Prep Time:
Time to run:
1-3 hours

Heuristic review template

Use this template to audit your designs based on ten rules of thumb

Courtesy of our friends at

The heuristic review template helps outline the process for design review by laying out areas for discussion according to the 10 rules of thumb. Use this template to assess the current status of a design or to analyze a future-state concept.

With this template, you can immediately start your review process across 10 rules of thumb thanks to pre-built sections. This organization also makes it easy to create actionable next steps by identifying themes for each section.

The heuristic review template helps you:

  • Quickly identify problems in an experience using principles of good design
  • Gather feedback in real-time or asynchronously in a shared digital space
  • Organize and analyze your feedback quickly by identifying themes and using tools like color coding and tags
  • Create actionable next steps and assign tasks and responsibilities across your team

How to use the heuristic review template

To best use the heuristic review template, follow the below steps.

1. Define the overall topic or design you want to analyze

The first step is to clearly outline the focus of your review. This will be the central idea, design, or problem that you analyze in 10 different ways.

2. Gather a group of stakeholders with knowledge of the design, but who are not directly involved in the work

Bring together a team of individuals who have a strong knowledge of various aspects of the design or idea, but who aren’t directly involved in creating the design — this ensures that they will not enter the discussion with existing biases toward a particular solution or with blindspots around problems.

3. Have your stakeholders review the design through the lens of each of the 10 heuristics

Once you’ve clearly identified what it is you’re focusing on, as well as the team that will be conducting the exercise, it’s time to run through each of the 10 rules of thumb, looking for areas that need improvement.

The 10 principles are:

  • Match a mental model
  • Anticipate needs
  • Minimize complexity
  • Use clear language
  • Stay consistent
  • Give Feedback
  • Provide a sense of place
  • Prevent errors
  • Account for constraints
  • Offer appropriate aesthetics

Have each person identify issues using sticky notes, making sure to only include one idea per sticky note to avoid confusion.

Tips for running a heuristic template exercise

To run a successful heuristic template workshop, you should:

  • Make sure you invite a group of stakeholders with knowledge of the design but who aren’t directly involved in the work
  • Use features like private mode  to avoid groupthink in real-time collaboration sessions
  • Collate your feedback into groups based on themes and use anonymous voting to get alignment on next steps

How to create a Heuristic review template

Mural makes complex analyses like heuristic reviews intuitive and impactful

Mural’s unique platform and features allow you to easily assemble a diverse array of stakeholders, gather meaningful feedback across 10 heuristics, and create actionable next steps — all in the same place.
Sticky notes & text

Sticky notes & text

Add ideas, action items, and more as a sticky note or text box — then change the colors and cluster to identify patterns and new solutions.

Private mode

Private mode

Avoid groupthink and get authentic feedback by allowing collaborators to add content privately.

Asynchronous collaboration

Asynchronous collaboration

Innovate and collaborate effectively together without booking time on calendars.

Tags on sticky notes

Tags on sticky notes

Customizable labels make it easy to find, organize, and categorize your work in a mural.



Add comments and tag collaborators for smooth asynchronous communication.

Find & filter

Find & filter

Search and filter by color, last edited by, and more to unlock patterns and enhance visual collaboration.

Heuristic review template frequently asked questions

What is a heuristic review?

How do you write a heuristic review?

LUMA Institute

Template by LUMA Institute


LUMA offers acclaimed in-person training, custom innovation programs, and a unique digital platform (LUMA Workplace), used by innovators in over 70 countries. Leading organizations around the globe rely on the LUMA System of Innovation — a practical, flexible, and scalable approach to Human-Centered Design.

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Mural is the only platform that offers both a shared workspace and training on the LUMA System™, a practical way to collaborate that anyone can learn and apply.