An expert review, also known as expert evaluation, critique, assessment, is what its name suggests. It’s a process when UX professionals conduct an analysis of a digital product, from a website to a service. Similar to a user feedback test, a user takes an outsider view and analyzes the usability and accessibility of a system while recommending improvements. However, expert reviews are easier to organize and ideal for tight budgets and timelines. Both are valuable to developing your prototype or redesigning your product.
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While UX professionals may not be the same as your target audience, they offer expert knowledge in discovering usability issues that users without this background may not realize. Since expert reviews only require a few users, they’re especially useful when you need help deciding what to prioritize or where to localize your efforts.
The terms expert and heuristic evaluation aren’t interchangeable, with the latter being considered the more formal method. Heuristic evaluation references professionals assessing a user interface for its alignment with a set of design principles. While both processes are useful, some criticism that heuristic evaluation has received is that it can be done by a non-UX professional, as long as they have the principles in front of them, and that it’s too inflexible to fit all needs.