Nielson’s 10 Usability Heuristics


Visibility of system status

The system should keep users informed through appropriate feedback within a reasonable time.

Match between system and the real world

The system should speak the users’ language rather than system-oriented terms. Follow real-world conventions

User control and freedom

Users often make mistakes and need ’emergency exits’ to leave the unwanted state. Support undo and redo

Consistency and standards

Users shouldn’t have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. Follow platform conventions

Error prevention

Prevent problems from occurring in the first place, or check for them and present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action

Recognition rather than recall

Minimize memory load by making objects, actions, and options visible. Instructions should be visible or easily retrievable.

Flexibility and efficiency of use

Accelerators – unseen by the novice user – may often speed up the interaction for the expert user. Allow users to tailor frequent actions.

Aesthetic and minimalist design

Dialogues should not contain information that is irrelevant or rarely needed.

Help recognize & recover from errors.

Error messages should be expressed in plain language, indicate the problem, and suggest a solution.

Help and documentation

Any necessary help documentation should be easy to search, focused on the user’s task, list concrete steps to be carried out, and not be too large.

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