Have you ever experienced a steady decline in your digital product’s performance a few years after it was first designed & launched? More often than not, the reason is outdated user experience design.
Statistics show that 94% of users do not trust a website that isn’t updated and yet only 55% of businesses conduct UX testing regularly. When it comes to offering the best user experience to your customers, UX audit plays a key role in identifying areas of improvement.
UX audit is a process to evaluate the effectiveness of your digital product’s UI & UX, pinpoint loopholes, and offer suggestions for enhancing the user experience.
Better user experience leads to higher user satisfaction, increased engagement, and enhanced user retention for your product. Moreover, it also gives your product a competitive edge in the market.
So, what does a UX audit entail? When exactly should you conduct one for your product? How does it benefit your business? This blog will answer all these questions one by one.
What is UX Audit?
User experience audit or UX audit assesses your digital product on various parameters like design inconsistencies, churn rate in user journeys, broken links, outdated content, layout & navigation inconsistencies, usability & accessibility, regulatory compliance, and much more.
The primary goal of a UX audit is to identify usability issues, design flaws, and other factors that may be hindering the overall user experience. It aims to help you find ways to improve your user retention by reducing churn & offering a smooth experience using your product.
Imagine you have a website that has all the necessary pages, visuals, and content but for some reason, it fails to convert the way you had expected it to. And you can’t tell what exactly it is lacking. UX audit can help you find the missing pieces and give you recommendations on how you can fill them.
However, that’s not the only case where you may need a UX audit.
When Does Your Product Need a UX Audit?
Most brands & organizations conduct a regular UX audit to ensure that their digital products stay fresh in the market. With changing trends & technologies, it is a good practice to audit your website usability for consistently efficient performance.
Contrarily, the digital product or website also starts showing signs of when it’s time for an audit.
Let’s see what these signs are.
High Bounce Rates
If a website is offering all the right information but the bounce rate is still high, the problem is probably in the design. Design alone holds 75% of the weight in a user’s perception of a website (Source). Complex, aesthetically unappealing websites are quick to drive your users away which leads to high bounce rates.
That said, bounce rates often increase as time goes on because of new emerging trends in design & search engine updates. If the website doesn’t keep up with the new trends, it may end up facing performance issues.
Low User Engagement
This falls in line with the previous one. While the website may have visitors, its engagement rate is low. This is yet another sign that your website gravely needs a UX audit.
Low engagement can be a result of complicated navigation, improper content structure, or an overall lack of user experience.
Dropping Conversion Rate
If your website no longer brings the same conversion rates it did when you first launched it, that’s a sign you may need to upgrade it. To know where the improvements are needed, a UX audit is important.
UX audit can help identify loopholes that cause churn in the user journey. Lesser churn & smoother user journey can lead to faster and higher conversions.
Consistently Negative User Feedback
A huge neon red sign that your website or digital product needs a usability audit is the consistent negative feedback from your users. Drawing patterns from your user feedback about how easy (or hard) they find the website to navigate, or how much time they take to complete their tasks.
Other than these signs, many companies conduct UX audits at different stages of product development. These could be:
- Pre-launch or early development phase
- Post-launch and ongoing
- Redesign or major updates
- Accessibility compliance concerns
- Competitive analysis
- Before scaling or expanding a business/product
- Integration of new technologies or features
- Compliance with evolving UX trends
But how does conducting UX audits help your business?
How to Carry Out a Successful UX Audit
At Yellow Slice, we follow a set of steps to understand the product and the goals of the UX audit. Our comprehensive UX audit process comprises the following steps in different phases.
Phase 1 includes tasks like understanding the project objectives, user personas, industry & its design requirements, and visual & UX research analysis surrounding navigation, content, and customer experience. Whereas, Phase 2 focuses on heuristic & quantitative analysis. That includes:
- Analytics Review
- Study Task Flows
- Problem Identification
- Defining Task Orientation
- Home Page & Dashboard Testing
- Forms & Data Entry Testing
- Trust & Credibility
- Identify Accessibility Concerns and Remediation Steps
- Navigation and Information Architecture
- Page Layout and Visualisation
- Responsiveness Testing
- Performance Testing & Technical Improvements
- Usability Test
- Visual Design Testing
And finally, we create a detailed report that includes our findings and recommendations for improving the product’s UX, overall usability & performance.
The audit steps may differ depending on the goal of the usability audit.
Benefits of UX Audits
As mentioned earlier, a UX audit helps you identify the reasons behind your digital product’s poor performance and user experience.
