10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design

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Summary: Jakob Nielsen’s 10 general principles for interaction design. They are called “heuristics” because they are broad rules of thumb and not specific usability guidelines.

"10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design"
Nielsen Norman Group, April 24, 1994
Heuristic Evaluation, Human Computer Interaction, Web Usability
By Jakob Nielsen

#1: Visibility of system status

#2: Match between system and the real world

#3: User control and freedom

#4: Consistency and standards

#5: Error prevention

#6: Recognition rather than recall

#7: Flexibility and efficiency of use

#8: Aesthetic and minimalist design

#9: Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors

#10: Help and documentation

Read the Full Article »

The full article includes more detailed discussion and links to numerous articles and videos, along with full set of references to Jakob Nielsen and Rolf Molich’s original research. While the original article is from 1994, NNg is publishing plenty of current material along these lines.

Related Videos


Published on Dec 29, 2017 – Jakob Nielsen discusses how proven heuristics and UX design guidelines can drive big advances in creating valuable products. (Blooper at the end :-) )

Published on Aug 23, 2019 – No. 3 of the top 10 #UX design #heuristics is to allow users freedom to be in control of the interaction, even if they make mistakes and will need a clearly marked way out of trouble.

Published on Jul 26, 2019 – No. 1 of the top 10 #UX design #heuristics is to provide visibility of system status through proper feedback, so that the user knows how commands are being interpreted and what the computer is up to at any time.

Published on Aug 18, 2017 – Users spend most of their time on other sites. This means that users prefer your site to work the same way as all the other sites they already know. Design for patterns for which users are accustomed. The original 1999 discussion of Jakob's Law.



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