Heuristic EvaluationMethod

Heuristic evaluation is a process where experts use rules of thumb to measure the usability of user interfaces in independent walkthroughs and report issues. Evaluators use established heuristics (rules of thumb) to reveal insight that can help design teams enhance product usability from early in development.

A heuristic evaluation should not replace usability testing. Although the heuristics relate to criteria that affect a site’s usability, the issues identified in a heuristic evaluation are not be as specific those found in a usability test with actual users.

Interaction Design Foundation


  1. Recruit a group of three to five people familiar with evaluation methods. These people are not necessarily designers, but are familiar with common usability best practices. They are usually not users.
  2. Ask each person to individually create a list of “heuristics” or general usability best practices.
  3. Ask each person to evaluate the website against their list and write down possible problems.
  4. After individual evaluations, gather people to discuss what they found and prioritize potential problems.

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