Information architecture heuristics by Abby_the_IA

Abby Covert Information Architecture Heuristics

Findable – Able to be located

Is it Findable?  Can users easily locate that which they are seeking?  How is findability affected across channels and devices? Are there multiple ways available to access things? How do external and internal search engines “see” what is provided?  Is information formatted with results in mind?  What is provided to make the delivered results more useful?

Accessible – Easily approached and/or entered

Is it Accessible? Can it be used via all expected Be aware that upwards of 20% or more of the channels and devices?! worldʼs population has. How resilient and consistent is it a disability. when used via “other” channels?  The internet is a public place. Does it meet the levels of place. Itʼs like building a ramp to your building, or accessibility compliance to be refusing to be  considerate of those users with disabilities.

Clear – Easily perceptible

Is it Clear?  Is it easy to understand? Is the target demographicsʼ grade and reading level being considered? Is the path to task completion obvious and free of distraction? Would a user find it easy to describe?

TOP 3 Clarity Offenses

•  Corporate underpants: When you are obviously making a navigational decision based on your organizational structure, not user decision paths.

•  Inside Baseball: When you are calling something a term that is unclear to anyone that doesnʼt work for your company.

•  Weasel Words: When you are being purposefully unclear in language to avoid making a promise or decision about process or commitment to a user.

Communicative – Talkative. informing, timely

Is it communicative?  Is the status, location and permissions of the user obvious? How is messaging used throughout? Is messaging effective for the tasks and contexts being supported? Does the navigation and messaging help establish a sense of place that is consistent and orienting across channels, contexts and tasks?

Useful – Capable of producing the desired or intended result

Is it Useful?  Is it usable? Are users able to complete the tasks that they set out to without massive frustration or abandon?  Does it serve new users as well as loyal users in ways that satisfy their needs uniquely?  Are there a few navigation options that lead where users may want to go next? Are they clearly labeled?

Credible – Worthy of confidence, reliable

Is it Credible? Is the design appropriate to the context of use and audience? Is your content updated in a timely manner? Do you use restraint with promotional content?  Is it easy to contact a real person? Is it easy to verify your credentials?  Do you have help/support content where it is needed? Especially important when asking for sensitive personal data.

Controllable – Able to adjust to a requirement

Is it Controllable? Are tasks and information a user would reasonably want to accomplish available? How well are errors anticipated and eliminated? When errors do occur, how easily can a user recover? Are features offered to allow the user to tailor information or functionality to their context? Are exits and other important controls clearly marked?

Valuable– Of great use, service and importance

Is it Valuable? Is it desirable to the target user? Does it maintain conformity with expectations throughout the interaction across channels? Can a user easily describe the value? How is success being measured? Does it contribute to the bottom line? Does it improve customer satisfaction?

Learnable – To fix in the mind, in the memory

Is it Learnable? Can it be grasped quickly? What is offered to ease the more complicated processes? Is it memorable? Is it easy to recount? Does it behave consistently enough to be predictable?!

Delightful– Greatly pleasing

Is it Delightful? What are your differentiators from other similar experiences or competitors? What cross channel ties can be explored that delight?  How are user expectations not just met but exceeded? What are you providing that is unexpected? What can you take that is now ordinary and make extraordinary?

These heuristics are provided by @Abby_The_IA

You can view the IA Heuristics by Abby Covert Slideshare deck of the presentaiton.

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