Creating a UX Assessment (also known as a Heuristic Evaluation) is not all that complicated. A UX Assessment is when a member or members of a UX Design Team conduct a “best practices” evaluation of a product, service or design with the explicit goal of identifying usability focus points. When I conduct an assessment, I’ll use a Google Slide deck, since it’s easily sharable, and I can export to pdf if needed.
Generally, when I need to conduct a UX Assessment of an interface or service I start by capturing screenshots or photos of all the different states or screens of the interface. This part takes some time, but is really important for getting a good high level comprehension of the interface being evaluated. After all, you wouldn’t want to have a tunnel vision of the experience without considering all the factors that come into play.
The below sections will describe to you the different sections that appear in a UX assessment that I conduct. I’ll try to provide my thoughts for each section as well as my process flow. As you go through the information, it’s a good idea to open up the UX assessment template. You may freely make copies of this template.
UX Assessment High Level Construct
There are six (6) main sections that make up the UX Assessment. Each section is intended to provide the user with expectations that they may have, understanding around our priorities, and direction on what’s next and how to consume the information best.
The title slide is like the cover of your book. You will typically find the company logo. There will also be a title similar to this example: “productName UX Assessment”. Following that, I’ll put the date that the assessment will be completed. My teams name will appear. I’ll also put my name and any other people I’m working with as well. Lastly, the mgr or boss’ name (they like to get credit for your hard work).
Getting Started Section
In this section, you will explain the scope of the assessment. Additionally, include “Key” information, kind of like what you would find on a map. Here’s where you will explain the parts of your standard UX Assessment Slide (which I will explain lower).
This is a top level section used to call out key findings that effect the full product, service, or interface as a whole. You can consider these items to be “HIGHEST of HIGH” priority issues.
In the conclusion, I like to place a “Next Steps” slide so as to help nudge the business who will be consuming the UX Assessment into action. On the next steps slide I have one bullet for “Does anyone else need to learn of these findings?”, one for “What actions should be taken at this point?”, and one for “What else can we help with?”. Last but not least is the “Reference” slide where I list all the links to the “Heuristics”, “Best Practices”, “Top 10″‘s, and any other resource that I needed to reference in order to gain a full picture so that I can grade the various elements that I encountered while evaluating the design.
Findings Slide Construct
Off canvas on the left
- Yellow, numbered down arrow allows you to point at the specific points in a screenshot that the finding is referring to.
- Yellow (low), orange (mid), and (red) high severity indication.
- Orange dot can be used to present process flows.
- blue heart is for communicating things that stand out as good user experience.
- green smily is a comment or question indicator.
Left text area of slide
- Replace “[finding title]” with a title for the finding, such as “Buttons are too small”.
- Replace “[explanation]” with a concisely written explanation of the usability concern.
- Replace “[Recommendation]” with a clear recommendation for next steps. Remember to root every call out in solid usability best practices from reputable sources.
Empty grey section on the right
The empty grey section on the right is where you place a screenshot or photograph of the screen or interface step that you are evaluating.
This completes my UX Assessment Tutorial. Hope you can glean info from this. Maybe you should probably come up with your own slide scheme, color scheme etc though so that it doesn’t seem like everyone doing ux is copying each other!!! haha.
Good luck! Let me know if you have questions. Remember to see the follow up article Presenting the UX Assessment next. ~ Lucas
- Extending the Usability of Heuristics for Design and Evaluation: Lead, Follow, and Get Out of the Way, Robert J. Kamper
- 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design, Jakob Nielsen
- Basic Principles for Interface Design, Bruce Tognazzini
- 6 Tips for a Great Flex UX: Part 5, Theresa Neil
- Usability Applied to Life, Joshua Kaufman
- UX Research Reports, Nielsen Norman Group
- Heuristic Evaluations and Expert Reviews, usability.gov
- 7 Best Practices for Improving Your Website’s Usability, Jacob Gube
- Usability & User Experience, The Smashing Editorial