Heuristic Evaluation

Resource based learning

Thank you

Thank you very much for agreeing to help with this research project. Your time and effort will help evaluation this learning resource and provide valuable information regarding improvements and further development. Any information provided will be anonymised before submission.


The objectives of this project are to: (i) Produce a website which can act as a multi-purpose learning resource for a wide range of graphic design learning levels and assignments. (ii) Test this website using established web development reflective practice. (iii) Produce data from this reflection which may be used to form the basis for future development and refinement.

Heuristic Evaluation

The testing will take the form of a tailored Heuristic evaluation. This is a quick, lightweight and yet robust evaluation strategy developed by Jakob Nielsen. It should take up around five to ten minutes of your time to complete. This evaluation can be completed either alone, or in concert with others, supervised or unsupervised.

The subject of the evaluation is this website.

The model does not require any Javascript or Flash player plugins. However, Javascript is available it should be turned on.

Supplied in this document is a list of heuristics. These are the usability principles the model is to be tested against. The idea is that, the site evaluator (that’s you) will keep these Heuristics in mind and will note down any violation of them they encounter whilst working through or with any aspect of the site. Evaluators should be prepared to note down their considered opinion of the problem severity and what, if anything you would do to correct the issue. Violations can and should include anything which falls into the realm of personal opinion or taste. It is, however, not enough for an evaluator to note that they don’t like something without explaining why that is. Answers need not be lengthily unless so desired.

Some of the Heuristics are more detailed and encompassing than others. In each case it is not essential for each point to be covered. If an evaluator has no opinion or considers a point to be irrelevant, there is no need to make note of it. There is no formal process for recording these observations, it is the information rather than the format which is important. However two methods are supplied for the convenience of evaluators, please either use the form below or the print equivalent.


How well does the navigation function? Do you feel forced into taking certain actions at certain times or do you feel free to explore? For example, does the interaction feel claustrophobic? Is it fiddly to use? Is it annoying and if so what specifically annoys you about it? Did you find that the navigational techniques were easy or difficult to learn? Once learnt did you find yourself needing to re-learn how to do things frequently? If you have used the interface for a while did you find it became restrictive as you gained experience? Are you frequently having to concentrate on operating navigational controls or is this more transparent, as driving a car, or using an ink pen might be? How recognisable are the controls?

Did you encounter any errors, or things you might consider to be an error? Did you make an error yourself and perhaps end up somewhere you didn't want to be? If so what were these errors? How would you suggest they were avoided in future? If you make a mistake whilst using the interface, how easy is it for you to correct that mistake? Do you feel more could be done to help you recover from mistakes? Does the interface provide enough information about where you are and what you can do at any one point? Did your previous experience with software and web interfaces make this site easy to use? If so how much of a problem do you think would it pose for someone without that knowledge?

There is no help and documentation provided. Did you feel this was an oversight? If help was provided would you have read it?

How did you find the content of the webssite with specific regard to the type of language used and the visual styling of the site? How recognisable are things? Did you get confused by anything on the site? Did you find the styling obtrusive or accessible? Is the language obtuse and stuff or easy to understand? Did you find any unnecessary or cluttered content, either image or text based? If so did that clutter obscure other more important content? Does the overall visual styling and manner of presentation get in the way of the information being delivered? Do you think this manner of delivering information is suitable for the kind of goal the site attempt to realise or would something else, such as printed pages, be more appropriate? Do any of the images or pictographs used not make sense? Does the styling of the site make sense within the graphic design culture of practice?

Was the interface consistent in its use of language and / or visuals? Does the hierarchy of the site make sense? Do elements appear where you do not expect or does the interface feel inconsistent in any other way? Is there anything you feel is missing and if so what is it?

Do you think the website achieves its goals? Are there any ways in which it might more successfully provide the kind of resources with which it is concerned? Are there any technical or design issues which may prevent or hinder the use of this website as an educational resource? How well does the site work in practice?