Background
I led my team in a full heuristic evaluation of my client’s enterprise application one year prior to this exercise. I scheduled a follow-up review one year later, and take into consideration what we learned about the process.

Problem
A tight product roadmap meant our suggestions needed to fit into the plan for the year. I needed to show our client what was possible, taking into consideration the tech stack of the application and the resources we currently had.

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Solution
The first thing I did was break down the process. We perform Heuristic Review of certain features quarterly, rather than review the full application one time each year.

Next, I assembled a group of people within my team who don’t normally work with this application. Knowing the roadmap for the year, I blocked out three features for the team to review at this time, and set a schedule for the next features throughout the year.

The reviewers were given personas for the user types in order to perform the Heuristic Review on the scheduled features. We used 13 criteria created by Jakob Nielsen and Bruce Tognazzini. Using a 1-5 scoring scale, 1 being criteria not met and 5 being criteria completely met, the reviewers recorded their findings and comments. Later, they also made suggestions for improvements.

When the reviewers finished recording their data, I analyzed it for scoring, comments, and suggestions. The data was organized into a report of conclusions and recommendations, plus the raw data. I created a very high level presentation for client.

The presentation was brief. I presented an overview of the process, a list of things that the features of the system did well, and six ideas for small changes that would make a big impact. I also presented the features that we would suggest evaluating for the remainder of the year.

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Results
The Associate Vice President for this division was very impressed that I had listened to his early concerns and worked with the roadmap to create a manageable plan. As a direct result of this presentation, we were awarded two additional projects for two different products in their lineup.

We have successfully completed the additional projects on time and on budget and extended one of them to include development work.

My team continues with the quarterly heuristic review schedule, making sure the application is always improving. We have had a 100% success rate in having all of our recommendations acted upon. This plan has now become part of the yearly roadmap of this product.