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XE Heuristics

Use these elements as a guide for ensuring your experience design meets the needs of all involved.


Cognition - variable depicts cognitive demands and usability. These demands include but are not limited to: memory, language, learning and task complexity. Designs need to be evaluated on whether they are cognitively sound, simple and intuitive to use, visibility of the system status, match between the system and the real world, system feedback, use of user’s language, minimise user memory load, consistency and standards, recognition rather than recall, shortcuts for advanced users, and the amount of mental effort required.

Perception - designed entities must effectively communicate necessary information to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities - so it must be perceptible, consistent and visible.

Ergonomics - relates to the physical demands required to use the product, such as amount of effort, spatial considerations and that it is ergonomically sound. The product should maximise productivity whilst reducing participant fatigue or discomfort.

Aesthetics - relates to the visual or sensual appeal of the product


Flexibility - relates to the user control and available freedom. 

Effort - amount of energy required to complete task or activity

Error management - relates to how errors are minimised, eliminated or managed. This also relates to how users are supported to recover from errors.

Efficiency - relates to the number of steps, reuse and level of perceived productivity in the process

Seamlessness - relates to how the process is fragmented or streamlined

Time - relates to temporal considerations such as the responsiveness of the process, delays and sequencing people involved in the interaction or service


Responsiveness - the perceived speed and completeness of interaction with the service provider

Competence - relates to the level of expertise and knowledge of the people involved in the service or interaction

Courtesy - relates to the politeness, civility and respect shown by the people involved in the service or interaction

Credibility - relates to the reliability, authority and integrity of the people involved in the service or interaction

Equity - relates to the trust, fairness and consistency shown by the people involved in the service or interaction


Emotional strength - the emotional reactions, empathy or sensual experiences of the people involved in the service or interaction

Emotional valence - whether emotions expressed are positive
 or negative

Engagement - connection to the experience

Commitment - willingness to participate and persist with the experience