A website or digital product with poor user experience will have an adverse effect on loyalty, conversion, retention and ultimately, revenue.
Often it is hard for business owners to decipher and understand the reasons behind a site’s performance, whether positive or negative. A UX Audit is a data-driven approach to help analyse a website’s performance, using quantitative and qualitative data to analyse all aspects and provide insights as to where and how improvements can be made. In a snapshot, a UX Audit can help improve the quality of products and help achieve your desired business goals.
What is the purpose of a UX Audit?
The purpose of a UX Audit is to assess the user experience of a website or digital product, it helps identify problems and provide recommendations and insights into how such problems can be corrected.
A UX audit also helps create a greater understanding and empathy towards your user, providing information about how they use your website, their wants and needs, as well as any pain points or blockers. All of these findings can be incorporated into future developments and redesigns of the product.
When is the best time to conduct a UX Audit?
There is strictly no right or wrong time to perform a UX audit, just as you might have a health or car check-up, it is always valuable to perform an evaluation and review of the product in question. It is a worthwhile exercise at any stage of a product cycle as it helps identify any performance issues or areas of improvement.
Performing a UX Audit, however, is particularly relevant at the very beginning of a product or website redesign as it will help inform which areas need the most improvement or development or, conversely, which areas are proving particularly successful and why. Equally, if you have analytical data which provides information that the website is not performing as well as expected, be it a drop-off in page visits, clicks or sales. Metrics such as these can also act as a signal that conducting a UX Audit would be worthwhile.
Other more general reasons to perform a UX Audit are:
- A website is over two years old
- Analysis indicated a decline in productivity
- The internal team does not have a UX design department to perform regular reviews
- A failure to meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards
- A failure to take regular user feedback onboard
- The launch of a new feature, product or website redesign
- A company going through a period of growth
What does a UX Audit involve?
The following eight processes are involved when performing a UX Audit:
- UX maturity survey
- User observations
- Heuristic evaluation
- Proto personas
- Insights and report
- Next steps
What are the benefits of a UX audit?
Listed below are some of the key benefits you can gain from conducting a UX Audit and improving the overall user experience of a website:
Design decisions based on data and user feedback, not subjective opinions
All discoverable insights and proposed recommendations will be based on insights gathered during the research and user interview process, not based on individual preferences. This means that all recommendations forming the basis of future design decisions will have the users’ core wants and needs at the forefront.
Increased understanding of website pain points and opportunities
As outlined in the previous point, a UX Audit will draw attention to specific areas of the product which are underperforming or are specific areas of frustration for users. This provides an area of opportunity for improvement and development, leading to overall growth in usability if changes are implemented.
Increase in lead generation and reduce drop-off rate
Once the UX Audit has been performed, pain points identified and recommendations are implemented, website traffic should increase by at least 10% with a reduction in a drop-off. With users enjoying a more seamless user experience, customer loyalty will grow, and conversions will increase.
A greater understanding of your users and their behaviours
During the UX Audit, user observations are conducted to gain a greater empathy towards your customer base, deep diving into their core wants, needs and any current frustrations. The findings will allow you to make rational and informed design choices with your users’ interests at the heart of all decisions.
A heuristic evaluation to optimise UX best practices
A heuristic evaluation can be performed against the existing site. Focusing on usability, a heuristic analysis is an evaluation method in which a website’s design is evaluated against Jakob Nielsen’s ten general principles for interaction design.
It identifies where the product is not following those principles and provides recommendations for improving the overall usability. This will ensure the site is adhering to industry standards and best practices.
Development cost savings
Performing an in-depth review of the site and the resultant holistic overview and recommendations provided by a UX Audit will help save development time and money in the long term. The UX Audit will provide MVP suggestions, outlining what features or development costs are a priority, as well as a holistic product roadmap. One such technique that can be employed is a prioritisation matrix; this structured, objective approach helps showcase the relative importance of product features while satisfying the user’s and business’s varied needs.
A comprehensive UX Audit will help illuminate any deficiencies and pain points of the existing website. Through in-depth analysis, the audit will help align business goals and users’ needs. Through a data-driven research and analytical approach, a UX Audit will provide perspective, insights and recommendations which will help performance, improve engagement and grow revenue.
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