A comparison of your heuristics for Interactive TV against those from a previous study.

Your heuristics are indicated by ticks in the left column, while those from the study are shown in the right column.

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Visibility of system status

blanktickIs status feedback provided continuously (eg progress indicators or messages)?
blankblankAre warning messages displayed for long enough?
blankblankIs there provision for some form of feedback?

Match between system and real world

blanktickAre the words, phrases and concepts used familiar to the user?
blanktickDoes the task sequence parallel the user's work processes?
blanktickIs information presented in a simple, natural and logical order?
blank tick Is the use of metaphors easily understandable by the user?
blank blank Does the system cater for users with no prior experience of electronic devices?
blankblankDoes the system make the user's work easier and quicker than without the system?
blankblankDoes the system fit in with the environment in which the user's tasks are carried out?
blankblankCan the system realistically reflect real world situations and appear to respond to the user?
blank tick Are important controls represented on the screen and is there an obvious mapping between them and the real controls?

User control and freedom

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

Consistency and standards

blank tick Is the use of terminology, controls, graphics and menus consistent throughout the system?
blank tick Is there a consistent look and feel to the system interface?
blank blank Is there consistency between data entry and data display?
blank blank Is the interface consistent with any platform conventions?
blank blank Have ambiguous phrases/actions been avoided?
blank blank Is the interface consistent with standard PC conventions?
blank tick Is interactive TV consistent with the related TV programmes (and are the colours consistent between them)?
blank blank Have colour and style conventions been followed for links (and no other text)?

Error prevention

blanktickIs a selection method provided (eg from a list) as an alternative to direct entry of information?
blank tick Is user confirmation required before carrying out a potentially 'dangerous' action (eg deleting something)?
blankblankDoes the system ensure work is not lost either by user or system error?
blankblankDoes the system prevent calls being accidentally made?
blankblankAre the options given in dialog boxes obvious?
blankblankDoes the system provide foolproof synchronization with a PC?
blank blank Has the possibility of the user making errors been removed?
blankblankIs the system robust and safe enough for its surroundings?

Recognition rather than recall

blanktick Are help and instructions visible or easily accessible when needed?
blanktickIs the relationship between controls and their actions obvious?
blankblankIs it possible to search for information (eg a phone number) rather than entering the information directly?
blankblankIs the functionality of the buttons on the device obvious from their labels?
blank tick Are input formats (eg dates or lengths of names) and units of values indicated?
blankblankIs the functionality of novel device controls (eg thumbwheels) obvious?

Flexibility and efficiency of use

blank tick Does the system allow for a range of user expertise?
blank tick Does the system guide novice users sufficiently?
blank blank Is it possible for expert users to use shortcuts and to tailor frequent actions?
blank blank Is it possible to access and re-use a recent history of instructions (eg recently called numbers)?
blank blank Does the system allow for a range of user goals and interaction styles?
blank blank Does the system allow all functionality to be accessed either using function buttons or using the stylus?
blank blank Is it possible to replace and restore default settings easily?
blank blank Have unnecessary registrations been avoided?

Aesthetic and minimalist design

blanktickIs the design simple, intuitive, easy to learn and pleasing?
blanktick Is the system free from irrelevant, unnecessary and distracting information?
blanktickAre icons clear and buttons labelled and is the use of graphic controls obvious?
blankblankIs the information displayed at any one time kept to a minimum?
blankblank Is the number of applications provided appropriate (and has 'featuritis' been avoided)?
blank tick Has the need to scroll been minimized and where necessary, are navigation facilities repeated at the bottom of the screen?
blank blank Is the system easy to remember how to use?
blank blank Have excessive scripts, applets, movies, graphics and images been avoided?

Help users recover from errors

blanktickDo error messages describe problems sufficiently, assist in their diagnosis and suggest ways of recovery in a constructive way?
blank tick Are error messages written in a non-derisory tone and refrain from attributing blame to the user?
blankblankIs it clear how the user can recover from errors?

Help and documentation

blanktickIs help clear and direct and simply expressed in plain English, free from jargon and buzzwords?
blankblankIs help provided in a series of steps that can be easily followed?
blanktickIs it easy for the user to search, understand and apply help text?


blank tick 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)?
blank tick Are any navigational aids provided (eg find facilities)?
blank blank Does the system track where the user was in the last session (and any progress made)?
blank blank Has opening unecessary new browser windows been avoided?

Use of modes

blank blank Does the system use different modes appropriately and effectively?
blankblank Is it easy to exit from each mode of use?

Structure of information

blank tick Is there a hierarchical organisation of information from general to specific?
blank tick Are related pieces of information clustered together?
blank tick Is the length of a piece of text appropriate to the display size and interaction device?
blank tick Has the number of screens required per task been minimized?
blank blank Does each screen comprise 1 document on 1 topic with the most important information appearing at the top?
blank blank Has hypertext been used appropriately to structure content and are links intuitive and descriptive?
blank blank Have pages been structured to facilitate scanning by the reader?
blank tick Are the URLs, page titles and headlines straightforward, short and descriptive?
blank blank Has excessive use of whitespace been avoided?
blank tick Has textual content been kept to a maximum of two columns?


blank blankIs the system fun to use?

Physical constraints

blank blank Are function buttons large enough to be usable?
blank tick Is the screen visible at a range of distances and in various types of lighting?
blank blank Does the touch-screen cater for users touching the screen quickly and slowly?
blank tick Is the distance between targets (eg icons) and the size of targets appropriate (size should be proportional to distance)?
blank tick Has the use of text in images and large or irregular imagemaps been avoided?

Extraordinary users

blank tick Is the use of colour restricted appropriately (and suitable for colour-blind users)?
blank blank Do the buttons allow for use by older, less agile fingers or people wearing gloves?
blank blank Do buttons give tactile feedback when selected?
blank blank Is the touch-screen usable by people of all heights and those in wheelchairs?
blank blank Are equivalent alternatives provided for visual and auditory content?
blank tick 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.