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I have performed heuristic evaluation on a couple of websites and have them recorded on my notepad. I am re-designing the screens as per my findings from the heuristic evaluation.

Could you help me with the below questions please?

  1. Is it ok to prepare a case study based on the heuristic evaluation and corresponding re-design without any actual user research ?
  2. Does it qualify as a proper case study since i have findings about shortcomings of a wesite an I am trying to improve the experience ?
  3. Is this kind of case study based on Heuristics Evaluation worth including in portfolio ?
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01: On Heurstic evalution

Heuristic evaluations certainly would be helpful to find out shortcomings. But this is just one dimension for evaluating the interface

02: On user research

This gives more ideas about user behavior and how they accomplish the current task on current platform + on the competitor's platform.

Doing 02 would help you bring in more ideas to the table, creating efficient flows or IA or even implementing any powerful features to the platform.

Missing out on 02, you would miss a part of the purpose. Adding 02 would bring in more credibility.

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  1. It really depends on why you're making the case study as to whether or not writing one on an HE alone is acceptable. If you're looking to put together a portfolio showing some UX expertise, totally okay. If you're trying to get stakeholder buy-in or expand the UX maturity within your organization I would focus more on the value of testing with real users.

  2. Yes it qualifies as a proper case study. Agencies have written case studies about improving websites for years based on nothing other than "making it prettier" so if you're using an established system for evaluation good on you. As far as UX goes though you might want to read some articles on "UX Theatre" and think about how to set yourself up for doing some real UX.

  3. Yes if you feel you did a good job, made improvements and are satisfied with your work put it in your portfolio!

@Swapna made some really good points about User Flows or IA. If you're starting to build your UX portfolio makes sure to include UX docs and artifacts other than just final designs if you can. If you want to build your UX chops without having lots of budget available remember there are lots of relatively cheap User Testing and A/B Testing tools available.

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To answer your questions:

  1. Yes, you can have it without the user research. Heuristic evaluations are sometimes done strategically in the absence of user research. Heuristic evaluations will typically find between 30% and 50% of problems found in a concurrent usability test (Law and Hvannberg)

It's up to you how much you want to include in your case study, the more things you can include the more the depth of your work and understanding is shown.

  1. Yes it's perfectly acceptable to only have a heuristic evaluation with outcomes in a case study. This is a valuable piece of work that we commonly have to do on UX projects. There are projects I've been involved in where this was the only piece of work that was requested.

  2. Yes it's worth including in your portfolio as this will communicate your capacity of performing an evaluation and the insights you are capable of drawing from this activity.

Hope this helps.

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