DevAssistant Heuristic Review Part 2: Inventory of Issues

This is Part 2 of a 3-part blog series; this post builds on materials featured in an earlier post called DevAssistant Heuristic Review Part 1: Use Case Walkthroughs. In this part of the DevAssistant heuristic review, we’ll walk through an itemized list of the issues uncovered by the use case-based walkthrough we did in part 1. Since this is essentially just a list of issues, let me preface it by explaining how I came up with this list. Basically, I combed through the walkthrough and noted any issues that were encountered and mentioned in it, large and small. The result of this was a flat list of issues. Next, I went through the list and tried to determine a set of categories to organize them under by grouping together issues that seemed related. (You could do this in a group setting via a technique called “affinity mapping” – another fancy UX term that in essence just basically means writing everything out on post-its and sticking related post-it notes together. Fancy name for playing with sticky pieces of paper 🙂 ) Breaking the issues into categories serves a few purposes: It makes the list easier to read through and understand, since …

DevAssistant Heuristic Review Part 1: Use Case Walkthroughs

You might be asking yourself, “What the heck is a heuristic review?” It’s just a fancy term; I learned it from reading Jakob Nielsen‘s writings. It’s a simple process of walking through a user interface (or product, or whatever,) and comparing how it works to a set of general principles of good design, AKA ‘heuristics.’ To be honest, the way I do these generally is to walk through the interface and document the experience, giving particular attention to things that jump out to me as ‘not quite right’ (comparing them to the heuristics in my head. 🙂 ) This is maybe more accurately termed an ‘expert evaluation,’ then, but I find that term kind of pompous (I don’t think UX folks are any better than the folks whose software they test,) so ‘heuristic review’ it shall be! Anyway, Sheldon from the DevAssistant team was interested in what UX issues might pop out to me as I kicked the tires on it. So here’s what we’re going to do: Here in Part 1, I’ll first map out all the various pieces of the UI so we can get a feel for everything that is available. Then, I’ll walk through four use …