ARTICLE SUMMARY: The dictionary defines Heuristics as “involving or serving as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving by experimental and especially trial-and-error methods”

You may not realize it but we all use heuristics every day. Whether it’s balancing work life with your home life or critical actions to be taken in an emergency situation, we use heuristics.

Heuristics are the mental shortcuts we use to solve problems with quick judgement calls that save us time in our decision making process. These judgement calls are also known as rule-of-thumb.

10 USABILITY HEURISTICS FOR USER INTERFACE DESIGN” by Jakob Nielsen goes into great detail on the different types of Usability Heuristics and the situations that they would be used for. The list includes

  • Visibility of system status
  • Match between system and the real world
  • Consistency and standards

Knowing these and the other Heuristic principles can only help your design become more user friendly.

The #8 principle is especially helpful to designers new and old alike.  Jakob Nielsen has also provided us with a free poster download so we have a quick visual of these for a quick reference.

This is a great article with a lot of helpful information for designers, let us know what you think of this in the comments.