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Heuristic evaluation is used to identify usability problems. Based on a known set of criteria, a group of usability experts will go through and evaluate the system. As a result there will be a list of observations (in order of severity). Because the evaluation is made by experts who are familiar with all usability issues, the results don’t concentrate on the prpperties of the interaction between an actual user and the product, but the interface functionality.
One possible list of heuristics:
- Visibility of system status
- Match between system and the real world
- User control and freedom
- Consistency and standards
- Error prevention
- Recognition rather than recall
- Flexibility and efficiency of use
- Aesthetic and minimalist design
- Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors
- Help and documentation
More information about heuristic evaluation can be found here.