Nielsen and Molich (1990) introduced a usability inspection method known as heuristic evaluation. This method is based on the premise that there are certain characteristics that a usable system should have, and evaluators are tasked with analyzing a design to determine if it meets these criteria.
Heuristic evaluation involves a group of evaluators reviewing a design and identifying usability issues based on a set of guidelines or heuristics. Nielsen (1993) proposed a set of nine heuristics, which include being consistent, providing feedback, clearly marked exits, shortcuts, good error messages, and preventing errors.
The nine heuristics serve as a framework for evaluating the usability of a design, and they can be used to identify potential problems or areas for improvement. For example, if a design is not consistent in its layout or terminology, it may confuse users and make it difficult to complete tasks efficiently. Providing clear feedback and error messages can help users understand what they need to do to correct mistakes and complete tasks successfully.
Overall, heuristic evaluation is a useful method for evaluating the usability of a design and identifying potential issues. By following a set of heuristics, evaluators can provide valuable feedback to designers and help create designs that are intuitive and easy to use.
Encyclopedia of Human Computer Interaction
edited by Ghaoui, Claude Page 45