Monday, March 11, 2013

Heuristic Evaluation - Part 2

Many thanks to Avery of Avery's Tech Outlook for conducting heuristic evaluations with me this week! For a sneak peek at the prototype of his app, visit his post from week six. Overall, the app was very well designed. The "cover flow" style of pictures was consistent with the type of viewing experience one might expect. The events calendar provided a great visual representation of upcoming events. Avery showed a great understanding of "aesthetic and minimalist design," keeping only a few items per page. The following are my recommendations for improvement:

Consistency and Standards
Severity rating: 2
The "Back" and "Home" navigation buttons are inconsistent throughout the prototype, some pages only having one or the other. Additionally, the buttons are inconsistent with platform conventions. Both buttons are pointing in the direction of a "Next" button. I would recommend a horizontal flip of the "Back" button as well as either changing the "Home" button to look like a house. Alternatively, the "Home" button could be replaced by a menu icon. This should decrease loading time as it pops up a small menu rather than navigating to an entire new page.

User Control and Freedom
Severity rating: 3
Currently, the events can only be viewed in calendar format. I mentioned this in previous comments to Avery, but I recommend adding a list-view to access event details as well. This would allow a user who forgot the date of an event to look it up by name rather than searching through multiple calendar dates.
Severity rating: 2
There is no option for the user to upload photos of their own. This may be deliberate, as that functionality requires a lot more effort to code, so I see this as optional, and may be something better spared from the minimum viable product (MVP) and reserved for a future release.

Aesthetic and Minimalist Design
Severity rating: 1
There are a few recommendations falling into this category, and they may be due, in-part, to creating the prototype with Balsamiq:

  • Placing items in black boxes on white backgrounds ends up creating a high-contrast page, which is hard on the eyes. I recommend making a seamless black background then highlighting buttons as-needed.
  • The spacing between names on the instructor landing page is uneven.
  • The instructor name on the individual bio page currently shows twice, once in the title and once in the bio details next to the photo. The name does not need duplicated. I suggest getting rid of the name in the title.
  • I also suggest more "whitespace" around the details on the individual instructor page. This can be accomplished by moving the photo up, centering the three lines of detail vertically on the photo, then leaving some room before the paragraph about the instructor.

Finally, here is the full video of our review session. Best of luck to Avery! I think you have a great foundation for a very usable app!


  1. I'm getting "video is currently unavailable" at the moment ...

    1. It seems YouTube was having temporary issues. If anyone else runs into the same problem, please let me know so I can look into it.

  2. Hey Allison this is the link to the youtube video and here is the link to my blog with the video in it

  3. Avery, thanks for the eval! Can't wait to see how your app ends up this semester.