Suggested heuristics for Websites, and applications.

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 task sequence parallel the user's work processes?
Is information presented in a simple, natural and logical order?
Is the use of metaphors easily understandable by the user?

User control and freedom

Are facilities provided to "undo" (or "cancel") and "redo" actions?
Are there clearly marked exits (for when the user finds themselves somewhere unexpected)?
Are facilities provided to return to the top level at any stage (eg links back to homepage)?

Consistency and standards

Is the use of terminology, controls, graphics and menus consistent throughout the system?
Is there a consistent look and feel to the system interface?
Have colour and style conventions been followed for links (and no other text)?

Error prevention

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?

Flexibility and efficiency of use

Does the website allow for a range of user expertise?
Does the website guide novice users sufficiently?
Have unnecessary registrations been avoided?

Aesthetic and minimalist design

Is the design simple, intuitive, easy to learn and pleasing?
Is the website free from irrelevant, unnecessary and distracting information?
Are icons clear and buttons labelled and is the use of graphic controls obvious?
Have excessive scripts, applets, movies, graphics and images been avoided?

Help users recover from errors

Do error messages describe problems sufficiently, assist in their diagnosis and suggest ways of recovery in a constructive way?

Help and documentation

Is help clear and direct and simply expressed in plain English, free from jargon and buzzwords?


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 search facilities)?
Has opening unecessary new browser windows been avoided?

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 device?
Does each screen comprise 1 document on 1 topic with the most important information appearing at the top?
Has hypertext been used appropriately to structure content?
Have pages been structured to facilitate scanning by the reader?
Are the URLs, page titles and headlines straightforward, short and descriptive?

Physical constraints

Is the distance between targets (eg icons) and the size of targets appropriate (size should be proportional to distance)?

Extraordinary users

Is the use of colour restricted appropriately (and suitable for colour-blind users)?
Do the buttons allow for use by older, less agile fingers or people wearing gloves?
Are equivalent alternatives provided for visual and auditory content?
Have accessibility and internationalization guidelines been applied if appropriate?

You might like to print out this list for future reference and then return to the heuristics home page and choose another device.