Invited talk for the ACRL MD-MILEX Fall Program, Nov. 14, 2014. Presented by Bohyun Kim, Associate Director for Library Applications and Knowledge Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Health Sciences & Human Services Library.
Heuristic Evaluation in Reverse for UX Improvement
1. Heuristic Evaluation in
Reverse for UX Improvement
Associate Director for Library Applications and Knowledge Systems,
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Health Sciences & Human Services Library
@bohyunkim (Twitter) | http://bohyunkim.net (Website)
ACRL MD – MILEX Fall Program, Nov. 14, 2014 #acrlmdmilix14
Usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy
user interfaces are to use.
Usability - 5 Quality components:
- Source: Jakob Nielsen, “Usability 101: Introduction to Usability”
4. User Experience
"User experience" encompasses all aspects of the end-user's
interaction with the company, its services, and its
products. … It is a broader concept.
- Source: Jakob Nielsen and Don Norman, “The Definition
Task vs. Experience
5. User-Centered Design (UCD)
User-centered design (UCD) is a design philosophy where the
end-user’s needs, wants and limitations are a focus at all stages
within the design process and development lifecycle. Products
developed using the UCD methodology are optimized for end-users,
and emphasis is placed on how the end-users need or
want to use a product, instead of forcing the end user to
change his behavior to use the product.
- Source: Webopedia, “User centered
UCD Process :https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/user-centred-design/
7. Image from Flickr by the CC License:
UX/Usability is one of the most important concerns for
things that have been created for use.
UX/Usability interests of businesses and customers can
There is no one perfect design.
Still, most of the time, UX/Usability interests of businesses
and customers are closely aligned.
11. Usability Testing Methods
Great but time-and-labor intensive!
Expert Review / Heuristic Evaluation
Survey / Questionnaire
12. How Can We Make
Immediate UX Improvement?
Image from Flickr by the CC License: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hisgett/5836924514/
13. Heuristic Evaluation
“Expert reviews – also known as heuristic evaluations –
are low cost usability methods that don’t involve
participation of real end users. An ‘expert’ usability
evaluator can assess a product (or web site) against a
known set of ‘heuristics’, or usability guidelines (best
practice). An alternative approach is to conduct a
‘cognitive walkthrough’ against specific use cases or
– Source: “Expert reviews,”https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/
14. Heuristic Evaluation in Reverse
Instead of the traditional approach, try using the ‘Scratch
Your Itch’ approach as the starting point.
Hence, Heuristic Evaluation ‘In Reverse’
Find the problem/pain point.
Think about a solution from a user’s perspective.
Look for specific guidelines that apply.
Look for specific best practices that apply.
Otherwise, check the general heuristics and usability
25. (a’) Findability of the Library
Analogous case to (a) in terms of the library’s physical
Is the building clearly identified as a library outside?
Are there library signs in the vicinity to point to the building?
Are there signs that visitors can follow to the library parking
26. Image from Flickr by the CC License:
28. Image from Flickr by the CC License:
Image from Flickr by the CC License:
30. (b) Scratch Your Itch - Web
No redirect between with and without ‘www.’
Position of the OK/Cancel Button (ILLiad, PeopleSoft)
33. “According to usability studies OK buttons work best on the right rather than left.”
36. Image from Flickr by the CC License:
44. Contact Us, Help, FAQs
“Include a "Contact Us" link on the homepage that goes to
a page with all contact information for your company. If
you want to encourage site visitors to contact your
company directly instead of seeking information on the
website first, include contact information such as the
primary address, phone number, and email directly on
- Source: Jakob Nielsen, “113 Design Guidelines for
Homepage Usability http://www.nngroup.com/articles/113-
45. (c’) Where to Find ‘HELP’
- Source: Dacular Branch Library,
46. Source - Santa Rosa Junior College Library
51. Conducting H.E.I.R
at Your Library
Heuristic Evaluation /Expert Review
Scratch Your Itches (+ Content/Space Audit)
Use a variety of usability guidelines for ‘Pain Points.’
Combine immediate changes + changes through
Use the result of heuristic evaluation as the guide for
more formal usability testing plan.
Evaluate on an ongoing basis.
Have a maintenance plan for content addition.
52. Usability Guidelines
Top 10 Guidelines for Homepage Usability
10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design
UK Government Service Design Manual
247 Usability Guidelines
Usability Express: Recipes for Libraries
Kupersmith, John. (2012). Library Terms That Users Understand.
UC Berkeley: UC Berkeley Library. Retrieved from: