I found the HE experience useful because I was able to familiarize myself with Nielsen’s principals more throughly by finding specific, real examples of how they were violated and upheld. I also found the experience interesting because the principals seemed very much tailored to software interfaces, and I felt that there could be special principals added for website evaluations. One example I kept thinking about was image size and quality, and how boring or interesting a site was. For example, you can have a site that doesn’t violate many heuristic rules, but that doesn’t invite or retain users because of aesthetic or engagement reasons. It is also possible that “driving users away from the site due to poor aesthetics or boring content” could be considered an error and fall under “Prevent Errors.”
When reviewing the UARs for the Erickson School website, I was surprised how many issues I flagged as major usability issues that I also considered very easy to fix. I’m curious if other students found this to be true for their own websites, and if it is because most of us are assessing fairly simple sites. Many of the issues found for the Erickson School site were Consistency violations that impacted readability and navigation, Prevent Errors and Minimize Users’ Memory Load violations that are likely to confuse users about where to find information on the site, or to help them navigate it more easily. Some positive findings were a consistent use of colors, and useful navigation feedback.