Some time ago, Susan Weinschenk wrote about the psychologist’s view of UX design, listing a number of facts about the human mind that can be directly applied to interface design. And I think that’s an important point; although usability experts try to put the user in the center of every step of the design process, formalized principles and best practices usually only address technical aspects of the development of interfaces. That’s the case with most of the principles used when evaluating interfaces in heuristic evaluations.
So why don’t we use Susan’s psychological facts as heuristic principles when evaluating interfaces, instead of just the technical ones? To that end, I have translated Susan’s points into a checklist of heuristic principles that can be used to evaluate interfaces. I have created it in the form of a spreadsheet to make evaluations easier. Here you have it:
Psychological Usability Heuristics spreadsheet (Google Docs)
Feel free to use this spreadsheet for your own work (you may have to download or make a copy before). Any feedback about this work will be welcome!
I have contacted Susan Weinschenk explaining her this idea, and this is her kind reply:
Thanks for writing.
It’s a very interesting idea. I’m surprised I didn’t think of it myself!
Have you read my book: 100 Things Every Designer Needs To Know About People? Probably more ideas in there too.
I haven’t read 100 Things (yet), but I have read her previous book and multiple articles in her blog. Would 100 Things lead to 100 heuristic principles? It seems like a lot of work for me alone, but maybe if this first iteration achieves some success, people will be willing to help me to expand this tool further.