Suggested heuristics for Mobile phones, and applications.

Visibility of system status

Is status feedback provided continuously (eg progress indicators or messages)?
Are warning messages displayed for long enough?

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)?

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?
Is there consistency between data entry and data display?
Have ambiguous phrases/actions been avoided?

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)?
Does the phone ensure work (eg unsent text messages) is not lost either by user or system error?
Does the phone prevent calls being accidentally made?

Recognition rather than recall

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

Flexibility and efficiency of use

Does the phone allow for a range of user expertise?
Does the phone guide novice users sufficiently?
Is it possible for expert users to use shortcuts and to tailor frequent actions?
Is it possible to access and re-use a recent history of instructions (eg recently called numbers)?
Does the phone allow for a range of user goals (eg calling, text messaging, playing games) and interaction styles?

Aesthetic and minimalist design

Is the design simple, intuitive, easy to learn and pleasing?
Is the phone free from irrelevant, unnecessary and distracting information?
Are icons clear and buttons labelled and is the use of graphic controls obvious?
Is the information displayed at any one time kept to a minimum?
Is the phone easy to remember how to use?

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)?

Use of modes

Does the phone use different modes appropriately and effectively?

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?
Has the number of screens required per task been minimized (by minimizing use of white space and careful use of menus)


Is the phone fun to use?

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?

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