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Heuristic Evaluation in Reverse for UX Improvement


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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.

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Heuristic Evaluation in Reverse for UX Improvement

  1. 1. Heuristic Evaluation in Reverse for UX Improvement Bohyun Kim Associate Director for Library Applications and Knowledge Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore Health Sciences & Human Services Library @bohyunkim (Twitter) | (Website) ACRL MD – MILEX Fall Program, Nov. 14, 2014 #acrlmdmilix14
  2. 2. 1. Usability, UX, UCD
  3. 3. Usability Usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use. Usability - 5 Quality components: Learnability Efficiency Memorability Errors Satisfaction - Source: Jakob Nielsen, “Usability 101: Introduction to Usability”
  4. 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 of User Experience” introduction-to-usability/ Task vs. Experience
  5. 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 design,” ign.html UCD Process : user-centred-design-alpha-beta
  6. 6. 2. Why Usability, UX, UCD?
  7. 7. Image from Flickr by the CC License:
  8. 8. Because… 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 sometimes conflict. There is no one perfect design. Still, most of the time, UX/Usability interests of businesses and customers are closely aligned.
  9. 9. 3. Problem & Proposal
  10. 10. Usability Testing Methods Great but time-and-labor intensive! Expert Review / Heuristic Evaluation Survey / Questionnaire Focus Group Interviews Usability Testing Card Sorting User Personas Journey Map Contextual Inquiry
  11. 11. How Can We Make Immediate UX Improvement? Image from Flickr by the CC License:
  12. 12. 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 scenarios. “ – Source: “Expert reviews,” user-centred-design/user-research/expert-review. html
  13. 13. 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 components.
  14. 14. 4. Thinking from a User’s Perspective like a UX Expert
  15. 15. Too Many Options Streamline
  16. 16. Many Important Things Be Selective
  17. 17. 5. Conducting Heuristic Evaluation in Reverse
  18. 18. (a) Scratch Your Itch - Web Start with your own pain points. Example: No redirect between with and without ‘www.’
  19. 19. 5. Error Prevention 9. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors interface-design
  20. 20. Try
  21. 21. (a’) Findability of the Library Building Analogous case to (a) in terms of the library’s physical space: 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 lot?
  22. 22. Image from Flickr by the CC License:
  23. 23. Image from Flickr by the CC License:
  24. 24. v Image from Flickr by the CC License:
  25. 25. (b) Scratch Your Itch - Web No redirect between with and without ‘www.’ Position of the OK/Cancel Button (ILLiad, PeopleSoft)
  26. 26. “According to usability studies OK buttons work best on the right rather than left.”
  27. 27. Image from Flickr by the CC License:
  28. 28. ‘Uber’ App Password Reset Screen
  29. 29. (b’) Analogous Example?
  30. 30. Counter-intuitive Follow the Convention Be Predictable
  31. 31. (c) Scratch Your Itch - Web No redirect between with and without ‘www.’ Location of the OK/Cancel Button (ILLiad, PeopleSoft) Locating ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Help’
  32. 32.
  33. 33.
  34. 34. 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 the homepage.” - Source: Jakob Nielsen, “113 Design Guidelines for Homepage Usability design-guidelines-homepage-usability/
  35. 35. (c’) Where to Find ‘HELP’ - Source: Dacular Branch Library, Georgia
  36. 36. Source - Santa Rosa Junior College Library
  37. 37. Locating Cordelia py-world-octopus-day
  38. 38. “Look for the ‘Feeding’ Section”
  39. 39. Not Enough Information Jargon Cryptic Message Clear & To The Point
  40. 40. 5. Strategies
  41. 41. 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 discussion 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.
  42. 42. Usability Guidelines Top 10 Guidelines for Homepage Usability 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design 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:
  43. 43. Questions? Slides: Twitter @bohyunkim Website/Blog