Today, digital products such as websites, applications or even individual functional features are subject to constant change processes driven by trends, technology developments or optimization expectations of users and stakeholders. Creating a constantly positive experience for users of websites and applications (UX) is a permanent challenge.
Through a UX audit or website audit, product managers and owners as well as design and development teams can develop a common understanding of any gaps and problems in a product and identify possible solutions.
A UX audit reviews digital products such as website or applications from the user's perspective, evaluating various aspects of how the user perceives or experiences the product. The aim is to ensure that the requirements for accessibility, design consistency and comprehensibility (information architecture) are optimally served.
Audits can focus on a variety of issues, including:
· Accessibility requirements (e.g., missing alt text for screen readers or readability of type and colors).
· Inconsistent use of design guidelines
· Outdated or misleading website content
· Incorrect use of templates and overloading with components
· Superfluous or misleading clickthroughs
· Incomprehensible micro-content for CTAs or further links
But whatever the focus, an audit should always be a collaborative process, involving as many team members as possible so that everyone is clear about what can be improved and how. It also makes sense to conduct an audit on a regular basis, because the longer you wait, the more difficult changes become.
Before starting a UX or design audit, some specifications should already be clarified:
Who are the users?
To optimize the experience with an application, it helps to have a solid understanding of the users. Demographic information and data about their behavior are essential. Where and how users get access to the digital product or website is also important information for further evaluation. Thus, update persona models, user journey assumptions, and website or app data before jumping into the audit.
What are our business goals?
Just as important as knowing our users is having a clear definition of what we expect the outcome of a UX audit to be. What are the success factors of the project? Do we want to improve our sales with the application - i.e. look at conversion - or see dwell time and specific content offers received? The more concrete the goal definition, the better and more effective the UX investigation.
Which stakeholders should be involved in the UX audit, what budget is available, and in what timeframe do we want results?
This usually determines who should be involved internally in the audit. Sales and customer service employees, for example, often have a good view of the needs of potential customers. It is also possible to determine the depth and scope of the audit more precisely and to specify a budget and resources.
For Uhura Digital, the following procedures for a UX audit have proven successful:
1) Data research:
In order to collect as much valid data as possible and develop a more detailed understanding, it is useful to:
(a) Identify behavioral metrics
This involves using on-page analytics to capture user flows and their behavior, conversion or even abandonment. In this context, it is particularly interesting to know where users came from before visiting a website or an application. More individual data can be easily collected via tools such as Hotjar.
b) Identify attitude metrics
Attitudes of real users and qualitative information can be collected easily via direct feedback. This is usually done via user interviews or, more elaborately, during focus group discussions. Often, internal stakeholders also offer interesting insights. Product managers, customer services or sales people often provide excellent information.
c) Look at competitors
The direct and indirect competitor analysis, which identifies not only the user-friendliness but also their traffic and search engine rankings, quickly reveals the strengths and weaknesses of your own product. User expectations determined by the competition and the market environment can also be quickly narrowed down in this way and additionally improvements can be described.
Once valid data has been collected, it is important to organise it and identify deficiencies and frustrations in the use of the product under study.
Uhura uses a variety of data services and tools for data research and analysis in order tobe as comprehensive and focused as possible in the analysis.
When analyzing each screen and template, the picture of the user flow quickly emerges. Here, the different pages and their possible interactions should be mapped and correlated with the collected data. This way, you can identify the problems and confusing content which stand in the way of an optimal UX and that need to be improved.
3) Suggestions for improvement
Once the data and results of the analysis are sorted, they can be further worked on by the design teams, strategy experts, content managers and developers. Usually, optimization potentials are clustered in the following areas:
Is the underlying design system consistently followed through? Does the overall visual design comply with the brand guidelines and develop them further? For example, are image tonalities adhered to and typographic requirements implemented? Challenges that arise in the interaction of design, content, structure and function are also discussed here.
Messages and content
Here, all content should be reviewed, really all content from copy texts and headlines to service content and micro-content. So-called explainer content, possible help texts or hover elements, should also be checked. Text sections are often ambiguous, headings and buttons are confusing or even missing. The scope of such optimization suggestions can be extensive as brand-specific tonality requirements or SEO-relevant specifications may also have to be taken into account.
Over 15% of the world's population lives with a disability. For this reason alone, it also makes sense to comply with EU and national requirements regarding accessibility. More and more brands are also placing great emphasis on offering inclusive websites and apps. Technical aspects such as page speed and SEO etc. should also be taken into account. Design and development teams can use various tools to identify optimization potential.
4) Result report
The final documentation of the audit should categorize and prioritize opportunities, describe critical UX issues and quick wins as well as A/B testing suggestions and other challenges.
A UX audit is an elaborate process, but it can also be organized in different depths and orientations - Eat an Elephant bit by bit. Successfully conducted, it provides companies with a clear picture of the current status and guidelines for further optimization in both design, usability, content and function.
Uhura can help you planing and implementing your UX audit - simply give us a call or send us an email.