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Handy and Effective Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design

January 8, 2022 |
Design, UI Design, Web Design
Usability Heuristics

When it comes to UI design, the goal isn’t so much to make something visually appealing as it is to build a process from concept to implementation that is supported by data and evidence for the benefit of your consumers. Otherwise, you’re shooting in the darkness and hoping to strike the target with your hopes and dreams in the sky. Fortunately, instead of depending on blind forecasts, usability heuristics exist to help web design professionals in effective designing.

What are Usability Heuristics?

The word heuristics, which means “to find or discover,” is derived from Greek. When it comes to problem-solving, the term “heuristic” refers to a rule of thumb based on past experience. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to using heuristics in the design process. Heuristics might be considered “quick fixes” or “shortcuts” that can save time and effort for creative agencies in the long run when dealing with complex situations.

Effective Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design

Visibility of the state of the system

Users should constantly be kept in the loop about what’s going on in the system by providing timely feedback that’s appropriate for the situation. When a person is waiting for anything to load, their internet speed is a major factor in how long it will take. So, if there is no response from the system to indicate what to do after an activity, they would be unsure of what to do next.

This heuristic states that you must respond to the user within a fair length of time. To let the user know how much longer the task will take, you may show a progress bar, loader, color change, or send a push message.

The compatibility of the system with the real world

Your software “should be able to communicate with people on a level they can understand.” Extremely technical explanations should be avoided in favor of notions from the user’s everyday life. There should be no ambiguity in the instructions. A better user experience is made possible by icons that are instantly identifiable.

User control and freedom

Mistakes happen all the time. Consumers require a clearly indicated “emergency exit” that allows them to exit the unwanted conduct without going through a lengthy process. A sense of liberation and confidence is fostered when it’s easy for individuals to abandon a process or undo an activity. Escape routes enable users to maintain control of the system, preventing them from becoming stranded and dissatisfied.

Standardization and consistency

A consistent user experience across all platforms is vital in today’s increasingly device-agnostic environment. It’s easier to show your application on numerous sites if it has a dynamic layout and content size.

All web pages on a website designed by a web design and development company should have a uniform structure and internal flow to ensure that the site is accessible on the majority of platforms.

Prevention of errors

To ensure a positive user experience, it’s important to inform consumers of their mistakes clearly and concisely. It’s much better if you can avoid the error from happening in the first place.

For instance, if you use the term “attachment” or “attached” in your email without really adding the file, Gmail notifies you that you failed to attach the file and confirms if you want to send the email anyway. That’s an example of using a feedback-based error-prevention strategy.

Recognition over Recall

When a user interface is well-designed by graphic designers, users don’t have to keep remembering things all the time. Instead, it provides all the information and alternatives necessary to make a decision. It’s far easier to rapidly look through icons or a text menu and choose the desired feature than to try to recollect it from the memory and then put it into some terminal-like text interface, which is time-consuming.

For example, if you’re looking for camping and hiking gear on Amazon, you’ll see a variety of navigation choices at the top of the page and in the sidebar.

Flexibility and Efficacy

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for a user’s demands and abilities. In the same way, every job requires a separate controller for its specifics.

Organize the app’s interface to make it easier to use. There should be no unnecessary UI components or instructions on display at all times. For example, when you’re creating a document on Google Docs you’ll see that there are just a few controllers associated with text editing. However, when you choose to add an additional chart, a fresh palette of options dedicated to assisting you with this process become available.

Minimalist and stylish design

Your design should be both informational and minimalistic at the same time. It’s a fine line to walk, but consider graphical input rather than lengthy verbal instructions. There should be no unnecessary information on a single page for a specific task.


User Interface (UI) design is evaluated and improved via the use of usability heuristics, which you may use to assist your design team. It’s critical to remember that these heuristics are meant to serve as broad guidelines rather than absolute laws. Contact Us today for auditing your brand/website for latest standards

Read more about Myths of UX design here.

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