UX Audit – what is it, for whom, how and when?
Truth be told, if you found this article, there is a really high chance that UX Audit would be for you. It means that you are looking for an answer to the questions: why does my site not perform well; why doesn’t it bring me more money and so on.
Perhaps you have a great product but almost no one knows about it. There may be many reasons to acquire knowledge about your website quality.
UX Audit is the way to go.
I perform UX Audits in order to allow you to benefit from optimization of mechanisms behind your website. An increase of both conversion and customer acquisition as well are always my key goals, while working on User Experience Audits.
All the tests I carry out are made with not only business problems but the behaviour patterns of Internet users (those who already are or might become interested in your webpage) in mind.
But HOW exactly do I do that?
Highlighting the framework of the client’s current marketing strategy and further analyses are the first steps I take while working on UX Audit of your website. Frankly speaking, analysing data is the key ingredient of the entire methodology.
Firstly, defining goals, which are set for the company in terms of its presence on the Internet. We can’t go any further without knowing what kind of customers or users you want to reach. Knowing what forms of advertising are used is also crucial for the entire project. Perhaps Google AdWords campaign is in place? Maybe advanced SEO optimization or a powerful social media campaign are planned?
During one or many interviews I will ask you or your employees (whoever is the most responsible for a particular aspect of running an online service) about many things – some of which may seem trivial or obvious. Nevertheless, all of these questions will help in defining the profile of current and potentially new users.
Such knowledge enables me to focus on analysing the website interface, navigation, structure of info and carrying out usability tests, which in the end determines what actions would be necessary in terms of UX.
Let’s go deeper into the methodology behind the UX Audit.
There are three main tools, which are used by experts, while evaluating the User Experience of a website.
First of them is heuristic evaluation. This is a thorough analysis of the interface in terms of heuristics. Heuristics are simply the rules and guidelines, which makes it possible to evaluate the website. They are something of a grading system – like in schools. Typically, the 10 utility heuristics developed by Nielsen and Molich are used, but one may also opt for either Schneiderman’s 8 golden rules or Connell’s 30 rules of utility.
The cognitive walkthrough is a second method. This one is based on testing the website from the user’s point of view. A bit of roleplaying takes place. I create some possible scenarios, which should mirror the activities of the recipient. Then subsequently, these activities are carried out, thus determining how all possible processes on the website present themselves.
The third one seems to be the most simple one – at least in its structure. A usability checklist is a detailed list of guidelines. If these conditions were met, your website would be successful. Each of these informal requirements is checked in turn.
Stages of UX Audit
Data and information stage of UX Audit
This part of UX Audits revolves around the organization of the content, its presentation and arguments. A well-designed website needs an information architecture, which is focused on precisely defined goals. At the same time the visitor must get what he or she wants. Simultaneously, the structure of the website classification should be conducted in accordance with the appropriate scheme – usually convergent with the phases of the sales funnel.
Logical stage of UX Audit
At this point of UX Audit we take the usability of the website under the microscope. Speaking more precisely, we scrutinise the quality of built-in applications and functionalities as well as the way your online service is navigated.
Checking whether the applied solutions provide users with an intuitive navigation (both mobile and desktop) is a crucial part of any UX Audit. We also do the same for implemented functions, by which I mean programs responsible for handling each user’s individual interactions with your web page.
Recognising problems involves embedding proper behavior tracking codes on the website as well as drawing from both my own experience and knowledge in user-oriented design.
Presentation stage of UX Audit
You look for means of enhancing the quality of your website, so you want to sell something to others. Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether you actually sell things or if you just want others to be fascinated by your content in order to generate profits from advertising and sponsors.
Nowadays the world of sales is associated not only with making your case with the right arguments to the end recipient. Specific emotions and commitment shall be evoked in your users as well. And let’s be frank – we all love “pretty” things. Therefore a design is a crucial part of your online venture.
Consequently, during UX Audit I ought to look closely at the design of your website and see whether the desired associations: trust, exclusivity, professionalism etc. are evoked by your web page.
Additionally I run some UI tests, whose focus is on the graphic correctness, readability and adjustment to the target group. This is a more practical, much less emotional approach to judging the design of your website.
UX Audits performed by me take into account the impact of each and every individual graphic element of your service on the behavior and emotions of the users. At the end of this stage I look at something very close to me as UX and UI design are some of my favourite areas of expertise. I make sure that the design is in line with the broader marketing strategy.
The final step of UX Audit.
To make a long story short, thanks to UX Audit you gain knowledge presented in the most approachable form possible. What you are going to do with this knowledge is another thing however.
You may completely ignore it (not my recommendation), you may opt for working with another agency (not my recommendation, but no hard feelings) or you may continue working with me (I strongly recommend this option) and hire me to implement these vital advancements I suggested during the UX Audit. Regardless of a chosen action, UX Audit equips with all the necessary data to make your website great again.