What is Heuristic analysis?

Heuristic analysis is one of the most useful UX evaluation techniques. The main reason what makes it so useful is that it provides the opportunity the understand the product at deeper levels. And in terms of the value it provides and the resources it requires, we can call it more efficient than other UX methods.

The word heuresis is Greek and it means to “discover” or “find”. But in this method, Heuristics mean predefined rules which help to find usability issues in the product.

During the analysis, UX experts examine the product interface and judge its compliance with these principles. Each evaluator works alone and goes over the interface multiple times. At length, the evaluators produce reports which are then discussed, the end result is a list of usability problems (and their causes) to be addressed.

In heuristic evaluation, the UX experts usually add sets of general design principles with additional heuristics that are compatible with the product category and characteristics, as necessary. Using about five evaluators is generally recommended because this is the number that has been proven to discover approximately 75% of all usability issues. But this number may vary depending on the requirements of a project.

The general recommendation is to implement the heuristic analysis in an early phase of the development cycle, where the interface is presented in a not too highly defined prototype.

How to do it?

At first, you’ll definitely need an on-board process about the details of the product. You should have an approach that uncompromisingly meets the requirements of the users, so you have to get to know the features and user tasks very thoroughly.

The process

  • Step 1: Choose the Heuristic system that you will use for the analysis
  • Step 2: Pick the UX experts and prove them with as much information about the product as possible
  • Step 3: Define and classify the usability issues in a thorough and consistent manner
  • Step 4: Organize and document the issues
  • Step 5: Compare the different evaluations of the different UX experts