Heuristic evaluation

Significance of experience quality may often be undermined, resulting in missed opportunities for building stronger relationships with users. Perhaps your experience is in need of a good ol’ reconsideration and you’ve set out to find someone to take on this valiant pursuit. Look no further — claim hope all ye who enter here.

Pause for a minute and try to remember (if applicable) what caused the current iteration of your solution to be where it is. Was it perhaps insufficient or invalid architecture considerations; or maybe user expectations were not properly aligned with your objectives? Whatever it is, I certainly hope you did not ignore user feedback regarding their experience with the solution, because that’s what a heuristic evaluation utilizes in order to improve said experience.

Experience assessment

First, a run-through the use cases which carry most impact on your objectives is conducted and evaluated for effectiveness and efficiency. These evaluations may range from brief write-ups with actionable items to detailed plans with extensive data analysis and impact forecasts. The scope may also consider the complete life cycle of the solution-user experience or it may focus on one particular engagement, even a singular interaction may be queried.

remote research of heuristics

Moderated remote research session.

Identified actions are then appraised against stated goals and a research plan is integrated in appropriate processes considering the future development of the solution. However, no specific tactics are identified for accomplishing these efforts. We just know what needs to happen. As for how, we determine that by gathering feedback.

Our action may be to determine how satisfied the users are with a particular feature or what their opinion is on incorporating new or changing existing capabilities; how to get users to recommend the solution to their friends and also to simply improve our understanding of how the solution is being used.

Quantifiable feedback

Most commonly used for gauging the level of perceived convenience, usability or satisfaction heuristic evaluation may take a form of a simple email to a segmented portion of your list (power users, organic promoters etc.) asking them to rate their experience. Based on appropriate interpretation of findings further and more focused studies will be conducted where doing so is deemed viable.

heuristic evaluation rating scale

Simple rating scale for users to provide feedback on

Alternatively, by using completely searchable user session datasets to capture interactions and provide insight for efficient problem resolution you can detect, quantify, and rationalize sources of user behaviors.

Targeting of impact to value by behavior, dimensional awareness of user intent and visualizations of their interactions (a.k.a. heatmaps etc.), all provide additional layers of considerations for making our solution well informed.

Heuristic evaluation of solution performance and user satisfaction

Tealeaf cxView heuristic dashboards

In more rapid and lower budget life cycles, rather than developing predictive analytic and real time segmentation, purpose of quantifiable research may simply be to identify areas and their potential for engaging users in conducting guided observation research sessions.

Qualitative feedback

While it may seem less direct and practical, concerns and opportunities identified through directly observing users interacting with the solution often yield in higher impact potential. Whether we are bringing the users into a controlled environment, conducting remote research sessions or even utilizing automated solutions to capture feedback, being able to experience the solution as users is invaluable.

Studies may be conducted in any phase of the solution life cycle, from prototyping new features to appraising optimization opportunities. By creating task processes and accompanying questions to help us explore the user experience, determine satisfaction and validate interaction expectations, we gather highly personal impressions of solution performance.

Automated heuristic evaluation feedback gathering

Intercepting idle users to gather process drop-off reasons

Feedback may also be gathered and used to gauge competitive solutions’ experience in order to benchmark comparative offerings and user perceptions of same.

Heuristic evaluation findings

Heuristics provide an assurance that experiences, interactions, performance, interface elements, consistency, content structure etc. are aligned with best practices, standards and above all else user expectations.

Actualization and validation of enhancing the solution through feedback can be done either on an incremental or monumental scale. Highlights and most valuable behavior insights are put against intersecting metric considerations in quality assurance processes and testing road maps.

Stakeholders and teams collaborate in order to synthesize the heuristic evaluation findings into experiences which build stronger relationships with users and induce competitor envy.

 
 

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If you have a project that will benefit from my experience contact me to discuss how I can add value to your team.