Hi Rob! I've not ever defined my own comprehensive set, but I have picked and chosen from amongst the various existing ones in order to focus on a particular group of interactions or paradigms and cut out (lazy!) a bunch of questioning that wasn't a good use of my time. Jill Gerhardt-Powals only has 9, and they're much more holistic than Neilsen's, so I often bury myself nicely in there too.
Susan Weinschenk's & Dean Barker's 20 heuristics are already an amalgamation (Neilsen's, Microsoft's and Apple's, I think).
I like using the considered sets as doing a heuristic review is often for the purpose of identifying and measuring the issues for later attention in research, so a) something broad and comprehensive is just what I want, b) I don't want to reinvent the wheel, and c) I'm not as smart as the people that came up with the existing ones.
But if I were wanting to come up with a unique set of heuristics for a product (without earning a doctorate), I'd be looking to base them on something like:
- key principles from Weinschenk's Neuro Web Design, Stafford & Webb's Mind Hacks, or part II of Daniel Khaneman's Thinking Fast & Slow
- performance metrics related to the product goals
- tracking areas of complexity that we want to simplify or explain better
- known issues confronted by users in the product context
- particular consistencies and performance in the design we wanted to keep