
8. Follow the Rhythm

The pace of the system should adapt to the user and to the rhythm of the experience.

The pace of the system should adapt to the user and to the rhythm of the experience.

The pace of the system should adapt to the user and to the rhythm of the experience.

8.1. The system’s pace should be suitable
8.1. The system’s pace should be suitable
8.1. The system’s pace should be suitable

The system’s pace should be suitable for the activity for which it was designed.

The system’s pace should be suitable for the activity for which it was designed.

The system’s pace should be suitable for the activity for which it was designed.

8.2. The experience should not be interrupted by the system
8.2. The experience should not be interrupted by the system
8.2. The experience should not be interrupted by the system

The experience should not be interrupted by the system but users should be allowed to suspend the interaction and to restart it from the point of achievement he reached.

The experience should not be interrupted by the system but users should be allowed to suspend the interaction and to restart it from the point of achievement he reached.

The experience should not be interrupted by the system but users should be allowed to suspend the interaction and to restart it from the point of achievement he reached.

8.3. The rhythm of the interaction
8.3. The rhythm of the interaction
8.3. The rhythm of the interaction

Users should be allowed to speed up or slow down the rhythm of the interaction.

Users should be allowed to speed up or slow down the rhythm of the interaction.

Users should be allowed to speed up or slow down the rhythm of the interaction.

9. Know Thy User's Motivations
9. Know Thy User's Motivations
9. Know Thy User's Motivations

The system should help users to fulfill the motivations behind its use and to satisfy basic psychological needs.

The system should help users to fulfill the motivations behind its use and to satisfy basic psychological needs.

The system should help users to fulfill the motivations behind its use and to satisfy basic psychological needs.

9.1. The system should be designed by looking at final users
9.1. The system should be designed by looking at final users
9.1. The system should be designed by looking at final users

The system should be designed by looking at final users and the activity they seek to accomplish, this means that you should know them first.

The system should be designed by looking at final users and the activity they seek to accomplish, this means that you should know them first.

The system should be designed by looking at final users and the activity they seek to accomplish, this means that you should know them first.

9.2. The system should be flexible
9.2. The system should be flexible
9.2. The system should be flexible

Knowing all the possible users and activities is impossible, so the system should be flexible in order to adapt to various users for various activities and in different contexts.

Knowing all the possible users and activities is impossible, so the system should be flexible in order to adapt to various users for various activities and in different contexts.

Knowing all the possible users and activities is impossible, so the system should be flexible in order to adapt to various users for various activities and in different contexts.

9.3. The system should satisfy the basic psychological needs
9.3. The system should satisfy the basic psychological needs
9.3. The system should satisfy the basic psychological needs

When applicable, the system should help users to satisfy the three basic psychological needs (in a broad sense): need for competence, autonomy, and relatedness.

When applicable, the system should help users to satisfy the three basic psychological needs (in a broad sense): need for competence, autonomy, and relatedness.

When applicable, the system should help users to satisfy the three basic psychological needs (in a broad sense): need for competence, autonomy, and relatedness.

10. Conservative Innovation
10. Conservative Innovation
10. Conservative Innovation

The system should be innovative (and conservative at the same time).

The system should be innovative (and conservative at the same time).

The system should be innovative (and conservative at the same time).

10.1. The system should provide a certain degree of novelty
10.1. The system should provide a certain degree of novelty
10.1. The system should provide a certain degree of novelty

The system should provide a certain degree of novelty and variety to users.

The system should provide a certain degree of novelty and variety to users.

The system should provide a certain degree of novelty and variety to users.

10.2. The result of a trade off between innovation and tradition
10.2. The result of a trade off between innovation and tradition
10.2. The result of a trade off between innovation and tradition

The system should be the result of a trade off between innovation and tradition, where tradition is meant as consistency with familiar systems and compliance to standards.

The system should be the result of a trade off between innovation and tradition, where tradition is meant as consistency with familiar systems and compliance to standards.

The system should be the result of a trade off between innovation and tradition, where tradition is meant as consistency with familiar systems and compliance to standards.

10.3. The system should ensure interoperability
10.3. The system should ensure interoperability
10.3. The system should ensure interoperability

The system should ensure interoperability to seamlessly integrate into the existing content.

The system should ensure interoperability to seamlessly integrate into the existing content.

The system should ensure interoperability to seamlessly integrate into the existing content.