There may be a time when we need to conduct a Usability Evaluation without any users.
Ultimately, we want to always consider user testing. However, when we are establishing a baseline or resources are limited, we can gather valuable feedback amongst team members.
Each evaluator examines the interface and judges its compliance based on Jakob Nielsen’s 10 Usability Heuristics, which are recognised usability principles.
How to get started…
Don’t do it alone
One person will never be able to find all the usability problems in an interface. Bring a team of evaluators together of around 3-5 members (more than 5 has shown not to bring any extra value to the analysis).
Have a plan
Set up a procedure that evaluators can follow an ensure they have the same supporting documents to help them go through the analysis and a consistent format for reporting their findings.
Time is of the essence
Provide a good timeframe for evaluators to conduct the analysis and provide their findings.
Once all the findings have been reported by each evaluator, come back together and discuss the results. Work out which findings are most important to fix.
Put together a report
You can’t do all that work and not provide it in a well-reported document! Put together your overview, purpose and scope, methodology, findings and recommendations (include screenshots and provide good examples). Don’t forget your conclusion and references.
An example report
Here is one I prepared earlier, based on edX course – Principles of designing for humans.
Principles of Designing for Humans – edX course
10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design – NN Group
How to Conduct a Heuristic Evaluation – NN Group
Heuristic’s Evaluation and Expert Reviews – Usability Gov