Which guideline includes Accessibility when using Nielsen's Heuristics?



  • We've been tasked with performing a heuristic analysis for a project, and the requirements specifically include the use Nielsen's heuristics.

    Although this isn't a problem for us, we usually use a reduced version of Kaniasty's criteria ( moved from the criteria of https://www.researchgate.net/publication/220302615_Ergonomic_Criteria_for_the_Evaluation_of_Human-Computer_Interfaces_Criteres_Ergonomiques_pour_l%27Evaluation_d%27Interfaces_Utilisateurs ), since they contain a fairly complete criterion for accessibility.

    Now I never noticed that Nielsen's heuristic doesn't include a clear heuristic criterion for accessibility (and neither does Shneidermann, although we've used "Keep Locus of Control" for accessibility).

    In Nielsen's, the criterion that comes most readily to mind is # 6, "Recognition rather than recall."

    So my question is: is this the right one? Or is there a better rule to group all accessibility concerns?

    The Nielsen guidelines are so broad and vague that almost any guideline could fall under these accessibility criteria, so I'm not sure it's the right one.



  • I think the issue lies in the question. It assumes inclusion of accessibility in the heuristics, while you cannot treat accessibility as an isolated rule like the others. As we often say, accessibility is not a single person’s responsibility, neither can be handled as a phase or a last checkpoint.

    There was some work done to map WCAG rules to Nielsen’s heuristics, which shows the nature of their relation. Accessibility is not one of the rules, but there’s a big overlap of what’s necessary for accessibility and the heuristics.

    • https://blog.myplanet.com/usability-and-accessibility-213c3185314f
    • https://www.researchgate.net/publication/336472653_Mapping_WCAG_Guidelines_to_Nielsen%27s_Heuristics

    So personally I would say that Nielsen’s heuristics are necessary but not sufficient for accessibility.




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