Upon your arrival at a five-star resort, you might take a deep breath and prepare yourself for an unforgettable week. The lobby is clean, the check-in counter is conveniently accessible, and the lighting is warm. So you immediately feel at ease and are motivated to make use of the resort’s many amenities, including its all-inclusive spa.
When users arrive at your Web site, they should have a similarly stellar experience to that of entering a five-star resort. You should evaluate your Web site’s usability and assess what kind of user traffic you might expect, as well as how long users are likely to spend on the site. Use this Web-site UX audit process and checklist to help make sure your site’s visitors have the best possible experience.
What Is a Web-Site UX Audit?
Conducting a user-experience audit, or UX audit, is the process of considering how a Web-site or mobile app should work from the user’s point of view. A UX audit is a good tool for those who are looking for ways to discover usability problems in their digital products. It can also assist you in identifying troublesome regions of a site that cause people to abandon their user journey and exit the site.
The findings from conducting a UX audit of an ecommerce business could show that users can’t obtain information regarding product delivery. Or it might reveal that there aren't many ways to pay or that people don’t know how to pay for their purchases. Plus, if your checkout page takes forever to load, customers will almost certainly leave it within a few seconds. Because of such problems on an ecommerce Web site, a higher number of customers might abandon their shopping cart.
Although a UX audit cannot fix all the problems with a Web site or mobile app, it can answer some very important questions, such as the following:
Where do users have difficulty understanding how to navigate or use certain functionality?
What can your findings from a UX audit enable you to learn about the behavior of your users and the requirements they have?
What kinds of things could you alter on a Web site or in an application to make them more effective means of conducting business?
Why Should You Conduct a Web-Site UX Audit?
Key goals that you can accomplish by conducting a UX audit of a Web site include the following:
Discover user experience problems.
Learn how you can improve the overall functionality of the Web site.
Understand how you can improve the usability of the Web site.
Learn how you can make carrying out the necessary actions on the Web site as easy as possible for site visitors—such as completing a purchase or signing up for a subscription.
Determine how you can acquire data analytics regarding the paths users take.
When Should You Do a Web-Site UX Audit?
Marketing experts usually suggest conducting a UX audit after a Web site or app has been online for a while. A key objective of the UX audit should be to determine why users don’t convert, enabling you to discover the design’s weak spots, which requires having sufficient data to conduct a retrospective analysis. This data-driven research can help you find gaps in a user’s workflow and eliminate any bottlenecks people run into on their way to becoming customers.
Conducting a design audit is also worthwhile if you’re planning to introduce new features and want to see whether clients are encountering navigational issues on your Web site or app. But a UX audit is not just beneficial for existing products. It might also be prudent to conduct a UX audit to validate design concepts prior to product development.
A Checklist for a Web-Site UX Audit
If, after reading this article, you decide that you need to conduct a UX audit, you should complete the steps of the following checklist, which should enable you to gain all the information necessary to improve your Web site or product.
Do stakeholder interviews.
Evaluate your Web site or product.
Leverage mobile and Web-site analytics.
Obtain the data for sales and conversion rates.
Assess the navigation and information architecture
If you’ve done a UX audit before, you can use this checklist to make sure you have everything you need for the auditing process.
Conducting a UX Audit, Step by Step
Doing a UX audit can help you answer questions about a digital product that can help you understand the business, their users, and their competitors, as well as the user interface.
1. Understand the business.
At the beginning of a UX audit, familiarize yourself with the company that makes the Web site or product. Start off by conducting a survey of key stakeholders to find out why they designed the site or product in a particular way, what users find problematic, and how you might improve the site or product.
What user-experience outcomes are most important to the stakeholders who are involved in the UX design process? You could either conduct some quick stakeholder interviews or poll stakeholders using a questionnaire comprising just a few questions. You need to know what is going well, what is going poorly, and what success looks like.
Determine what business requirements require modifications and make sure your stakeholders have stated all requirements precisely. If a client wants to produce leads through their Web site, try to determine the number and kind of leads. Get in touch with salespeople, marketers, product managers, and developers who have a stake in the success of the Web site or product.
2. Get to know the users.
Once you’ve gained an understanding of the company’s purpose and its ideal customers, schedule interviews with five of them. Get these customers to try out the product or a clickable prototype of it and talk about their experiences by thinking aloud while using it.
Then you should ask about their needs, any problems they’ve encountered while using the Web site or product, and any areas that they believe could use some improvement. Record the sessions so you can analyze them afterward. Identify any gaps in the user experience by putting yourself in the user’s shoes, who is traversing the customer journey for the first time and feeling unsure of what to expect at every step.
Based on the data that you’ve gathered through your user interviews, create user personas that convey your understanding of these users.
3. Understand users’ objectives.
Once you have a full understanding of your users, use the user insights you’ve gained to create user flows. These user flows should define the many parts of the Web site or product that users would employ in achieving their goals, along with the steps they would take in accomplishing those goals. Your assessment of these user flows should also point out places at which the user might have trouble or become lost, enabling you to determine how to prevent them from becoming confused or taking the wrong steps.
Leverage your learnings from your user interviews and the user personas that you’ve created in developing these user flows, as well as your learnings from what stakeholders have told you about users’ goals during stakeholder interviews or through user surveys. But your user personas should serve as the foundation for these user flows.
4. Understand your competitors.
Review other companies’ competitive products and services. They can shed light on the other options that are available to your customers. Plus, they give you a chance to see how other businesses that are similar to yours have organized and emphasized what they offer. Look at two or three of your key competitors’ Web sites or products and create a chart that shows how they compare and contrast. Also, try to document the user flows for these competing experiences whenever possible.
5. Compile your findings and make recommendations.
At the end of your UX audit, make a list of your findings, as well as your suggestions for remedying the issues that you’ve identified. Once you’ve gathered all the information from the various steps of this process, evaluate what you’ve learned about how people are using the Web site or product and where problems arise. Provide a list of suggestions regarding how the team could address these issues based on what you’ve discovered. Include this information in a report that communicates your findings in a clear, concise way. Each recommendation should clearly include how you might implement it and how it would help the business and the users achieve their goals.
Remember that you should present your findings and suggestions in the best way possible. Although you could do this verbally, it might be preferable to show site maps, wireframes, or other visuals that would help explain your recommendations. When you present your results and suggestions, avoid being too critical. Instead, focus on the positive and suggest ways of making the user experience better and driving better business results.
Improving Your Web Site’s User Experience
Now that you’re aware of the potential impacts that a UX audit could have on your company’s revenues, put the advice in this article into action. Evaluate your Web site or product’s user experience so your company can benefit from its having a great user experience that is in line with its marketing and business goals.
Technical Content Writer & Digital Marketing Expert at WPWeb Infotech
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
As a content manager and digital-marketing expert, Archit is passionate about creating content that provides insights on the latest IT industry trends and helping companies grow their online businesses through technology. He has deep knowledge about and interest in working with new marketing strategies. He discovered WordPress when building a Web site for his first business and loves the platform, so often writes about it. He has developed Web sites for a variety of domains—including sports and ecommerce for home decor, automobiles, gems, and jewelry—and for startups. Archit holds a Bachelor’s of Technology in BTech and Computer Programming from the K.J. Somaiya Institute of Engineering and Information Technology. In his free time, he loves watching cricket, reading spiritual and marketing books, and playing music. Read More