2 Nielsen’s Heuristics

There are many different variations of heuristics.

Nielsen’s Heuristics are ten heuristics that are commonly used. They were designed by Jakob Nielsen in 1994.

1. Visibility of System Status

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

image here

2. Match between system and the real world

The system should speak the user’s 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.

image here

3. 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.

image here

4. Consistency and standards

Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. Follow platform conventions.

image here

5. 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.

image here

6. 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.

image here

7. 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.

image here

8. 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.

image here

9. 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.

image here

10. 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.

image here

Questions

This website has good design in that the user can see the input data and the results at the same time. (In this case, this means we can see results are for a pregnant woman aged 19-50 years.)

image here

The number of one Nielsen Heuristic that best describes this good aspect of the design is .

Consider the interface below, which shows part of the COMP5427 assessment information. It shows details of a group assignment. There is a small red icon just after the word, Assignment.

Under this, at the bottom of the figure, there is a legend which explains that this red icon indicates a group assignment. In addition, the user can mouse over the ? to see a longer explanation.

image here

This legend, with its explanation, is an example of good design.

The number of one Nielsen Heuristic that best describes this good aspect of the design is .

The text of the Nielsen Heuristic that best describes this good aspect of the design is .

The red icon for group work depicts three people.

The number of one Nielsen Heuristic that best describes this good aspect of the design is .

The text of the Nielsen Heuristic that best describes this good aspect of the design is .

At the right of the screen, the interface consistently provides links to the main parts of the page. This screenshot shows this when the user has clicked on the Weekly Schedule link.

image here

This always present navigation is an example of good design.

The number of one Nielsen Heuristic that best describes this good aspect of the design is .

The text of the Nielsen Heuristic that best describes this good aspect of the design is .

Please rate how well you understand this page
Not confident Very confident

[Prev: 1 What is a Heuristic Evaluation?][Next: 3 Severities]