That said, there are many other advantages to conducting a usability audit of your website or application.
- A UX audit identifies user pain points and frustrations while interacting with your product or service.
- By evaluating the usability of your product, a UX audit can pinpoint areas where users might struggle or get confused.
- Addressing issues and making improvements based on the findings of a UX audit can increase user satisfaction. This, in turn, leads to increased loyal customers who recommend your product or service to others.
- For websites and apps focused on sales or conversions, a UX audit can help optimize the user journey, resulting in higher conversion rates.
- Identifying and rectifying UX issues can reduce user churn rates hence increasing user retention.
- A positive user experience can boost your brand’s reputation. Word-of-mouth recommendations and positive online reviews can stem from improvements made based on the results of a UX audit.
- Fixing UX issues early in the development process, or even after a product is launched, is often more cost-effective than dealing with them later when they may require significant changes.
- Investing in a UX audit to create a well-designed and user-friendly product can set you apart from competitors in the marketplace.
- UX audits provide actionable data and insights into how users interact with your product. This data-driven approach allows you to prioritize and make informed decisions for improvements.
- In some industries, compliance with accessibility and usability standards is a legal requirement. A UX audit can help ensure your product or service meets these standards, reducing the risk of legal issues.
- Whether you aim to increase revenue, reduce customer support inquiries, or expand your user base, a UX audit can help align the user experience with your business goals.
- UX audit encourages a user-centred design approach, where decisions are made with the user’s needs and preferences in mind. This can lead to more successful and sustainable products.
These advantages largely nullify any reason not to conduct UX audits regularly. But how would you quantify UX audit and its success in achieving all the above-stated benefits?
Let’s have a look…
Measuring the Success of a UX Audit
As with any other step of the design, you can measure the success of a UX audit by setting some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). When you approach a UI/UX design agency for a UX audit, they would benchmark the existing numbers before conducting an audit. This helps you understand the change in KPIs after carrying out the usability audit.
KPIs often would differ based on the aim of the UX audit. For example, if the aim is to improve the user interface for higher engagement, the designer may measure the following KPIs.
- User engagement,
- Bounce rate,
- Heatmaps & click maps,
- Load time metrics,
- A/B testing results, etc.
Furthermore, to understand how effective UX audit and its changes are, keep an eye on the feedback from the users.
FAQs on Conducting UX Audits
How do you carry out a UX Audit?
Generally, a UX audit process follows the steps listed below.
- Planning and preparation
- Data collection and analysis
- Identifying usability issues
- Prioritizing findings
- Creating an action plan & offering recommendations
UX designers provide you with an elaborate report of UX issues and suggestions to improve them.
What are the different types of UX audits?
Different types of UX audits serve different purposes.
- Heuristic evaluation: Assesses a product’s usability by expert evaluators against established usability principles or heuristics, uncovering usability issues and providing expert insights.
- User testing and usability studies: Involves real users interacting with a product to uncover usability problems, user preferences, and areas for improvement.
- Analytics and data-driven audits: Analyzes quantitative user data to identify patterns, user behaviour trends, and specific pain points within a digital product.
- Competitive analysis: Evaluate a product about competitors to identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for differentiation, helping businesses gain a competitive edge in the market.
How long does it take to conduct a UX audit?
The duration required to conduct a UX audit can vary widely depending on several factors, including the complexity of the product, the scope of the audit, the size of the team, and the depth of analysis.
A UX audit is a crucial process for enhancing the performance and user experience of your digital product. It goes beyond just identifying the reasons for poor performance; it uncovers user pain points and areas of confusion, offering a holistic view of your product’s usability.
Addressing these issues through a UX audit can significantly boost user satisfaction, leading to more loyal customers who recommend your product. For e-commerce websites and apps, optimizing the user journey can result in higher conversion rates and increased revenue. Moreover, reducing user churn through improved UX helps retain your user base.
A positive user experience also enhances your brand’s reputation, generating word-of-mouth recommendations and positive online reviews. Early intervention with a UX audit is cost-effective compared to addressing issues later.
UX audits provide actionable insights, allowing data-driven decisions for improvements, and aligning user experience with business goals. They are crucial for ensuring compliance with accessibility and usability standards in some industries and reducing legal risks.
By focusing on user needs and preferences, UX audits promote a user-centred design approach, leading to more successful products. Quantifying the success of a UX audit involves measuring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as user engagement, bounce rate, and A/B testing results, while user feedback helps gauge its effectiveness. Conducting regular UX audits is essential to reap these benefits and stay ahead of competitors.