Critiquing a mobile application seems rather easy these days, especially if you look at all the reviews on the consumer app stores for iOS or Android. However, a proper and thorough critique of digital experiences can be less straightforward, especially when evaluating the competition to better understand the opportunities for improvement.
At Handsome, we use heuristics, which as Wikipedia describes, is “…a usability inspection method for computer software that helps to identify usability problems in the user interface (UI) design.” While we are not the first to use the term or the only company to use this approach, we fully value its importance and application to the digital experience creation process.
Heuristics forces us to evaluate applications critically and more thoughtfully. It forces us to answer a question like “How resilient and consistent is it when used via ‘other’ channels?” instead of simply “Does it work on mobile?”. Or, in another example, “Is the design appropriate to the context of use and audience?” instead of “Does it look good?”. It frames our analysis to be more specific, and as a result, allows us to be more certain and confident in the decisions we are making.
Heuristics allow us to stand on the shoulders of the savvy giants of design and technology who have gone before us, and make sure we are not reinventing the wheel every time we build a product.
Some of the above example questions are taken from – abbytheia.com. If you’d like more information about heuristics, you can read more about it on Wikipedia here, or read more from one of the fathers of heuristics, Jacob Nielsen.
Do you think heuristics can help improve your critical thinking of digital experiences? Tweet us @HandsomeMade to share.