Throughout this article, I will outline why you should outsource your UX audit to gain the maximum long-term benefits for your company, product and users.
It looks specifically at the impact of bias, a fresh perspective and the value of experience when conducting a UX audit.
Why conduct a UX Audit?
A UX audit is a review of the user experience of a digital product. When conducted effectively, it can refocus a whole organisation. It provides an approach that reflects the needs and goals of the users, product and company. It delivers business direction through a UX audit report which identifies key issues and areas for improvement.
UX Audit breakdown
A UX audit is composed of several key stages. The starting point is often a survey. By starting an audit with a survey, you can quickly start to build up a solid understanding of an organisation’s maturity. This enables the UX team to provide the most relevant and actionable recommendations specifically for you, your company or its product.
The next step is to conduct workshops and user observations. These are key tools which UX designers and researchers use to gain an in-depth understanding of the product’s target users, current needs and pain points. Insights gained throughout the workshops and user observations are collated and analysed, helping to further align the research team on key business objectives.
The UX team conducts a usability evaluation of the current product before starting to create proto-personas and building out the findings into key recommendations.
The results of the heuristic evaluation are presented in an in-depth UX audit report. This reviews each step of the audit and provides informative insights, actionable recommendations and next steps to guide your product and company’s direction moving forwards.
Conducting the Audit
The UX audit primarily focuses on three areas: business goals, usability heuristics and the product audience. As a process that holds so much potential value, it is important to take careful consideration when deciding who should conduct it.
There are three things to be aware of when deciding who should run your UX audit: the impact of bias, the benefit of a fresh perspective and the value of experience.
1. The impact of bias
If you are looking to conduct a UX audit, you have most likely given it a lot of thought, and may even have a preconceived idea of the direction you want your results to go in. This is to be expected when you have worked closely with the product or if you have been part of the organisation for a period of time. It is in our nature to build up opinions and biases, whether we are aware of them or not.
However, when conducting a UX audit, it is important to have an impartial standpoint. Even if you are aware of your biases, it is incredibly hard to completely put them to one side so you can go into your audit with a clean slate. This will make it impossible to conduct a fair UX audit, and you will end up wasting time and resources for you and your company.
2. A fresh look
As humans, we build up muscle memory and whether consciously or unconsciously, it is practically impossible to emulate the feeling of experiencing something for the first time once we have already engaged with it. Due to this unavoidable factor, having an external team come in with fresh eyes is key to identifying areas for improvement that could easily be missed during an in-house audit.
3. The value of experience
When you work with a UX auditing team, you have the advantage of research-backed methods and techniques that are tailored to suit your company’s unique needs. As UX is such a large field, unless it is your sole area of expertise, it is very hard to build up enough knowledge to be able to make informed, researched-backed decisions. Experienced researchers and designers will pick up on key intricacies within the research and analysis stages which will enable you to unlock the most value from your UX audit.
In conclusion, to get the most out of a UX audit report, you should 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. Considering the staggering statistics on the impact that a UX audit can have on your business ($100 return on every $1 spent on UX), it is one area that is definitely worth investing in.
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