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Understanding the role of heuristics and the theory of baseline on the

current E-commerce experiences
Gustavo Soto Mino
UCLIC. University College London. London, UK.
The aim of this essay consists in analyzing the context of the first heuristics guidelines proposed
by Nielsen by year 1990 and compare with the actual scenario of interactions. Then give some
examples of e-commerce web experiences which radical differences between the original surf
or context and the experience of buy and take consumption decisions on the web environment.
Finally, discuss some of the relevant particular points of using specific and fresh heuristics for
E-commerce and discover the differences.

It is undeniable the sustained growth e-commerce had experienced since a couple of years ago. The future is even
more auspicious projecting a continued growth that is not
less than 14% until 2017. The e-commerce model offer a
series of advantages for the company and users, however an
important point of this kind of intangible selling is recreate
the credibility and reliability that give the real shopping experience. Design to generate these emotions is key (Hartson
& Pyla, 2012). One of the biggest problems that it can recognize when analyzing the e-commerce model, it is the fact
that a significant part of the experience happen outside of the
digital environment. The experience with the service do not
finish with the transaction, it is expand in the time, channels
and stakeholders. Moreover, the tools that the industry offer for developing websites is clearly focused on the digital
part of the experience. The aim of this document is present
a revision from two perspectives, primarily identifying the
strengths of using guidelines or heuristic documents in the
design process of a website. Secondly, it is necessary to point
out that this kind of tool sometimes is not enough consistent
in order to understand the e-commerce, as a complete experience.
Close to 1990 Nielsen developed some call the Heuristic
Evaluation. (Nielsen & Molich, 1990) Five years later the
same Nielsen hit the world of HCI proposing a ten heuristics for user interface design. Those ten commands are still
broadly used by thousands of designers, and HCI practitioners around the world. This list considers a few key components that every interface experience should offer. Communicate briefly, use affordances. (Norman, 2002). Also provide
to the users the sensation of control, present consistent information, give the ability to solve any problem in the use.
Also, provide a flexible and recognizable environment, avoid

the excessive information but put the documentation accessible. These are the key points of this document published
almost 20 years ago.
It is true that these points offer a baseline for the development of an interactive experience. Even when trough
the times new kind of interfaces and systems has appeared.
The focus on control, content and communication is still the
same. However, it is important to understand that this vision
born from an only navigation perspective, when the users just
surf the web looking for information, and that was the only
Nowadays the relationship with the interactive systems
has been changed. Users immerse into the web not just looking for content; they want to interact with the content, look
for products to buy, they take desitions, and finally buy it.
These actions and needs appear trough the years. Moreover,
were not considered initially with Nielsen. This fact does not
mean that the primary heuristics are wrong or obsolete, but
they are basics and foundational.
Some authors agree with the vision of the "baseline" (Hartson & Pyla, 2012). Pointing out the use of this
tools like the Heuristic evaluation is only useful for a novice
designer. As a method of giving the tools necessary for analyzing accurately the systems and interfaces. The list of
heuristics, with the pass of time, have been converted in an
knowledge that every senior user experience practitioner can
manage and apply in every design or project.
New experiences, new heuristics
Fortunately, the guidelines and heuristics research papers
have been taken an interesting path. Nowadays there is a very
specific research in E-commerce, and it make sense. There
are new devices; new design strategies and new technology
that allowed transmit new and powerful content. Moreover,
and most important, there is new behaviors and expectations
of the users. New behaviors mean new stages of a relationship with the products, by consequence new emotions, moti-

The capacity of maintaining. (Lu. . Now should give to the users the opportunity of clarifying the needs and be aware if the product will solve that need. the transaction level. B. it is critical to managing the originals heuristics of Nielsen. L. This "theory of baseline" is necessary to give the ground to every web experience. The people need to be sure about what is the experience about. References Blackwell. J. 2003). (2003). D. over the time.. another point is to give the user the sensation of taking well decisions.. Schwartz. pointing that the original and more simple heuristics lists and guidelines are not meant to design a complete experience.. In Proceedings of the sigchi conference on human factors in computing systems (pp. (2006). However... 224–237. Miniard. (2014). NY. These new elements add complexity to the simple Nielsen heuristics. (2002). Basic Books. In Achi 2014. & Wang. Consumer behavior. Miniard. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research. Conclusion As a user experience consultant or developer. Hartson. a new level of the original "sensation of control" proposed in the Nielsen’s heuristics. The design of everyday things. 249–256). appears an essential element of every online store. (Blackwell. S. for the user’s perspective. R. All this is floating above this baseline of Heuristics.. P.97281 Norman. Elsevier. They understand that the experience is continuous in time. it is demanding trustworthiness. USA: ACM. Effects of dissatisfaction on customer repurchase decisions in e-commerce–an emotionbased perspective. 27–34). The authors create a new set of heuristics list based on the stages of the relationship of the consumers described in the book: "Buying Decision Process". (1990). & Engel. Moreover. Thomson/South-Western. and consider that problems with the purchase it is part in the whole process. 2012). Nielsen. The authors were adding to the list. (2012). wireframes or design. T. & Wang. New York. the website not only should communicate well. J. happy and returning clients. it is a fact that todayÂt’s the market and the users are demanding extremely well designed experiences. & Molich. This part is the most critical step from a business perspective. the seventh international conference on advances in computerhuman interactions (pp.1145/97243. & Granollers. Limiting the offer and be consistent with the related products. Lu. This stage should put to the costumer in a final stage of the funnel of conversion. and most important. HarperCollins. Moreover. (2012). The paradox of choice: Why more is less. R. Y. A set of heuristics for user experience evaluation in e-commerce websites. P.2 GUSTAVO SOTO MINO vations and needs. Additionally the authors include a heuristics list considering the Post-Sales Behaviour. (Bonastre & Granollers. (Schwartz. They set new paradigms at the moment of understanding the experiences. 2006). In A Set Of Heuristics for User Experience Evaluation in E-commerce Websites. The ux book: process and guidelines for ensuring a quality user experience. Bonastre. & Pyla. 2014). Lu. Lu. Moreover. B. & Engel. R.. Heuristic evaluation of user interfaces. doi: 10. They are part now of the basic tools of every interaction design professional and should reflect in every decision. 13(3). Y.