10 Rules to improve your User Interface Design : Jakob’s Heuristic Evaluation

Have you ever wondered how to build a better interface or want to boost your App’s usability but don’t have the actual users? Follow Jakob Nielsen ‘s 10 UI Design rules which were developed in 1990 but are still being applied today.

1. Visibility of system status :

Let the user know what’s going on and make the user realise that the app is live and working.

2. Match between the system and the real world :

Always use words and forms which the user understands from the real world already. To put it another way, don’t make the user learn a whole new interface “language.” Use symbols and icons that have real world meaning already attached to them.

3. User control and freedom :

We all make mistakes, So, it’s important to make sure that the user can have either undos or redos, or in the case of an app, more likely that they’ll need to backtrack to an earlier screen.Give them the freedom to move around the app.

4. Consistency and standards :

Jakob says repetition, continuity, and similarities are used to help speed things up within the system and help create understanding inside the user. So, you just need to learn how to function the interface once.

5. Error prevention :

Don’t create circumstances where mistakes can exist. If the customer is making an error, make sure you’ll give them a quick way out. You want user interaction to be easy and seamless with interface.

6. Recognition rather than recall :

The user should able to see the part of the interface that they’re going to interact with and recognise immediately that that’s the place, the point, or site of interaction.

7. Flexibility and efficiency of use :

Think of your interface like a bike, some users will want to ride fast, and some will want to go slow, but both want to get to their destination as fast as possible.

8. Aesthetic and minimalist design :

You don’t want any needless details that distracts from the details you need. In interface design, the familiar phrase “less is more” often applies.

9. Help users recognise, diagnose, and recover from errors :

If there is a problem, offer quickly and easily the best solution for the user. If you quickly solve the problem it’s like it never happened.

10 . Help and documentation

You should provide help for the user, but keep it hidden until they need it. Nobody wants instructions that they don’t really need.


In no way does Heuristic evaluation replace the user test with real users. However, this Nielsen’s Heuristics usability inspection method prevents you from making an unusable product right from the start. As a rule of thumb these heuristics should be used for good performance on a paper sample, wireframe or finished product.

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