1. Does it have legs?
Information Architecture Heuristics for Interaction Designers!
presented by: !
2. What do you want in a critique?!
<Type> Designers: want to spark Non Designers: want a !
new insights when reviewing their healthy and non opinion-driven
work 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 on
avoid critiquing ! what feedback to give and when!
3. 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 itʼs own?!
A good place to start when answering these questions is
Evaluating it against heuristic principles.!
4. “rules of thumb”!
What is a heuristic?!
“intuitive judgments”! “common sense”!
5. Case Studies! Patterns &
What is NOT a heuristic?!
6. We use heuristics to…!
• Evaluate the strength and quality of what is
currently offered to users!
• Facilitate critique during planning, design and
• Predict the effectiveness of a potential solution!
11. 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
13. #1 Is it Findable?
q Can users easily locate that which they
are seeking? !
q How is ﬁndability affected across
channels and devices?!
q Are there multiple ways available to
q How do external and internal search
engines “see” what is provided?!
q Is information formatted with results in
q What is provided to make the delivered
results more useful?
15. #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?! worldʼs population has
q How resilient and consistent is it a disability. !
when used via “other” channels? ! The internet is a public
q Does it meet the levels of place. Itʼs like building a
ramp to your building, or
accessibility compliance to be refusing to. !
considerate of those users with !
17. #3 Is it Clear?
q Is it easy to understand?!
q Is the target demographicsʼ grade
and reading level being considered?!
q Is the path to task completion
obvious and free of distraction?!
q Would a user ﬁnd it easy to describe?!
18. 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 doesnʼt 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.!
20. #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?!
22. #5 Is it Useful?
q Is it usable? Are users able to
complete the tasks that they set out
to without massive frustration or
q Does it serve new users as well as
loyal users in ways that satisfy their
q Are there a few navigation options
that lead where users may want to
go next? Are they clearly labeled?!
24. #6 Is it Credible?
q Is the design appropriate to the
context of use and audience?!
q Is your content updated in a timely
q Do you use restraint with promotional
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
26. #7 Is it Controllable?
q Are tasks and information a user
would reasonably want to
q How well are errors anticipated and
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
q Are exits and other important
controls clearly marked?!
28. #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?!
30. #9 Is it Learnable?
q Can it be grasped quickly?!
q What is offered to ease the more
q Is it memorable?!
q Is it easy to recount?!
q Does it behave consistently enough to be
32. #10 Is it Delightful?
q What are your differentiators from
other similar experiences or
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
q What can you take that is now
ordinary and make extraordinary?!
34. How to Implement Heuristics
where 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
35. thank you
• For listening!
• For caring!
• For making the internet a better place!