Drippler – a quick heuristic evaluation

Transcript and list of all problems found

Drippler is an app with Android related news and it also has a forum for Android related discussions. I’ve recently done a quick heuristic evaluation of the app. If you do not know what a heuristic evaluation is, check out my review of andoidpit.com where I explain what a “heuristic” and a “heuristic evaluation” is.


In articles, a heart icon can be tapped to indicate that I like the article.

Problem
When tapping the heart the app presents a dialog to give permission to create status updates on Facebook. This is very startling.

Principles
Anticipation.

Severity
4.

Ideas to solve the issue
The app uses black overlays for onboarding. The same kind of overlay could be used to present the reason that the app should be allowed to post on Facebook. The actions on the overlay should be akin to “Ok” and “Not now” or “No thanks”. Clicking “Ok” shows the Facebook dialog.


In articles, under the headline, there is a byline.

Problem
The icon of the source publication, and the text “Read Source” are linked to the article on the source publication site. However, the icon and name of the publication is presented in the way persons are often presented. The standard behaviour of such items is to link the icon and name to a profile for the person. The “Read source” link is to low to be easily clicked.

Principle
Consistency > Interpretation of user behavior.

Severity
3.

Ideas to solve the issue
Make the icon and source name linked to a profile in the app. The profile can list all news items from the source, for example.
If the source profile per above is not valuable, do not link the name or the icon to anything.
Make the tap target for the “Read source” link at least 33px high.


Articles start off with a main image, then a heading, a byline and the content. Often a panel with a link to an app is presented fixed to the bottom of the screen.

Problem:
The main image take up ~65% of my screen (Chrome on Nexus 5) without adding all that much information value. The heading I have already read in the list of articles. The byline and app panel each take up ~10% of my screen. Not even one line of the main content of the article is therefore visible before i swipe to see more.

Principle
Efficiency.

Severity
3.

Ideas to solve the issue
Make the main image smaller.
Consider letting the heading be smaller.
The app download panel could appear after I have swiped a while – although this might be very annoying to readers so it needs to be tested very thoroughly.


In Discussions > Tips and support (and other categories) each topic is presented with a heading, a preview of the text and data.

Problems
The preview is light blue on light blue which causes too low contrast. The data is presented with more visible icons/labels then data.

Principles
Color, Readability.

Severity
2.


In the forum I can create a new topic or reply to an existing topic.

Problem
These actions are closely related but they are visually presented in quite differing ways both as to how one invokes the form and how the form is laid out.

Principle
Consistency.

Severity
2.


When one swipes down on the main stream of news the news items are sometimes animated with some latency, I.E. the card after the current one is “slow to react” to the swipe movement.

Problem
While this animation can make the interface feel a bit “cool” it actually gave me a bit of seasickness and took away focus from the important part of the app: the individual news items.

Principle
Efficiency.

Severity
2.

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