Usability testing helps improve your app's user experience

Find out how user-friendly your software is with this free UX quiz

Visibility of system status

The system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within reasonable time.

Does every part of the screen start with a header or "title" that describes its content?

Does the system provide visuals that help the user understand in which screen he is standing?

Do error messages always appear in the same place on the screen?

Is the user informed when a task is taking too much time?

Can the user distinguish between active and inactive controls?

Match between system and the real world

The system should speak the users" language, with words, phrases and concepts familiar to the user, rather than system-oriented terms. Follow real-world conventions, making information appear in a natural and logical order.

Are icons understandable for the user?

Are menu options sorted in a natural and logical way?

Do menu titles follow consistent grammatical structure and style?

Is terminology appropriate for the user?

Is your system’s aesthetic up to date?

User control and freedom

Users often choose system functions by mistake and will need a clearly marked "emergency exit" to leave the unwanted state without having to go through an extended dialogue. Support undo and redo.

Is the user asked to confirm actions that will have drastic, negative or destructive consequences?

Are the users able to undo every important action they’ve taken?

Can users cancel actions in progress?

Is the system designed in such a way that buttons that execute opposite or potentially dangerous actions are not similarly-named?

Can users reverse actions in a simple way?

Consistency and standards

Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing.

Are terms and language consistent throughout the system?

Are icons consistent throughout the system?

Are controls (buttons, combo boxes,etc) consistent throughout the system?

Are the names of menu options consistent with every menu item of the system, in terms of grammar and terminology?

Is color coding consistent throughout the system?

Error prevention

Even better than good error messages is a careful design which prevents a problem from occurring in the first place. Either eliminate error-prone conditions or check for them and present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action.

Does the system warn users when they are about to make a potentially serious mistake?

Does the system prevent users from making mistakes whenever it’s possible?

Are users permissions appropriate to the tasks they need to perform?

Does the system provides data entry hints in order to prevent mistakes?

Are the available menu choices logical, distinguible and mutually exclusive?

Recognition rather than recall

Minimize the user's memory load by making objects, actions, and options visible. The user should not have to remember information from one part of the dialogue to another. Instructions for use of the system should be visible or easily retrievable whenever appropriate.

Does the system avoid the need to re-enter information already provided?

Is there a clear visual distinction between single and multiple choice menus?

Does the system indicate which controls are currently inactive in a clear, visual way?

Are items grouped and placed logically and consistently throughout the system?

Do the graphic elements such as colors, icons and imagery exist only to help the users accomplish their tasks?

Flexibility and efficiency of use

Accelerators -- unseen by the novice user -- may often speed up the interaction for the expert user such that the system can cater to both inexperienced and experienced users. Allow users to tailor frequent actions.

Does the system provide advanced search options?

Does the system provide contextual menu options?

Is the user able to use shortcuts to perform a task?

Does the system anticipate user's possible needs and provide easy actions?

Can the user easily find highly desirable information?

Aesthetic and minimalist design

Dialogues should not contain information which is irrelevant or rarely needed. Every extra unit of information in a dialogue competes with the relevant units of information and diminishes their relative visibility.

Is the essential information to make decisions, and just that information, shown in the screen?

Are icons clearly related to the concept they represent?

Do elements maintain a certain hierarchy?

Does each data entry screen include a simple, short and clear "title"?

Are main actions visually distinguishable from alternative flows?

Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors

Error messages should be expressed in plain language (no codes), precisely indicate the problem, and constructively suggest a solution.

Does the system inform the users when an error is occuring?

Do the error messages announce the information using plain language?

Are the feedback and error messages clear and concise?

Do error messages guide the user toward resolution of the problem?

If the system detects an error in the data entry fields, does it somehow highlight that particular field?

Help and documentation

Even though it is better if the system can be used without documentation, it may be necessary to provide help and documentation. Any such information should be easy to search, focused on the user's task, list concrete steps to be carried out, and not be too large.

Is the help information accurate, comprehensible and complete?

Is the help information right where needed?

Does the documentation allow the user to understand, interpret and proceed correctly?

Can the user easily access help information without interrupting the work?

After reading the help information, are the users able of continuing with their work right where they left it?


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