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Heuristic Evaluation

A Method used to identify usability problems, by judging adherence to established usability principles

This technique assesses the usability of an interface by examining its compliance with established heuristics, or ‘rules of thumb’ – principles which are widely recognized to improve the usability of a system.

For example, a common heuristic states that the user must be able to determine the current state of the system at all times. In a heuristic evaluation, the tester would examine the system under a variety of conditions, noting if the system demonstrates its state in each case. The heuristics used in any given test may vary, and some may only be applicable under certain conditions.