heuristics for Interactive TV,
Visibility of system status
Is status feedback provided continuously (eg progress indicators or messages)?
Match between system and real world
Are the words, phrases and concepts used familiar to the user?
Does the activity sequence parallel the user's mental processes?
Is information presented in a simple, natural and logical order?
Is the use of metaphors easily understandable by the user?
Are important controls represented on the screen and is there an obvious mapping
between them and the real controls?
User control and freedom
Are facilities provided to "undo" (or "cancel") and
Are there clearly marked exits (for when the user finds themselves somewhere
Are facilities provided to return to the top level at any stage?
Consistency and standards
Is the use of terminology, controls, graphics and menus consistent throughout
Is there a consistent look and feel to the system interface?
Is interactive TV consistent with the related TV programmes (and are the
colours consistent between them)?
Is a selection method provided (eg from a list) as an alternative to direct
entry of information?
Is user confirmation required before carrying out a potentially 'dangerous'
action (eg deleting something)?
Recognition rather than recall
Are help and instructions visible or easily accessible when needed?
Is the relationship between controls and their actions obvious?
Are input formats (eg dates or lengths of names) and units of values indicated?
Flexibility and efficiency of use
Does the system allow for a range of user expertise?
Does the system guide novice users sufficiently?
Aesthetic and minimalist design
Is the design simple, intuitive, easy to learn and pleasing?
Is the system free from irrelevant, unnecessary and distracting information?
Are icons clear and buttons labelled and is the use of graphic controls obvious?
Has the need to scroll been minimized and where necessary, are navigation
facilities repeated at the bottom of the screen?
Help users recover from errors
Do error messages describe problems sufficiently, assist in their diagnosis
and suggest ways of recovery in a constructive way?
Are error messages written in a non-derisory tone and refrain from attributing
blame to the user?
Help and documentation
Is help clear and direct and simply expressed in plain English, free from
jargon and buzzwords?
Is it easy for the user to search, understand and apply help text?
Is navigational feedback provided (eg showing a user's current and initial
states, where they've been and what options they have for where to go)?
Are any navigational aids provided (eg find facilities)?
Structure of information
Is there a hierarchical organisation of information from general to specific?
Are related pieces of information clustered together?
Is the length of a piece of text appropriate to the display size and interaction
Has the number of screens required per task been minimized?
Are the URLs, page titles and headlines straightforward, short and descriptive?
Has textual content been kept to a maximum of two columns?
Is the screen visible at a range of distances and in various types of lighting?
Is the distance between targets (eg icons) and the size of targets appropriate
(size should be proportional to distance)?
Has the use of text in images and large or irregular imagemaps been avoided?
You might like
to print out this list for future reference and then return to the heuristics
home page and choose another device.