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How to Improve UX with Nielsen’s 10 Usability Heuristics

How to Improve UX with Nielsen’s 10 Usability Heuristics

Hey guys, what’s up? This is Tridib and you’re watching a brand new episode of Learn with Tridib. In this particular episode, we are talking about usability heuristics which were coined by the Nielsen Norman group and in this particular usability heuristic video we are going to talk about the 10 Usability Heuristics that applies to complex applications.

I am Tridib  and I am the founder and CEO of Chlorosynth . I am also the owner of the YouTube channel Learn With Tridib that is the channel that you have to subscribe :-).

I am a certified UXD expert, a professional Design Thinking practitioner, a visual thinker, and a storyteller, I’m a YouTuber as I’ve told earlier and I am an instagram influencer as well so let’s deep dive and see what usability heuristics is all about, but before you deep dive kindly like, share, and comment on this video and if you are new to this channel then kindly subscribe to the channel and hit the bell icon so that you can get all our upcoming notifications so without much ado let’s get started!


So, here again, the Usability heuristic applied to complex applications are

  1. visibility of system status
  2. match between the system and the real world
  3. user control and freedom
  4. consistency and standards
  5. error prevention
  6. recognition rather than recall
  7. flexibility and efficiency of use
  8. aesthetic and minimalistic design
  9. help users recognize errors and recover from errors
  10. help and documentation

In the next section, I am going to teach each and every point with proper examples so that it will be coined in your heart and your head.

1. The first usability heuristic principle is the Visibility of System Status which means that your system or your app should always have the visibility of various status say, for example, it is not only about the app that you are using or the website that you are creating, it is about real-life experiences as well think of a state when you are in front of a lift or an elevator and you don’t have the numbers written at the top and no indication whatsoever whether the lift is going down or the lift is going up you would have been stranded not knowing whether the lift is coming down or going up and in which floor it is ever stranded inside a lift you will not know on which floor you are currently and when your particular floor is coming, similarly, if you have a mobile device or say for example, you are having a website and it has quite much content so it will take some time to load but if you don’t have a website loader which indicates the time that is still there to load the content of the website or if your mobile does not show that the battery is almost dying you have to recharge it, you will be stranded you can get stranded at any point of time. So the visibility of system status is highly important and hence it is the first point of your usability heuristic principles. Let’s now see the next one.
2. In the match between the system and the real world the heuristic principle says that whatever user sees in the real world they always try to see or replicate that in the online world or whatever, they do say for example if you see the iBooks application of Apple they had been actually designed as per the library one or in the library the wall you have all the books laid out in the proper way so the iBooks also have the same way as the inter look and feel of the iBooks app represents a library where you have different books kept extremely nicely on the racks of a library okay so you have a wooden finish in the background and the books are so you can see all these things in a departmental store where a book shop where all the books are also laid out in the same way if you’re going to a crossword you will see the similar laid- out pattern they have in the worlds okay similarly if you see the trash icon that you generally see in any application in the operating system or any mobile game app you’ll see that it replicates the real world trash can trash bin similarly for any e-commerce site you will always see this particular shopping cart so this shopping
cart is an exact replica of what shopping cart we always see in a departmental store
so that’s all for our match between system and the real world which says that user prefers to see your icon your interface similar to your real world so there is a real and the online world should be similar then they will find it familiar and they will use it conveniently.
3. The third one is user control and freedom so, user control and freedom um let me explain it with an example. If your system does not have an “undo” or “redo” options you will be stranded again and the user getting stranded in an application is not a good sign you should give them a way out so that if they have made a mistake if have done a certain thing which they really don’t want, they can come back or they come they can come out from that sticky situation say for example mistakenly you have clicked on a delete button on a delete button and an image is getting deleted if it does not give you any scope of retrieving the particular wrong command you will be stuck your file will be deleted and you cannot retrieve it right so before you hit the yes button of an I can it asks you are you sure you want to delete this particular
file or this folder something like that and you can delete it if you say you are absolutely sure that yes you want to delete you can click on the yes button and if you are not sure you want to recheck which file you have mistakenly hit the delete key you can always click on the cancel button so over here you are giving the user the utmost control and the freedom of choice of what they want to do and if they are stuck how they can come out from the sticky situation so that is the third law the third principle of usability heuristic.
4. The fourth principle of usability heuristic is consistency and standards I have actually explained consistency and standards when I was doing the graphic design videos for you can check on my youtube channel and you can check the graphic design principles I have already shared in that also consistency and standards are very important if you see the google consistency even if they are the old logo system and the new logo system if you see they have maintained a very nice consistency so if you see the colors are not changed all the color families are maintained over here you can see very clearly that they are part of one single family so that’s the consistency level on the other hand if you see there are the material designs or any sort of design standards you see all the standards have been made before you actually jump into a UI design so how the buttons will look how the primary buttons will look they’re all filled with colors how the secondary buttons look with the bordered colors and all these things are okay so one is a dark background lighter color in the primary buttons the secondary buttons are the white background and dark text so all the standards are first created and then we jump into the actual UI design.
5. The fifth one is error prevention. Errors are good, believe me, errors are good if you get errors in the very first level of your testing it is good to have because it will nullify any sort of hidden errors that might crop up at the very last moment of your development cycle so error preventions are very good if users are coming into a situation where they are seeing errors that are good but at the same time you have to prevent the error how you can prevent the error say for example if you want to reset a password if you have forgotten your password how you will receive a password or are you going to a security account you want to see if somebody else is trying to retrieve your particular password so you can secure your account similarly for various other systems where they ask you currently whether you are sure to do this particular work you are sure to do this thing you are sure to that do that thing because once you commit it is gone forever.

