Developing a Set of Web & Mobile Heuristics

Download the Web Heuristics Rating Guide

You can find the descriptions of each heuristic and read more in a post under the same title in the articles section of this site.


While in graduate school I had learned about and reviewed a number of heuristic guidelines. It seemed to me that they were either not entirely compatible with the web and rising mobile experiences or they were just too simple to be effective. So I created a set of web/mobile heuristics as well as a practical spreadsheet that can be used by teams to evaluate their own or competitor web and mobile sites/applications.

Web Heuristics for Evaluating Sites/Applications for Web and Mobile

My list of heuristics for the web are as follows:

  • Fast Speed/Fluid Interactions
  • Branding/Consistent/Trustworthy Appearance
  • Accessible
  • Proper Feedback/Messaging
  • Clear and Concise Writing
  • Reduce Cognitive Load & Disruptions
  • Minimize Redundancy

Lessons Learned

One thing I have learned when using a heuristic of any kind, is to have more the one person do an evaluation. It has been interesting to not only see the wide range of issues reviewer’s can log, but also the range of ratings they give for the same issue. This includes teams of formally trained UX people. While it is great to have a team of “expert” UX consultants do this, I have also been able to successfully train non-ux teams in a few hours and have great results. Once everyone has compiled their list of issues and ratings, I have everyone get together to share their findings and why they rated them the way they did and then we create a final rating based on an agreed composite.

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