What happens during a UX audit?

Esmee Lewis

Junior Researcher

12 December 2022

A user experience (UX) audit is an analysis of the usability of a digital product or website that 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. 

UX audits focus on three main areas: usability, business goals and audience. An exploration of these areas will guide the audit towards producing actionable recommendations to meet users’ needs as well as the objectives of an organisation. 


The process

So, you’ve decided that your website needs a refresh, and you would like to have a UX audit – but what exactly happens in a UX audit? Usually, the process involves four main stages: 

  • Definition
  • Usability evaluation
  • Proto-persona creation
  • Reporting and recommendations



In the definition stage of a UX audit, the key intention is to review business objectives and gain an in-depth understanding of what your organisation would like to achieve. At this stage during the UX audit process, team members from across your organisation may be involved to provide a holistic view. That can include marketers, salespeople, product managers, developers and other stakeholders.

First, these people will complete a survey in order to understand your organisation’s level of UX maturity. UX maturity measures how successfully an organisation delivers user-centred design, taking into account factors such as the organisation’s research and design processes, operations and tools. This will enable us to provide relevant or actionable recommendations for your digital product.

Following the survey, key stakeholders will participate in workshops that aim to address business and project objectives. Existing pain points will be discussed, and target users and primary journeys will be identified. The team will also define standards, such as accessibility and device support. Once these points have been identified, a summary of the key objectives, current pain points and areas of focus will be delivered. 

After the stakeholder workshops, we will conduct user observations to grasp exactly how the digital product or service is being utilised by real users. The purpose of these is to gain a clearer understanding of pain points and user needs. 


Usability evaluation

Next, the UX team will assess your digital product against industry-standard usability heuristic criteria to identify areas of improvement and which areas are working. A detailed evaluation of the product’s design and usability is carried out.

We might also access your organisation’s Google Analytics and other monitoring tools being used to gather data about current users. Some areas that the team will take a look at include visibility of system status, error prevention, and user control and freedom. 


Proto-persona creation

Following usability evaluation, workshops will be conducted with key stakeholders once again to define your audiences. These insights, as well as the insights gathered from user observations, will be used to form proto-personas representing key target audiences.

Proto-personas are useful as they allow us to gain an initial understanding of users. This allows us to develop relevant recommendations that address users’ needs and pain points. Proto-personas are also convenient tools for future decision-making.


Reporting and recommendations

Finally, the team will bring together 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. Recommendations will guide and inform the decision-making process for the organisation on the next steps.



UX audits can be conducted at any point in your digital product’s life. If you would like to work towards eliminating usability issues, UX audits contain all of the right steps that can uncover pain points that you might not have been aware of. When acted upon, our recommendations can lead to a more successful digital product. 


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