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Expert review

What is an expert review?

An expert review, also known as a heuristic evaluation or usability inspection, is a method used to evaluate the usability and user experience of a product or system. It involves having an experienced evaluator (the expert) examine and assess the interface, functionality, and overall design based on a set of predefined usability principles or heuristics.

Synonyms: heuristic evaluation, usability inspection

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expert review

What are the benefits of conducting an expert review?

Here are all the ways in which conducting an expert review is beneficial:

  • Cost-effective: Expert reviews are a cost-effective method to evaluate usability without the need for extensive resources or participant recruitment.
  • Independent evaluation: Expert reviews provide an unbiased evaluation, offering a fresh perspective and uncovering usability issues that may have been overlooked internally.
  • Early detection and actionable insights: Expert reviews help identify usability issues early in the design process, providing specific recommendations for improvement and guiding design decisions.
  • Saving time and money: By addressing usability issues early on, expert reviews prevent costly redesigns, help to improve user experience, and contribute to the creation of a more efficient and user-friendly product.

When should you conduct an expert review?

An expert review can be conducted at various stages of the design and development process. We recommend conducting them iteratively to spot usability issues early on. 

Here are some common stages when an expert review can be helpful:

  • Early design phase: to identify potential usability issues in the early prototyping stages
  • Mid-design iteration: to assess the effectiveness of the design changes and ensure you hand off a user-friendly product 
  • Pre-launch: a final assessment before the product takes off
  • Before a redesign: identify areas for improvement, validate design decisions and ensure the new design aligns with your goals
  • Post-release evaluation: in a form of a preventive check, to identify areas of improvement and guide future updates

What are the different types of expert reviews?

  • Heuristic evaluation: Experts evaluate a product based on a set of predefined usability principles or heuristics and identify potential usability issues.
  • Cognitive walkthrough: Experts simulate the user’s thought process to evaluate how well a product supports users in achieving their goals.
  • Consistency inspection: Experts assess the consistency and coherence of the user interface by examining the design elements and interaction patterns.
  • Expert evaluation with empirical methods: Experts combine their subjective evaluation with empirical data, such as eye-tracking or user testing, to gain additional insights.
  • Feature analysis: Experts review specific features or functionalities of a product to assess their effectiveness, efficiency, and user satisfaction.

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How to conduct an expert review?

Conducting an expert review involves evaluating a product, service, or system based on the expertise and knowledge of an experienced professional. Here’s how to perform it:

  1. Define the purpose and objectives: Clarify the purpose of the expert review. Determine what aspects you want the expert to evaluate and what specific objectives you want to achieve through the review.
  2. Choose an expert: Choose an individual who possesses the necessary expertise and experience in the relevant field. Ideally, the expert should have a deep understanding of the subject matter and be familiar with industry best practices.
  3. Provide context: Provide the expert with relevant information about the product, service, or system under review. This includes any background documentation, user manuals, design specifications, or other relevant materials that can help them understand the context and purpose of the review.
  4. Set evaluation criteria: Define the criteria or standards against which the expert will evaluate the product. This could include usability, functionality, performance, reliability, accessibility, or any other relevant factors specific to the subject being reviewed.
  5. Conduct the review and document findings: The expert should thoroughly examine the product or system based on the defined criteria. They may use various methods such as product walkthroughs, inspections, or hands-on testing. During the review, ask the expert to document their findings, highlighting both positive and negative aspects. They should provide clear explanations and suggestions for improvement, including specific recommendations or actionable steps that can be taken to enhance the product.
  6. Provide recommendations: Based on the findings, the expert is expected to offer recommendations to address any identified issues or shortcomings. These recommendations should be practical and feasible, taking into account available constraints and resources.

After an expert review, prepare a comprehensive report summarizing the expert’s findings and recommendations. Use it to communicate the results to stakeholders, such as product managers, designers, developers, or other decision-makers, ensuring that the information is presented in a clear and actionable manner. 

Take care of implementing the necessary changes and solving critical issues as soon as possible.


What is an expert review in UX?

An expert review in UX is an evaluation method where an experienced professional assesses the usability, design, and overall user experience of a product, service, or system. The expert applies their knowledge and expertise to identify usability issues, provide recommendations, and suggest improvements.

What is the difference between a heuristic review and an expert review?

A heuristic review is a type of expert review where a UX expert evaluates a product based on established usability principles or heuristics. An expert review, on the other hand, is a broader term that encompasses various evaluation methods conducted by knowledgeable professionals to assess the usability and user experience of a product or system.

Learn More


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