A UX audit reviews the user experience of a digital product. It helps refocus organisations, ensuring that your approach is realigned to reflect your users’ needs and your organisation’s objectives. The final output of our UX audit is a UX audit report that comprises all findings from each element. This article outlines exactly what’s included in our UX audit package.
1. Reviewing your business objectives
During the definition phase of the UX audit, the primary objective is to assess your business objectives and fully understand the aspirations of your organisation. Involving team members from various departments within the company at this stage of the UX audit process can provide a comprehensive perspective. This may include stakeholders such as marketers, salespeople, product managers, developers, and others.
2. A UX maturity survey
Early on in the UX audit, a survey is conducted to assess the level of UX maturity within the organisation. This survey involves questioning team members from various departments about their perceptions of the following:
- The organisation’s existing UX processes
- How the organisation utilises UX methodologies
- The extent to which the organisation perceives the importance of UX practices
The score from the survey is then translated into a level of ‘UX maturity’ that the organisation is currently at. We assess UX maturity levels according to the model developed by the Nielsen Norman Group because it offers a clear framework for determining the degree of an organisation’s UX-related strengths and shortcomings.
The model also reveals solutions for your organisations to progress to the next UX maturity stage. The Nielsen Norman Group identifies six positions of UX maturity:
Absent: UX is disregarded or non-existent
Limited: UX work is uncommon, carelessly conducted and of little significance
Emergent: Although the UX work is useful and promising, it is also inefficient
Structured: The organisation has a widely used scientific UX methodology that has differing degrees of efficiency
Integrated: UX work is extensive, successful and widespread
User-driven: Valuable insights and outstanding user-centred design outputs are a direct outcome of a commitment to UX at all levels
Identifying the UX maturity level of an organisation at the beginning of the UX audit provides context concerning the organisation’s capabilities and guides recommendations based on these.
3. A stakeholder workshop
The workshop stage serves as the foundation for the UX audit by establishing a connection between an organisation’s business goals and its target users, their journeys, and the challenges they may encounter. A one-and-a-half-hour workshop is conducted with key stakeholders of the project to establish the following:
- Target users and their journeys
- Target users’ current challenges
- Standards such as accessibility and device support
- KPIs and metrics
These areas, especially those regarding target users, are paramount in creating proto-personas, which are an output of the UX audit.
4. Six user observations
In our UX audit package, user observations are carried out to gain a comprehensive understanding of how your product is being utilised, enabling us to delve into users’ core needs and pain points. Typically, six remote user observations are conducted to enhance our understanding of the key user journeys.
5. A heuristic evaluation
Our UX team will then evaluate your digital product using established industry-standard usability heuristics. This assessment aims to pinpoint areas of improvement and highlight the aspects that are functioning well. A thorough evaluation of the product’s design and usability will be conducted. Additionally, access to your organisation’s Google Analytics and other monitoring tools may be required to gather data about current users.
A heuristic evaluation involves appraising your product based on widely recognised usability criteria. Some of the commonly employed usability heuristics for this evaluation include:
- Visibility of system status
- Match between the system and the real world
- User control and freedom
- Consistency and standards
- Error prevention
- Recognition rather than recall
- Flexibility and efficiency of use
- Aesthetic and minimalist design
- Help users recognise, diagnose, and recover from errors
- Help and documentation
Our evaluator will review the interface 2–4 times and note any usability problems before rating it against each of the ten heuristics on a scale of 1 to 5. Following this, we will conduct an analysis of the results and present them in the final UX audit report.
6. Proto-persona creation
After conducting the heuristic evaluation, proto-personas are generated utilising insights from your teams, supplemented by user observations and feedback. Proto-personas prove valuable as they establish a foundational understanding of users, enabling UX teams to offer recommendations that align with user pain points. They also serve as decision-making tools in the future, allowing validation of potential new features and guiding user-centric outputs.
This phase entails a 90-minute workshop with key stakeholders to define and prioritise the target audience. Following the workshop, three proto-personas are created and visualised.
Creating proto-personas is crucial, particularly after the workshop and user observation stages, as these steps heavily influence the content and substance of the proto-personas.
7. Reporting and recommendations
Finally, all the gathered findings are consolidated into a comprehensive UX audit report, encompassing valuable insights, recommendations, and an assessment of your organisation’s UX maturity. This report serves as a guide, informing the decision-making process for your organisation’s future steps. The recommendations outlined within the report offer actionable guidance on how to proceed and enhance the user experience.
Every component included in our UX audit package is significant as they all inform actionable insights that will reveal how the digital product is being used and areas of confusion or difficulty that users might face.