Includes the definition, value, usage and history of heuristics as well as 10 principles with starter questions for use in an evaluation. (As presented most recently at Interaction 12 in Dublin)
Text of Information Architecture Heuristics
Does it have legs?Information Architecture Heuristics for
Interaction Designers! ! presented by: ! Abby Covert
What do you want in a critique?! Designers: want to spark Non
Designers: want a !new insights when reviewing their healthy and
non opinion-drivenwork alone or with others.! conversation with
designers.!! !They are trying to avoid: ! They are trying to avoid:
!Blank stares, not knowing where ! Opinions being seen as
rulings,to start, taking coffee breaks to having a lack of
direction onavoid critiquing ! what feedback to give and when!
But when critiquing work: What we really want to know is Does
it have legs? ! Is it stable enough to support the weight of use?!
Will it be effective in execution?! Will it stand on its own?!!A
good place to start when answering these questions is Evaluating it
against heuristic principles.!
rules of thumb! best practices! What is a heuristic?!intuitive
judgments! common sense!
Case Studies! Patterns & Anti-Patterns! What is NOT a
heuristic?! Stencils! Templates!
We use heuristics to! Evaluate the strength and quality of what
is currently offered to users! Facilitate critique during planning,
design and development! Predict the effectiveness of a potential
Existing Sources for Heuristics
Five sources Easy to learn Over Fifty principles Easy to Teach
Lots of overlap Easy to Implement across contexts, teams and
Result: My Proposed 9 Principles from 50! ? 1 wildcard
REMINDERS The rules of heuristic use!1. Put on your user shoes:
Forget where you work and what your job is. !2. Put on your user
goggles: None of these principles matter without understanding the
context of use and who your users are. !3. Say I am not my user:
Never use heuristic review as a replacement for user
#1 FindableAble to belocated.
#1 Is it Findable?q Can users easily locate that which they are
seeking? !q How is ndability affected across channels and
devices?!q Are there multiple ways available to access things?!q
How do external and internal search engines see what is provided?!q
Is information formatted with results in mind? !q What is provided
to make the delivered results more useful?
#2 AccessibleEasilyapproachedand/or entered
#2 Is it Accessible?q Can it be used via all expected Be aware
that upwards of 20% or more of the channels and devices?! worlds
population hasq How resilient and consistent is it a disability. !
! when used via other channels? ! The internet is a publicq Does it
meet the levels of place. Its like building a ramp to your
building, or accessibility compliance to be refusing to. !
considerate of those users with ! ! disabilities*!!!
#3 Is it Clear?q Is it easy to understand?!q Is the target
demographics grade and reading level being considered?!q Is the
path to task completion obvious and free of distraction?!q Would a
user nd it easy to describe?!!!
TOP 3 Clarity Offenses Corporate underpants: When you are
obviously making a navigational decision based on your
organizational structure, not user decision paths.! Inside
Baseball: When you are calling something a term that is unclear to
anyone that doesnt work for your company. !! Weasel Words: When you
are being purposefully unclear in language to avoid making a
promise or decision about process or commitment to a user.!
#4 Is it communicative?q Is the status, location and
permissions of the user obvious?!q How is messaging used
throughout? Is messaging effective for the tasks and contexts being
supported?!q Does the navigation and messaging help establish a
sense of place that is consistent and orienting across channels,
contexts and tasks?!!
#5 UsefulCapable ofproducing thedesired orintended result
#5 Is it Useful?q Is it usable? Are users able to complete the
tasks that they set out to without massive frustration or
abandon?!q Does it serve new users as well as loyal users in ways
that satisfy their needs uniquely?!q Are there a few navigation
options that lead where users may want to go next? Are they clearly
#6 CredibleWorthy ofconfidence,reliable
#6 Is it Credible?q Is the design appropriate to the context of
use and audience?!q Is your content updated in a timely manner? !q
Do you use restraint with promotional content?!q Is it easy to
contact a real person?!q Is it easy to verify your credentials?!q
Do you have help/support content where it is needed? Especially
important when asking for sensitive personal data.!
#7 ControllableAble to adjust toa requirement
#7 Is it Controllable?q Are tasks and information a user would
reasonably want to accomplish available?!q How well are errors
anticipated and eliminated?!q When errors do occur, how easily can
a user recover?!q Are features offered to allow the user to tailor
information or functionality to their context?!q Are exits and
other important controls clearly marked?!
#8 ValuableOf great use,service andimportance
#8 Is it Valuable?q Is it desirable to the target user? !q Does
it maintain conformity with expectations throughout the interaction
across channels? !q Can a user easily describe the value?!q How is
success being measured? Does it contribute to the bottom line?!q
Does it improve customer satisfaction?!
#9 LearnableTo fix in themind, in thememory
#9 Is it Learnable?q Can it be grasped quickly?!q What is
offered to ease the more complicated processes?!q Is it
memorable?!q Is it easy to recount?!q Does it behave consistently
enough to be predictable?!
#10 Is it Delightful?q What are your differentiators from other
similar experiences or competitors?!q What cross channel ties can
be explored that delight? !q How are user expectations not just met
but exceeded?!q What are you providing that is unexpected?!q What
can you take that is now ordinary and make extraordinary?!
10 Heuristic IA Principles
How to Implement Heuristicswhere you work...q Teach this
content to your organization not just the designers (you can even
use this deck)!q Heuristically review where you are today!q Set
baseline scores and identify principles you want to see improvement
on (and by when)!q Start using this as the consistent language when
critiquing work!q Bring these questions as thought starters to your
thank you For listening! For caring! For making the internet a
better place!! Twitter: @Abby_The_IA! Email:
[email protected]!Brought to you by: The company that
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