This article will outline and explain what a UX audit is, what is included in the process, the benefits of performing such a task and how it can help grow a business.
What is a UX audit?
A user experience (UX) audit is a detailed analysis and evaluation of a digital platform, such as a front-end marketing website or a SaaS (software as a service). It is a multi-dimensional process that covers all aspects of the user’s journey, from discovery to completion, with the aim of discovering poor design elements and user pain points and improving the overall user experience.
What does a UX audit involve?
The following processes are undertaken when performing a UX audit:
- User observations
- Usability evaluation
- Proto personas ×3
- Reporting and recommendations
Why perform a UX audit?
A data-driven design based on facts, not assumptions
Through surveys and user observations, a UX audit will discover what is really important to the users and discover any pain points or frustrations with the existing platform. All future iterations will be informed by these learnings, placing the user’s needs at front and centre of all design decisions.
Learnings through research
Discovering current trends and opportunities, and even knowing what not to do can be achieved through analysing direct competitors. Such research can help the UX team discover valuable insights into current success stories and failures, helping to enhance the user experience specific to that industry, adding real business value.
Heuristic evaluations to improve interaction
Heuristic evaluations help optimise and enhance the use and functionality of digital platforms. If the 10 heuristic design principles are designed and implemented successfully, it allows users to solve problems and make judgements quickly and efficiently.
Personas to help understand users
The creation of proto-personas is a valuable tool to help align internal stakeholders and designers about who their key users/customers are. This will help focus the business on the most valuable areas and functionalities of the platform and highlight areas with the most potential for growth.
What are the benefits?
Performing a UX audit and implementing potential recommendations will improve the overall user experience of a digital platform. An improved user experience is inherently valuable to a business as it includes the following wide-ranging benefits.
Reduced bounce rate
A site that’s hard to understand and navigate will annoy and confuse users, which will lead to an increase in bounce rate. A well-designed and easy-to-use site will improve usability and trust for your users. They will therefore spend more time interacting with your products and services.
Users will spend more time on sites that are easy to use and navigate, and a platform with increased credibility will attract more visitors. These factors combined will lead to increased conversions, revenue and growth.
Reduced development time and costs
If a platform is designed and built with solid foundations and principles, then there will be less work needed in the future when adding new features or pages or iterating on designs. This will reduce development time and costs, and a mature, clear and coherent design system is integral to this.
Quick and easy user journey
A quick and easy user journey (one that allows for as few clicks as possible for the user to complete their intended action) will improve user satisfaction and lead to tangible growth in interaction and sales.
Improved interaction and retention
Platforms and experiences that are easy, intuitive and valuable will lead to users spending more time interacting with them. Users will be so satisfied with their experience that it will leave them wanting more.
Users that have positive experiences not only stay loyal to the brand but are also likely to recommend it to friends through word of mouth or sharing their experiences digitally on social media platforms through reviews and testimonials. This not only retains users, but will also attract a new audience.
Performing a UX audit and implementing potential recommendations can have many far-reaching benefits for a business’s digital platform and its overall success. The improvement of key success metrics such as a reduction in bounce rate, revenue growth and user retention are all down to engaging and positive user experiences.
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