The design process doesn’t end at the stage when the product is released. To achieve better results and get more sales, you must constantly improve your product. One of the ways to find out what causes difficulties for users to address their needs through your product is to conduct a user experience (UX) audit.
You will be impressed by the stats that show how essential the user experience is. For example, 38% of users will abandon the site if the images are loading slowly; 32% of regular clients who love the brand won’t hesitate to end up cooperating with it if they have one bad experience; and 90% of users will quit using the app if it poorly performs.
So, let’s delve into a UX audit and discover its main benefits, tips, and steps to accomplish data-driven results that will help in future improvement.
What Is a UX Audit?
A UX audit is the process of gathering data on the platform’s usability. This method helps identify users’ issues while visiting your website or app. During a user experience audit, designers collect quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data refers to conversion rate, bounce rate, clicks, and so on, while qualitative data displays users’ real experience with the product and how seamless it is.
Benefits of Conducting UX Audit for Your Digital Product
Suppose you run an online shop and analyze your website’s performance. You see people come to your platform, explore it, and save some products for purchasing but then abandon it and go. The question is: what prevented them from finalizing the purchase? A user experience audit will show real data and answers to this and many other questions. Let’s see what the other advantages of this evaluation process are.
Revealing user pain points. By pain points, we understand the places on the platform where users didn’t feel satisfied. For instance, they couldn’t find a button on a navigation menu, didn’t understand some features, or the loading speed was low. Identifying what stops visitors to your platform from receiving a smooth user experience will help you fix those issues.
Increasing product usability. To measure usability level, designers have to consider every aspect of the design: the website’s structure, the style, the features, how easy it is to find them, and many other elements of UX. Researching quantitative data will help recognize what flows should be redesigned to make the user journey easier.
Building trust and emotional connection. Users remember the emotions they felt while using the product. If they are offered a clean and easy-to-navigate website that can provide them with what they want, loyalty and trust are built. Moreover, a positive experience with a platform reflects how customers will advertise you to their friends.
Types of UX Audits and the Best Time to Conduct Them
Multiple types of UX audits have different purposes and benefits. Let’s look at them closer below:
Usability testing. During usability testing, designers observe how users interact with the platform. This type of user experience audit helps fully understand users’ pain points as they follow specific scenarios. It also reveals the users’ behavior while trying out new features. Usability testing provides very informative outcomes. However, this method is time-consuming.
User interview. User interviews involve conducting meetings with real users who already have experience with your product. Through such discussion, the designers can find out what needs improvement from the user’s point of view. The pitfall of this method is hidden in the fact that not all users are tech-savvy and will be able to provide you with comprehensive feedback.
Session recording. During session recording, the design team can spot the logic and behavior of the user. All the actions, like mouse clicking or screen loading, will be visible. This will allow you to see where customers stop and face difficulties. However, if you intend to test a certain feature, this type of UX testing won’t be suitable since it doesn’t offer direct communication.
Heuristic evaluation. This type of UX analysis refers to estimating the design according to Jakob Nielsen’s ten golden rules of UX design. They allow designers to compare your platform to the standards and determine where improvement is needed. The heuristic evaluation method should be combined with observing user behavior to be objective.
Analytics analysis. During this UX audit process, the testing team researches the quantitative data. By gathering reports and analytics of the platform’s performance, you can discover what you lack in your design. This type of user experience audit can be suitable for companies with a large user base. Otherwise, it will be challenging to get the data.
Competitor research. Another approach to UX design testing is to look at an example of a product with a successful design. This way, you can discover insights for new feature implementation and get inspiration. But to get a complete picture of the platform’s design performance, this method should be an additional one, along with usability testing.
When asking a question about when to do a UX audit, the answer will be that there is no proper timing for that. As you develop and exist as a product, you have to do it regularly. Also, particular signs show you have to hire UX consultants:
When your onboarding is not engaging, and only a small percentage of newcomers take action.
When users abandon cards and don’t proceed with a purchase.
When your churn rate is high.
And finally, if you get complaints about your UX design.
How to Conduct a User Experience Audit
The following are the steps in every type of user experience audit.
The first stage in testing the platform’s design is identifying what you want to achieve. If you wish to get a general picture of the product’s usability or test particular features to see their performance, the methods and tools will differ depending on your goal.
