Usability heuristics

September 30, 2010


Does the wireframe …
  1. Ease of use / usability / navigation    – for specific interactions and overall site experience
  2. Confirm understandings and check for misunderstandings of information
  3. Avoiding Incompleteness and overcompleteness of information –  getting the information that is needed at the right time versus not being overloaded with content that they don’t need.
  4. Match expectations – giving users the right information in the right form/tone at the right time. Exceed expectations, if done well, can give a positive experience.
  5. Avoid annoyances (discomfort, uncertainty, confusion) –  any tasks for which users have to think too long, look around frantically on the site or page, or hesitate to long
  6. Meet the needs – allow users to accomplish their  goals and tasks

Visual design

  • Images should not distract from the main call-to-action.
  • Images should not look as if they’re clickable if they are not
  • The call-to-action should stand out using contrast (see Call to Action book, page 92)
Other articles
read my Wireframe checklist post    (Pros and Cons of different and outdated methods)
Heuristics ++
Research-based Web guidelines(PDF) and online TIP
Yale   uses 25-point list and Nielsen  Usability Checklist  (fix before user testing)
See my UX/Web design Guidelines PPT

Axure versus Balsamiq prototyping tools

September 8, 2010

Balsamiq is simple and easy to use. Once you figure out how to install it, there are many ready-to-use UI elements available as a standard part of the software. There is also an Atlatissan Wiki plug-in available for everyone (even managers) to use.

Axure is more flexible and powerful. Advanced UI elements are also available but as separate downloads. What is great and pretty unique about Axure is that you can make interactive prototypes to demonstrate all kinds of functionality. You can them send these to your clients – all they need is Internet Explorer to simply click through your (multi-page) demo. I also like its ability to produce Word docs and detailed functional specifications – very useful!