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Any approach to problem solving or self-discovery that employs a practical method that is not guaranteed to be optimal, perfect, or rational, but is nevertheless sufficient for reaching an immediate, short-term goal or approximation. – Wikipedia

Relevance in CRO

Heuristic is a fancy word for rule of thumb, best practice, guideline, common knowledge, etc. Essentially, an agreed-upon set of evaluation standards. They’re used as evaluation criteria in a heuristic audit; a process for auditing a website to identify potential problems. Heuristics can be things like design consistency, relevance, friction, clutter, clarity, error handling, etc.

Performing heuristic audits: a small, organized panel of experts are presented with a website, device context, and task to accomplish. Each participant evaluates their experience based on an established set of heuristics and documents any potential issues they come across. The process is similar to a usability study; the main difference being that the participants are trained experts evaluating against a set of heuristics rather than representative users providing open-ended, untrained opinions.

The value of a heuristic audit is in the ratio of time to insight. A well conducted audit can take an hour or less and easily bubble up 20+ issues. It’s really meant as an identification process to generate deeper investigation, and not a problem-solving process in itself.

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