Let’s now go to the next heuristic principle.

6. Recognition rather than Recall, So many people get confused between recognition rather than recall okay recognition is very simple when you see something and you immediately recognize you immediately come to know what you have done because of which you have got a particular result say for example the first screen if you see it is from a user interface of a flight booking company, a flight booking website, and if you see I have each I have actually used some filters in the previous screen, and those filters are also mentioned in the particular screen so we know that I had applied for a third April ticket from Bombay to Kolkata and one adult and I know that this was a filter that I have set so you know exactly based on that filter parameter you are seeing these particular results on the other way you can see when there are a lot of choices to be made and if you distinguish them with colors you can easily recognize that these colors were your chosen options on the other hand recall actually needs you to use your brain you have to memorize something you have to think on the past and try to gather that whether you can memorize a particular thing from the history or from the past experience, okay recognition is always better than recall because over here you see something you immediately know that this is particular say, for example, a trash icon you know very well that you have to um drag the unwanted stuff from your interface to this particular trash can it acts as a dust bin or a bin similarly to copy paste the tells you very clearly that copy is to copy some particular thing and paste you have to whatever you have copied you have to paste it so the icons immediately give you a recognition okay that these are the stuff that you have to do these are the choices that you have but if you have to do something by memorizing but bringing things from the past then it is “recall”.
7. Flexibility and Efficiency of use – this particular heuristic principle states that the system should be such that it should aid the novice user but at the same time it should make the performance of the advanced users better so let us take this example if we want to copy-paste a particular text or an image in PowerPoint say for example a novice user will use the icons copy they will select a particular text they will go to the icon copy and they will copy it and then they will go to another file and they will paste the word or the paragraph that they have copied on the other hand uh expert user might select the text and they can press CTRL + C or Command+ C in mac to copy the particular text and  Command V or CTRL + V to paste the particular text in another file. So this particular system is actually flexible as well as efficient it will it is aiding the novice user as well as enhancing the performance of the expert users.
8. Aesthetic and Minimalistic design –  does not mean that you have to have a very complex design. In today’s world the more you have minimalistic design the less, you have cluttered in your design the more the less you will have information overload on particular screens the better the users will perform they will not get carried away too many things to make many information overloads and they will exactly do what you intend they should do okay so aesthetic and minimalistic design so any minimalistic design can be aesthetics it should not be like if it is minimal design then it is not aesthetically pleasant okay as any aesthetically present design can also be minimalistic.
9. Help users recognize diagnose and recover from errors so as the title says it is self-explanatory that you should always help users to recognize where they have made a mistake first they have to understand they have made a mistake okay then diagnose where they have made the mistake and then recover what they should do to recover from the error so for example if you are filling up a form and you have not typed in the name or you have typed the email incorrectly it is not in the email format so the system should be able to tell you that okay you have put the email but the email is not in the right format that is your error and this has happened in this line, in this form field so the error should come just below the form field where you have placed your error placed your email address and how to recover you have to tell that please insert correct email address and then you have to press the enter to verify and submit right so that’s the way the user can recover from the error the second part is that all the error messages should be given to the user in a proper language manner, not with an error code for any normal or any common user the error code really does not make any sense they will not going to figure out if 0x000100 is what they have to do with that particular number so they should be clearly given the idea or the command that you need to restart your pc you need to restart your laptop so giving an error code has no meaning to that end user they should be told what needs to be done, simple.
And the last one.

10. Every successful application operating system or your websites or any service total lies in whether you have a proper help document or not whether you’re helping the end user properly or not do you have faqs do you have proper documentation of the process of how to use a particular new mobile how to take the first snap how to charge your battery what is the difference between the charger that you have been using earlier and the new charger that you are using now so all these things there has to be proper help and documentation if you have a very difficult process every smaller unit of that process has to be properly documented so that if you are not there in that organization or you have moved to another project anybody who is taking up the job next should be able to perform their duties properly.

So, that’s all folks hope you have liked this video very short and sweet these 10 Heuristic Principles. Usability heuristic principles are extremely important when you are creating a complex system even simple system the more you use these heuristics you will know that you cannot make a mistake if you are not giving a system status you know that you are violating the first principle if you are not using icons that are similar to the real world you know you are violating the second heuristic principles so that’s where you can learn as you do as you create new and new interfaces every time you create a new system, keep in mind that this 10 principle here is usability heuristic principle should be maintained okay so um did we meet again with some fantastic short and sweet this type of interesting episodes goodbye and god bless!
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