A sleek, attractive, and user-friendly web design is challenging to attain. It’s much more than the beauty and brand style of your company. The primary role in digital product popularity and adoption is given to user-friendliness today, and your task is to maximize it via targeted UI/UX improvements. That’s what UX audit can help you with.
A thorough UX audit is at the core of high-quality UI and UX solutions, and a top-tier web designer should know how to conduct it step by step. Here we uncover the major principles of UX audit by guiding you through all steps to design an ideal, user-friendly resource.
Why Do You Need It?
As a UX designer, you need to understand your target user’s needs, giving that functionality in a simple, intuitive web design. However, the audit pursues a different goal; it is meant to find the match between your user goals and the business goals its owner sets. In other words, you need to determine whether the created product has chances for market success and can give both the users and the owners what they need.
By conducting a UX audit, you can answer important questions that will help you understand whether the product is worth pursuing or should be dropped in the middle of development. The audit results explain:
What works well in your product and what doesn’t
- What metrics it currently provides and which of them are still lacking
- What the data tells you about the product’s match with target user needs
- What methods of product improvement have worked, and what else may be tested
Thus, the outcomes of your UX audit typically provide tangible evidence informing further decision-making about the digital product. No more guesswork; you have cold hard data to base decisions and actions on.
Source: from UX Studio
When to Conduct It?
All web design projects require UX auditing, but the depth and scale of audits depend on the project’s scale. For instance, a small-size project may be adequately assessed visually, with the tester determining significant flaws and giving the troubleshooting instructions to designers. Large-scale projects (such as online marketplaces, exchanges, and social hubs) require more in-depth UX audits, creating personas and scenarios, testing different use cases and pathways, and prototyping solutions.
As a rule, the need for UX auditing for an existing digital product arises when the team operating this resource discovers a problem. For instance, you may realize that you need a UX audit if your website:
- Has good traffic but exhibits low conversion rates
- Has a high churn rate
- Has a high per-lead price
- Has a complex, non-intuitive menu and navigation
Another case is a client’s wish to scale their web resource and a need for a well-designed strategy for doing so. A detailed UX audit can help in all these situations, giving a bird’s eye view of what’s right and wrong with the studied resource.
Source: from Quoracreative
Data Sources and Metrics
First, you need to set the UX audit goals and expected outcomes. You cannot cover everything in one go, so it’s better to focus on specific metrics of your concern – e.g., the conversion, churn rate, or ROI. Next, you need to establish a deadline for auditing your website so that everyone has tangible limits for completing this task. Finally, you need to hire a skilled and competent UX designer to do the job.
The process of audit looks as follows:
- Heuristic evaluation. This evaluation type is a specific tool UX designers use to test the web resource’s user-friendliness. It’s where an expert with industry-specific knowledge conducts an expert review following a set of qualitative guidelines. Usability heuristics typically include the system status’s visibility, the degree of user control, user freedom in navigation, menu consistency, flexibility, efficiency, and the like.
- Data analytics for all platforms. An auditor should evaluate the operation of your web resource on mobile and desktop devices, thus identifying the quality of its cross-platform compatibility and the consistency of UX across screens and gadgets.
- Conversion rate analysis. The conversion rate of any resource is of primary interest for its owner. The person conducting an audit is expected to evaluate the conversion rate and tell whether it is consistent with the effort and investment put into it.
- Sales analysis. Sales are directly related to conversion, as higher conversion rates increase sales.
- Data collection from end-users. An in-depth UX audit should also include interviews with the primary stakeholders – end-users who choose to use or not to use a specific digital product. Thus, an auditor should approach a focus group with surveys and interviews to clarify the product’s pros and cons as seen by its target audience.
- Product requirement review. The final stage of review is to compare the current state of the product with its original requirements, seeing whether it fits them or deviates from the initially set task and purpose.
Based on the UX audit outcomes, the reviewer should present the data for stakeholders in the following format:
- Assessment of the product’s relevance to the end-user goals and business objectives;
- The value it has for all stakeholders;
- The product’s usability: strong and weak sides;
- Proposed actions to remedy the situation and eradicate flaws.
Limitations of UX Audit
The main thing to keep in mind is that the UX audit is not a remedy; it’s a toolkit that you may use to search for solutions. Once the audit results are available, you need to design an improvement strategy and take measures for flaw removal and web product redesign. Project owners do it either with the help of in-house teams or hire UX specialists to do the redesign work end-to-end. No matter who performs the changes, they need to be done to apply the audit’s results to practice.
Source: from UXPin
Now that the audit is done, evidence-based recommendations emerge to improve the analyzed resource. It’s the product owner’s task to choose the proper implementation path and take action. Otherwise, the audit may go in vain, with the errors and systematic usability issues remaining as the primary bottlenecks to user adoption and customer loyalty development.