Heuristics

Jakob Nielsen was quite a lucky man

To have such a following of countless a fan

With so many taking his heuristics as law

Modifying thinking as they draw

Just as though he cast a spell

Finding words from the dictionary to tell

He plucked the word Visibility

And gave it a twist of invincibility

Now it is related to systems status

And about updating the user without a hiatus

Then he looked up the word Match

Thought aloud, “Hmm, I’m sure this will catch.”

While drawing attention to the virtual realm

Hoping it will not overwhelm

Making it familiar with the world at large

No matter if you live in the woods or on a barge

Now that we have found our place in the world

Users will want to cast their pinions unfurled

Spreading their wings with Freedom and Control

So through systems they can roll

Freedom from fear of making mistakes

Is the key to design that makes or breaks

As too much freedom leads to confusion

But too much control and your facing exclusion

There needs to be Standards and Consistency

To balance the look, feel and imagery

And in the spirit of Error Prevention

Offer confirmation to avoid apprehension

And since users no longer have instant recall

You’ll need to offer suggestions so they do not stumble and stall

The power of Recognition is like hypnotic suggestion

Helping users improve their long term memory retention

Now for the expert user who has no time to spare

Give them Flexibility and Efficiency to use somewhere

Weave it through the site with shortcut keys and icons

So they get on with it and let bygones be bygones

Now Aesthetic is a word all covered in dust

You’ll need to wipe it down and buff off the rust

Quite under used and very subjective

It’s difficult to say and quite reflective

What is beautiful and becoming

Can be different and varied as each persons heart drumming

Some prefer chaos while other’s Minimalism

It can create quite a dividing schism

Now let’s get back to errors and problems

An endless listing in online forums

The trick is to get users to try

When they have stumbled, and not to cry

If they have hit upon a snag

Give them a message with a clear tag

Help them get themselves out of their quandary

So they can jump high over boundary

And if all else fails and they still are stuck

Offer clear Documentation to get out of the muck

Now I’m not sure if this is what Jakob intended

Perhaps this poem will leave some minds bended.

When he wrote his list of heuristics

He played around with linguistics

Anyone can learn the poets code

And mince words to write an ode

But to create a system that works flawlessly

Be prepared to make a great odyssey.

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