Walkthrough and Heuristics Evaluations

Why Walkthroughs and Heuristics Evaluations are Needed

They are used to:

  • Identify the specific areas of a product or web site that conform to usability guidelines.
  • Identify the specific areas of a product or web site that could prove troublesome for users.
  • Identify possible reasons for the potential problems based on usability guidelines.
  • Foster consistency, which contributes to users' sense of coherence, helps direct attention to what is important, and reduces distractions caused by irrelevant information.
  • Promote good functionality and navigation.
  • Prepare for laboratory user testing.

When Walkthroughs and Heuristics Evaluations are Used

Walkthrough and Heuristics Evaluations are done primarily in:

Phase 2 (Demonstration and Validation) and Phase 3 (Detailed Description and Construction) of the product development life cycle.

How Walkthroughs and Heuristics Evaluations are Performed

They are done by expert evaluators, trained in usability guidelines:

  • Independently identifying problems and matching each problem to the usability guideline that it violates. When all evaluators are finished, results are combined, and the problems are rated according to severity.
  • Conducting a minimum of two reviews of the interface. The first is a static evaluation to rate each screen separately. The second is a dynamic test that evaluates the flow and navigational concerns across multiple screens.

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