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26th May, 2016   4 min read

Heuristic Evaluation of a Mobile App

By Saikrishna Garlapati

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I am the kind of guy who takes a lot of care of his eyes. In the past, I faced an issue with my eyes and from then on I take more care.

Recently I thought of getting my eye sight checked and I wondered if there are any app in the app store to do this. Upon looking I found a few and I installed Paxos Eyes Checkup because it looked interesting.

I installed the app and started once I start using it, I found so many issues at every place that I got really frustrated. As a UX designer myself, I thought how can someone make an app like this and Then I decided to send some feedback to the developer of this app.

But then again I thought, everyone must be sending feedback in the form of app reviews or emails. How can I send genuine and unique feedback that will actually make sense to them. That’s when the idea of a Heuristic Evaluation got in to my mind. With my recently completed HFI-CUA certification, I could actually do this.

Why Heuristic Evaluation:

  • It can provide some quick and relatively inexpensive feedback to designers.
  • You can obtain feedback early in the design process.
  • Assigning the correct heuristic can help suggest the best corrective measures to designers.
  • You can use it together with other usability testing methodologies.
  • You can conduct usability testing to further examine potential issues.

Now let me talk about the issues I faced with the app along with screenshots attached. I will also share my recommendations with each issue detected.

Issue #1:

Artboard 9

  • The navigation in the “Explore” section is too deep. Also, there is no clear hierarchy. This confuses users.
  • It requires the user to remember what has happened in the previous screens and so, takes up too much cognitive effort for navigation.

Recommendation:

  • Flatten the navigation so that more elements are visible in the first screen.
  • Find the right grouping of content and show content in a clear hierarchy.

Issue #2:

Artboard 10

  • The “Cancel” button is always on top. Links closer to the text are considered to be ones that take you forward in the process.

Recommendation:

  • Place the “Cancel” button below the “Submit” button.
  • Infact, buttons that act upon the same context should be placed sides by side, not even one on top of the other.

Issue #3:

Artboard 11

  • Buttons in the same level and similar functionality are shown in different colors across the app.

Recommendation:

  • Highlighting is usually done to lead the user towards a certain action. However, if it is done randomly, it tends to confuse users.

 Issue #4:

Artboard 12

  • There is no indication that the demo video has started playing. Also, there is no indication in the Demo Video that audio is playing in the background

Recommendation:

  • Ask the user to turn the volume up before playing the Demo Video

Issue #5:

Artboard 13

  • The “Home” button is on the right side of the top nav in some screens. This is inconsistent with the standard way of using the back button on iOS/Android

Recommendation:

  • Switch the “Home” button to the left side.

 Issue #6:

Artboard 14

  • There is no contextual help in the application. For example, while taking a test, If a user wants to access help, there is no way of doing this.

Recommendation:

  • Add an option to replay instruction from within the test

Issue #7:

Artboard 15

  • When test results are sent, the user does not know where these results are sent. This could potentially become a privacy issue.

Recommendation:

  • Greater transparency would help the user greatly

Issue #8:

Bitmap

  • The most important actions should be shown upfront. When the user signs into the application, the first button shown is “More” rather than any important button. At the same time, the button below it is highlighted. This goes against standard user behaviour of scrolling from top to bottom.

Recommendation:

  • Show important actions on top and other actions below. Highlight only the most important actions and only when it is necessary. Unnecessary highlighting distracts the user from the required actions.

Issue #9:

  • There is no indication that the demo video has started playing. Also, there is no indication in the Demo Video that audio is playing in the background

Recommendation:

  • Ask the user to turn the volume up before playing the Demo Video

 

Well, that’s all from my side for now. Let me know if you have any comments or additions to this review.

Till then I wait to hear back from Paxos.

You can read in-depth about the heuristic principles starting from here: NN Group

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About Saikrishna Garlapati : User eXperience Designer. - Curiosity, empathy and hard work keeps me creative - Love to make things that matter - Looking forward to deliver brilliant design solutions for both mobile and desktop.

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