compiled user comments by heuristic--week 9

brad hokanson (
Sun, 1 Mar 98 21:42:45 -0600

From: "brad hokanson" <>
Subject: compiled user comments by heuristic--week 9
Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 1 Mar 98 21:42:45 -0600

Short User Comments, by Heurisitc., Brad Hokanson compiler. March 1, 1998.


Target market should be administrators, not novice users.
Unclear about what program did.
Did not understand terminology used.
Did not understand why someone would want to do this. Needed to see an actual
archive first.
Not the right person to use this program.
Tabs inplied order did not matter, but it really did.
Wizard could be better.
No conceptual model of what i was trying to do.
Couldn't see the right stuff.
System didn't provide more than right or wrong.
Visually cluttered or busy.
Chronological, left/right order vague.
Going back to the leftmost tab to set up filtering was out of order.
Filters concept confusing.
Fiters location easily missed.
Selecting multiple mailboxes difficult.
Users blaiming themselves a lot, per Norman.

Heuristic Evaluation:
*Simple and natural dialog*

Visual noise present; too much information at once.
Tabs implied no specific order, but there was some.

Users hinted at desire to walk throug wizard like.
Didn't understand what the project was about.

Pull generate out from the rest of the functions.
Too wordy, and that over whelmed the help lines at the bottom.

Not a logical connection between text box and when you're supposed to enter
Order to do things in was unclear.

*Speak the user's language*
Main part of interface difficult to understand while reading it.
language confusing; uses jargon.
Context help reads well.

*Minimize user memory load*
Had to remember the settings in the first screen. Needs current settings.
Little needed to be remembered.

*Be consistent*
Users commented that only one area was seen so it was hard to be inconsistent.

*Provide Feedback*
Feedback for intermediate steps would be good, like with mailboxes.
help on the bottom was good.
First and last tabs good to be marked as first and last, but the rest weren't.
Greying out in a standard left to right structure confuses the user; didn't want
to skip.

*Provide clearly marked exits*

Tabs worked in lieu of exits.

*Provide shortcuts*
Can't do multiple selections.
Defaults helped when supplied.

*Good error messages*
Error messages not that informative.
Particularly at the multiple mailboxes part. 92x)
Does not correspond to what the user is trying to do.

*Prevent errors*

multiple mailboxes problem/solution should be visible.
Errors could have been prevented by avoidance of errors.
Blank text boxes invited errors.

Brad Hokanson
Department of Design Housing and Apparel
University of Minnesota