Heuristic Evaluation

Also Known As
Heuristic Analysis

Heuristic evaluations are a form of usability evaluation in which various accepted principles of design are applied to the system being assessed.


Prior to system procurement.

In the early stages (especially) of system design.

How do I use this tool?

1. DETERMINE GOAL AND FOCUS of the evaluation.

2. IDENTIFY INDIVIDUALS who will apply the principles being evaluated.

3. PROVIDE INDIVIDUALS DIRECTION on what to evaluate and instruments for recording results.

4. EVALUATE RESULTS and determine how to address them (e.g., system redesign, training, workflow modification).

Expertise Required
Users of this tool usually have some training or experience in its use.
Recommended Supplies/Materials
Data recording instrument (for notes)
System being evaluated

Relatively easy to perform once the principles of design are understood.


Must be able to prioritize findings.

Must be aware of system constraints or understand that some findings, although valid, may not be possible to address through the software.

Where can I go to learn more?

Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement. Usability Tools. 2010 [cited 2010 May 25]; Available from: http://cqpi.wisc.edu/usability-tools/