While designing, it is extremely essential to avoid usability problems that may arise. Large companies conduct extensive user studies and heuristic evaluations, gathering feedback to ensure every feature on a page is intuitive and enhances user efficiency. This might not always be possible for both corporations and individuals. With smaller budget projects, time restrictions and numerous features to be added, this becomes more difficult. Following Jakob Neilson’s 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design is an effective way to ensure most of the common issues that arise while designing are minimized.
Evaluating the page by considering simple straightforward questions can assist in creating user friendly pages. e.g.:
“Will the user be able to understand his mistake after reading error messages in the forms?”
The answer to the question is easily a yes or a no.
Yes! Every message has detailed explanation what could have gone wrong
No! there is a message here saying “Error”
Ensuring each and every usability principle is followed will significantly improve the page.
How to keep track of Usability issues?
While prototyping, features should be added with consideration to the usability principles. A check on all the suggested points could be done while creating the initial prototype or once it is complete. To make it simpler to remember these principles initially, I have developed a light weight jquery plugin that can be used to keep track of the responsiveness of the features of a page. It is available here. Using the plugin The plugin can be easily included in a page by adding its class.What it adds to the page is a small movable display area containing a list of heuristics principles, checkboxes to evaluate them and and a text area that opens up on clicking any principles to write comments. You can try it on jsfiddle
It has the following features:
- Text/ Comment addition available
- State Storage (If you check any boxes, this will be stored in the local storage and on refreshing it will be available. Similarly you can add text, open text area which will be stored and so will its position)
Would love to hear feedback on this plugin! So try it and create better user experiences.