10 Heuristic Laws

This heuristic seems to overlap with the first, but it states a distinct logical principle: every system should have an emergency exit. For example, cancel buttons help you take a step back. They are especially necessary in touchscreen devices where accidental typing is common. If you have ever filled out a poorly crafted form and received an error message for an incorrect address or phone number, you have first-hand experience of the meaning of this heuristic. This heuristic, which is directly related to the user control and freedom heuristic (in terms of providing a way to undo an action or modify information), focuses on detecting errors before they occur. Abstract: Jakob Nielsen`s 10 General Principles for Interaction Design. They are called “heuristics” because they are general rules and not specific usability guidelines. This heuristic is related to the basic UX concept of mental models. Your digital products need to work in a way that is consistent with the other dominant way users understand the world. Not only should you look at how your users` other digital experiences work and collaborate with them in many ways, but you should also find ways to link their experience with your product to their non-digital realities. According to the first heuristic, UX designers need to understand the information that matters to a user and present it in a timely manner.

There are two types of such information: Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D., is a user advocate and director of the Nielsen Norman Group, which he co-founded with Dr. Donald A. Norman (former Vice President of Research at Apple Computer). Dr. Nielsen set up the “discount usability engineering” movement for quick and cost-effective user interface improvements and invented several usability methods, including heuristic evaluation. He holds 79 U.S. patents, mostly on ways to make the Internet easier to use. This heuristic focuses on Jacob`s law: “Users spend most of their time on other websites. This means that users prefer your site to work like any other site they already know.

“If you`ve ever used a keyboard shortcut to accomplish something on your computer system, in Photoshop or anywhere else in your digital world, you know how important that heuristic is. But even though technology is a mystery to you and you`ve never used a keyboard shortcut in your life, flexibility and efficiency of use are an essential measure of usability. Since baymard Institute estimates cart abandonment rates at 68.8%, the payment design is directly related to your bottom line. Nielsen`s 10 heuristic guidelines can help you recover some of that lost revenue. When you optimize the user interface and UX design of your checkout process with the following 10 heuristic commandments, you`ll also see biblical feedback on your profit margins. Have you ever done an evaluation using Nielsen`s heuristic? Do you have any questions? We want to hear your thoughts, so let us know what you think now in the comments section below. Women`s clothing retailer Aritzia perfectly demonstrates this heuristic. Your cart (“Bag”) contains subtle but eye-catching options for deleting or modifying each item. Amazon`s Kindle is a fantastic example of this heuristic. An e-reader is, to some extent, a replacement for bound and published print books and magazines, and the device uses language and images that conform to this mental model.

The content you purchase is stored in your “library,” where the content itself is visually displayed as a collection of book covers. In 2020, we updated this article and added more explanations, examples, and related links. Although we have slightly refined the language of the definitions, the 10 heuristics themselves have remained relevant and unchanged since 1994. If something has remained true for 26 years, it will probably also apply to future generations of user interfaces. But this heuristic doesn`t just apply to lost files. Let`s say you buy sweatpants on Amazon and put a pair of them in your cart (heuristic #2 at work there) to come back later. Jakob Nielsen`s heuristic is probably the most commonly used usability heuristic for UI design. There you go. Nielsen`s 10 usability heuristics – plus one! Whether you`re just looking at your goals, preparing for usability testing, or doing a UX audit, these should be helpful in guiding your observations.

For this reason, there are metrics (called heuristics) that help you understand the true usefulness of your products. In themselves, these heuristics are useful guides. However, when combined with usability testing, these heuristics have the ability to (re)shape your designs and lead to products that are more usable for more people – and more likely to succeed! What do we mean when we talk about a good UX/UI design? Undoubtedly, each high-quality design has its own WOW features to amaze users. However, there is something fundamental in which every good design is rooted – 10 usability heuristics. We strongly believe in the 10 usability heuristics and practice them in agent projects. That`s why we`ve created a series of 10 posters to remind us of the golden standard of user interface and why we hang them in our office – to be inspired every day. For this design heuristic, it`s easier to show than to tell. Let`s use two examples that we have already mentioned. First, let`s make the word “heuristic” less confusing. According to Nielsen, there are 10 universal principles for product design: Really, the most important thing you can do when continuing your work as a UX designer is to test, test, test, and test the usability of your products. These heuristics are simply useful guides to help you find ways to improve your designs and avoid the pitfalls of usability. The latest heuristic ensures that the customer can find what they are looking for and solves any problems they may have with easily accessible help options.

I first developed the heuristic for heuristic evaluation in 1990 in collaboration with Rolf Molich [Molich and Nielsen 1990; Nielsen and Molich, 1990]. Four years later, I refined the heuristic based on a factor analysis of 249 usability problems [Nielsen 1994a] to derive a set of heuristics with maximum explanatory power, resulting in this revised set of heuristics [Nielsen 1994b]. This heuristic doesn`t mean you have to use a flat design – it`s about making sure you focus content and visual design on the essentials. Make sure that the UI visuals support the user`s main goals. If you`ve ever tried using your bank`s mobile app to transfer money, you`ve probably experienced a really great or really terrible example of this heuristic. The N26 banking app, for example, makes it easy to see who you`ve sent money to in the past or set up a new recipient. If you had to set it up every time, you would have to dig up the bank details and re-enter the information each time. When it comes to optimizing ecommerce payment, simple additions like a progress bar or clearly marked steps on each page can fill that initial heuristic. This ensures that your customer knows exactly where they are in the process, what will follow, and how long it will take. Payment optimization is something you should always keep an eye on, even if you don`t have any actual user data to pull. This is where Nielsen`s heuristic commandments come into play – these are the checkout design best practices that apply to any online store, regardless of its specialization.

This heuristic concerns the hierarchy of information. A simple 5-second eye test can reveal a lot about the priorities your actual design communicates. Show the screen you`re designing to someone who hasn`t seen it yet. Give them five seconds to look at it, then remove it and ask them what the screen is about, what it`s for, or what main action you want users to take here. Chances are you`ll find at least a few small ways to improve your designs – simplifying them and prioritizing the main goals of this site. After all, simplicity is often the key to good UX design. Amazon has also perfected this heuristic by creating a one-click purchase option for its checkout process.