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Answers to your most common UX audit questions

Esmee Lewis
Junior Researcher

This article answers the most common questions about UX audits, from their key elements and methodologies to the issues they might uncover. 

 

What is UX auditing?

A user experience (UX) audit analyses the usability of a digital product or website, seeks out inconsistencies and usability problems, and eventually provides a comprehensive report that includes recommendations for improvement. UX audits are typically carried out if you would like to uncover potential friction points for users on the digital product, what aspects of it are confusing for users, and at what points users drop off.

Some instances in which an organisation might want to carry out a UX audit include a website that hasn’t been updated in a few years or if key measurable statistics on your digital product are dropping off.

 

Why is UX auditing important for my business or website?

UX auditing will first identify how mature your organisation is in relation to UX. An awareness of your UX maturity position and how to advance to the next stage helps to ensure that the user drives design-related decision-making processes in an organisation. As a result, user-related risks are minimised during the development phase, and resources are best utilised. Conversely, a poor understanding of UX maturity and resistance to any change may indicate that an organisation’s activities aren’t in line with user needs or wishes, which might lead to future expenditures. This is included in the final output of the UX audit, a report, which includes insights from across activities and recommendations to improve the user experience of your product.

 

What are the key elements of a UX audit?

  1. Survey: Firstly, we understand your organisation’s level of UX maturity to enable us to provide relevant, actionable recommendations for your product.
  2. Workshop: Secondly, we align with your business objectives and understand your target users, their journeys and current challenges to set the foundations.
  3. User observations: Thirdly, we understand exactly how your product is used to enable us to get to the heart of user needs and pain points.
  4. Usability evaluation: Next, we assess your product against industry standard usability heuristic criteria to identify areas of improvement. 
  5. Proto-persona creation: Following this, we represent your key target audiences as proto-personas which act as a helpful tool to support future decision-making and guide user-centric outputs. 
  6. Reporting and recommendations: We present informative insights and actionable recommendations to guide your product. 

 

What tools and methodologies are typically used in a UX audit?

The insights gathered from an evaluation of a website during a UX are obtained using various tools and usually cover UX research and stakeholder workshops. As previously outlined, a survey is typically conducted at the beginning of a UX audit to gauge an organisation’s degree of UX maturity. Key stakeholders answer questions about how they perceive UX processes within the organisation and what UX processes or approaches are in place. Typeform is a helpful tool for building UX maturity surveys as it integrates with several other applications to transfer responses quickly to other platforms for analysis.

The workshop stage aims to align an organisation’s business goals and understand its target users, journeys, and current challenges to set the foundation of the UX audit. An easy-to-use tool to facilitate the workshop process is Miro, the visual collaboration platform that enables the UX team and stakeholders to work together on the same whiteboard. Miro provides a range of templates that can be used to conduct workshops so that teams can generate and discuss ideas to become fully aligned on every project element. Miro can also be used to document critical pieces of user research, such as user journey maps and personas, in an organised and visual way. All attendees can access the board via a shared link and contribute simultaneously in real time. This way, Miro is instrumental when attendees cannot meet in person for a workshop.

User observations are conducted in UX audits to understand how a digital product is used to get to the heart of user needs and pain points. To conduct user observations, we use the video call platform Google Meets. The user will join the remote meeting room and share their screen with us as they interact with a digital product. As they interact with the product, they will answer a series of questions and complete some tasks we will have prepared in a script before the session.

Analytics data removes observational bias from research and thus provides UX audits with a foundation of objective, reliable and unbiased data. Google Analytics is a tool that provides valuable insights regarding website visitors, such as where they come from and how long they might stay on the landing page, their demographics, interests, locations, and devices. These analytics enable the adjustment of a digital product’s user flows, CTAs, and overall UI.

 

How do I know if my website or application needs a UX audit?

Although it’s not essential to put off doing a UX audit until there is a noticeable decline in site usage, there are some critical instances where a UX audit might be most appropriate, such as when there are suspected pain points in the user experience, when you are implementing new functionality, and when you want to learn more about your users.

 

What are some of the most common UX issues uncovered during an audit?

Conducting a UX audit is an excellent way to evaluate how your existing design and implementation work while focusing on the fundamental pain points that users are experiencing.

If you’re starting the process of redesigning a website and want to make significant advancements, a UX audit report might be helpful. If you intend to implement new features, a UX audit will help determine whether the feature is a worthwhile addition to your digital product.

The UX audit can assist you in identifying the core problems with a site, which, if addressed, can increase conversion rates, enhance usability, and meet user goals. Reports can indicate website elements that confuse or distract users so that the UX team can strive towards the most seamless and efficient user flows.

 

How can I use the findings from a UX audit to improve my website or application?

The team will combine the findings from each stage to form a set of informative insights and actionable recommendations into one UX audit report. We will also provide you with your organisation’s UX maturity scale indication. 

Rich, digestible insights will reveal how the digital product is being used and areas of confusion or difficulty that users might face. A set of proto-personas will guide and inform the decision-making process for the organisation on the next steps, and we encourage that they are continually reviewed and updated. 

 

How often should I conduct a UX audit?

In general, conducting a UX audit at least once per quarter is advised as a ‘health check’ for your organisation’s design processes and UX implementation. A UX audit may be done at any time, as regular updates can highlight whether significant changes or a few minor tweaks are necessary to improve the user-friendliness of a site. Regular UX audits might also reveal previously undetected areas for improvement.

 

Can I conduct a UX audit on my own, or do I need to hire a professional?

To get the most out of a UX audit report, we recommend that you outsource the audit to an impartial, unbiased team with a solid background of UX experience. Doing this will ensure your results are valid and provide a clear direction for your product and organisation to grow from.

When you work with a UX auditing team, you have the advantage of research-backed methods and techniques tailored to suit your company’s unique needs. As UX is such a large field, it is tough to build up enough knowledge to make informed, researched-backed decisions unless it is your sole area of expertise. Experienced researchers and designers will pick up on key intricacies within the research and analysis stages, enabling you to unlock the most value from your UX audit.

 

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