Wednesday, July 11, 2012

If heuristics were written from the customer's point of view?

Heuristics are generally written in terms of the development team. What if they were in terms of the user? I rewrote Jakob Nielsen's Heuristics* in this light:

1. Tell me where I am, what's going on, and where I'm going
2. Use language I understand and keep it consistent
3. I make mistakes. Let me undo them.
4. Meet my expectations on layout, style, and writing
5. and 9. Don't let me make mistakes, if something went wrong, take the fall if you're to blame but always tell me how I can fix it
6. You're a computer, you are my records. I'm not the one with an amazing memory--you are.
7. I do certain actions over and over, make those easy.
8. It's hard to see what's important when you overwhelm me.
10. If I can't figure things out on my own, give me useful and timely resources. Let me look things up.

Beyond these, here are even more:

a. Honor my Request; do as I ask.
b. Make my life better
c. Save me time, money or both
d. Don't make me tell you to do something twice. If I asked you, just do it. If it was a mistake, let me undo it. See #3.
e. Help me choose when there are many options.
f. Don't make me wait too long
g. Don't send me to the wolves; I'm not always up for anonymous comments. Don't force me to receive hurtful/mean spirited slings/arrows.
h. Let me plug in, or plug out.
i. Let me express myself and be creative
j. Read my mind. Or at least anticipate things I'll likely want. For example, I'm likely to want to view things I've recently viewed
k. Don't try to sell me stuff at every turn. I'm not a wallet, I'm a person.
l. When I search, be flexible. I don't call things what you might call them. I may not even know the name!
m. When we first meet, help me get started but go away when I ask, somewhere I can find you later.
n. Put me first. I'm the reason you exist!

*He is a god, by the way

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