Usability Engineering §1.4, §4.9, and §5.11

Heuristic evaluation is used to find design flaws in an interface that negatively impact usability. The severity of these problematic design areas can be rated by taking into account how many users they are likely to impact and how large of an impact they are likely to cause. Heuristic evaluation differs from traditional user testing in that the observer will answer tester/ evaluator questions and give hints on how to use the interface. Some main usability principals (developed by Molich and Nielsen) include: simple and natural dialogue, speak the users’ language, minimize the users’ memory load, consistency, feedback, clearly marked exits, shortcuts, good error messages, prevent errors, and help and documentation.

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