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Heuristic Evaluation Quality Score (HEQS): Defining Heuristic Expertise

Shazeeye Kirmani

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 4, Issue 1, November 2008, pp. 49-59


This paper identifies the factors affecting heuristic expertise and defines levels of expertise permissible to conduct an evaluation. It aims to standardize skills or define heuristic expertise worldwide and also suggests ways to improve issue categorization.

An online heuristic evaluation competition was hosted on the World Usability Day website in November 2007 by Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA), Bangalore. Twenty contestants from the U.S. and India with heuristic evaluation experience ranging from 0 to 10 years participated. Contestants were judged on a quantitative framework that assigns weights to the severity of the identified issues (Kirmani & Rajasekaran, 2007). Results indicated that the group with average heuristic experience of 2 years found a mean HEQS% of 8% in 1 hour. Previous studies identified that evaluators found a mean of 34% of issues but did not address issue quality (Nielsen & Landauer, 1993). Further studies on heuristic expertise quality would make the standards more reliable.

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Heuristic Evaluation Quality Score (HEQS): Defining Heuristic Expertise