The challenge of developing highly usable interactive software systems has motivated several researchers to focus on providing new elements for designing and evaluating usability. The use of interaction and usability design patterns has been promoted to achieve this. A proposal to formally specify a new set of usability heuristics to be used in a heuristic inspection has appeared. It is still arguable if formal specification of such heuristics improves the performance of usability evaluations. This paper discusses the relevance of the use of patterns in the specification of usability heuristics, based on empirical evidence collected through query techniques. The results showed that formal specification of usability heuristics through patterns could facilitate the heuristic evaluations, regardless the evaluators' experience.