Interaction Design

Lesson 8/18 - What are Heuristics?


Interaction Design


Lesson Info

What are Heuristics?

What I'd like do now is do a deep dive and get into some concrete examples. So, what we're going to do is going to introduce a set of design heuristics, and heuristics are just best practices. It's a fancy word of saying best practices. Heuristics for identifying interface errors, and strategies for correcting them. And then I'm gonna walk you through some examples of actual user interfaces and we're gonna talk about what they're doing well and what they could do better. A heuristic, the definition of it, focused around interaction design is, it's a recognized usability principle based on years of data and refinement. Basically, this field has been around of a couple years now. It's been around for at least 20 years in its current incarnation. Before that, you already had folks in the 50s talking about designing for humans. So, this has been around for a while. And over time, certain patterns emerge of what works and what doesn't. And those patterns that emerge get encoded into a set o...

f heuristics. The ones that I'm going to tell you about today are... So, every expert in the field has their own phrasing of these heuristics, but overall, they're all kind of similar. Like, Cooper has a way of saying it, Adobe has a way of saying it, the Nielsen Norman Group, Bill Scott and Theresa Neil, they have different ways of saying, of articulating certain heuristics. And the ones that we're talking about today are drawing from these two sources, from the Neilsen Norman Group, which by the way, amazing site, you should totally subscribe to their newsletter. Because they've been doing evidence-based research since the mid to late 90s. A lot of the things that we know, we know because of Neilsen Norman Group. And then I combined it with some heuristics that I got from Bill Scott and Theresa Neil's book, "Designing Web Interfaces," and I turned it into something new, tried to consolidate this into five rules to follow when you're designing good interactions. So, remember, interaction design is a conversation. And heuristics are one way of creating these smooth interactions, these interactions where you just feel understood. That the interface isn't just considerate, but it's an interface that anticipates your needs. So heuristics and microinteractions and mental mouse, all this stuff is connected.

Class Description

Interaction design defines the relationship between people and the product they use, from computers to mobile apps and beyond. In this introductory class, industry expert Jamal Nichols will explain what Interaction Design is and how to incorporate it into your work to create more meaningful experiences. Designers tend to focus on how things look, when the focus should equally be on how things work.

In this class, Jamal covers:
  • What Interaction design is and how to think about it 
  • Core principles and methods of interaction design 
  • How to master interaction design and create experiences that flow 
 If you work in the digital space and are a new or seasoned designer, this class is for you.



After viewing this course, I have a ton of ideas to bring back to my current projects, and how I can improve my past projects, as well as best prepare for the future. Jamal's extensive experience and real-world comparative examples, helped paint the picture on how to put this course content to good use in my day-to-day design activities. I appreciate Creative Live's layout of limiting 2 questions per segment. This allowed for more time for content and I'm able to write down my questions to address and connect with Jamal offline. I'm also grateful that Jamal/Creative Live organized the course segments in a timely way that the course went fast but stayed memorable and understandable. The bonus materials are such an invaluable source of information! Jamal conveys his knowledge and passion for interaction design easily. You can tell he genuinely cares about paying his experience forward, by how he expresses his design approach and how he really listens when he's asked a question. He takes his time to think before he speaks in order to address the questions clearly so everyone can benefit. Thank you Jamal and THANK YOU CREATIVE LIVE!

Veronica Reyes

I really enjoyed this class. I've had some previous experience and training with interaction design, so this in depth course helped to re-instate core concepts and techniques as well as introducing more examples, tools, scenarios and resources that all in all made me more confident and excited about interaction design. Creative Live organized a seamless event, had delicious food, snacks and refreshments throughout the day and were very nice. Thank you CL!

Daniel Bell

This course was so much fun to watch. Jamal is a very engaging speaker and went into great detail while still being direct and to the point. The bonus videos are great! They feel like a behind the scenes look and he really goes off script to give detailed answers to questions like how to design your portfolio site. Great class!