This step involves gathering data from various sources: analytics and reports, user feedback, live interviews, surveys and questionnaires, and usability testing. Based on the real data, you won’t have to guess what to improve but will see actual user pain points and the platform’s weak points.
When the general picture is clear and the data is gathered, UI/UX designers can analyze it. During the analysis stage, they will discover the imperfections in your design, what users are stuck upon, what users need, and so on.
The final step is to create recommendations for improvement. While they are only recommendations, they should be adjusted to your platform’s peculiarities and business needs.
Main Outcomes of a Successful UX Audit
After conducting UX testing, your product will gain a significant number of advantages. These advantages will lead the development process to a successful launch and increase your idea’s potential profit in the future. In this section, we have gathered the main results of a proper UX audit.
Preventing Issues with Navigation
Navigation is one of the most critical parts of any application. That’s why any user experience audit pays special attention to the possible issues that may occur during the user’s experience of your interface. A UX audit helps you create a simple and, at the same time, convenient structure for your product that will prevent your future customers from any difficulties.
Solving the Functional Search Issues
Average apps differ from great apps by the essence of convenient functional search. The truth is that search difficulties may quickly lead to a loss of interest from your customers. Therefore, a correct UX audit pays special attention to preventing such issues at the stage of MVP or even earlier.
Implementing the Readability of the Content
Readability is paramount when discussing products that contain some informational content. During this stage of the UX audit, the developers’ team should carefully check the text materials’ existing fonts, sizes, and colors to make them readable to the users.
Avoiding Visual Design Issues
This stage of the user experience audit helps the testing team check whether the app’s front end is fully integrated with the back end. During the visual design testing, the team can identify and solve any bugs and issues with the app’s interface in the early stages of development.
Providing Accessibility Options
Another important stage of the UX audit is ensuring that all users, without exceptions, will have an opportunity to use your product conveniently. After conducting the audit, the product should be approved for use by people with poor vision or hearing.
Best Methods of Conducting the UX Audit
To complete an audit of the product successfully, it should involve specific methods essential for such kinds of checks. In this section, we present the main techniques that constitute a successful check by the QA team.
The basis of any user experience audit is the testimonials of the users. It’s essential to pay special attention to the feedback related to the first launch of your product into the market. The correct approach to dealing with customer involvement will significantly facilitate the process.
Different Types of Data Collection
A user experience audit can be observed as a research process involving different kinds of source materials necessary for the audit. In this case, can be named the following types of data collection: audience feedback, analysis of the market and competitors, data testing of the previous application’s versions, etc.
Subjective Approach to Analysis
Like any research that receives unbiased and correct results, the UX audit should be based on a subjective approach. This effect could only be received by using outsourced employees who can point out the weak points of the current version of the product. Of course, some companies may still use the same developers’ team for testing needs, but it will not provide total subjectivity during an audit.
Focus On Practical Recommendations
This process is aimed at a practical effort. That means that any company should be oriented toward receiving as many practical effects as possible during this process. This is because the audit results will mostly be used in the following improved versions of the app, which will be released after the end of the audit.
To sum up, the process of the user experience audit is essential for any online product. It may reveal your customers’ main pains and allow you to solve them before the product’s final release. Regular UX checkups are also needed to prevent the procurement of new bugs or technical issues and make an analysis of overall client satisfaction. In this article, we have gathered the main points of the UX audit, which is continuously evolving. However, you can always visit our platform to find out about the recent updates in the UI/UX design, which will help you keep in touch with the latest trends.
It is a complex process that includes different kinds of product testing. It involves collecting quantitative and qualitative data essential for a detailed analysis of your customer’s satisfaction rate.
Why is a UX audit important?
A UX audit solves your customers’ main pains and increases the average client’s satisfaction level, which is crucial for every business.
What are the types of user experience audits?
Depending on your goals, you can choose among the following types of design testing: usability testing, user interviews, session recording, heuristic evaluation, analytics analysis, competitor research, and others.
What are the main results of the user experience testing?
Conducting a successful UX audit will lead to the prevention of different technical bugs, the creation of great accessibility options, and the solving of various issues that may cause difficulties for your customers during product usage.
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