UX AuditUXResearch

04 min read

UX Audit

Do I need an UX Audit?

An UX audit enables you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your website. It is important to locate areas that deter users from visiting the site again, to effectively remedy this in the future. The audit is focused on user needs while keeping the platform's business objectives in mind. These two aspects should already coincide from the very beginning of the design process. Users do not visit the site to help brands achieve their objectives, but to do their business quickly and easily. It takes two to tango, and so users and businesses must share common goals. 

But let’s get back to the audit itself. It might look different depending on what your needs are. During the analysis, the auditor uses universal usability rules and good design practices. They also verify accessibility and use psychological and cognitive knowledge. What also matters is intuition backed by experience. At this point you might be wondering - when & how is this of use to me? When is a good time to conduct a UX audit?

UX Audit

There are many situations, in which an audit is a good idea:
  • When you wake up in the middle of the night with a hunch that something might be wrong with the usability of your product, and you are two weeks away from implementation.
  • When you feel stuck and need a fresh perspective on your product.
  • When, despite the high visibility in search results, the conversions rate is less than impressive.
  • When your website is performing worse after implementing improvements.
  • When your website is more than four years old, which feels like a century in a dynamic digital world.
  • When you notice that users visit the site but leave at the speed of light or abandon the shopping cart.
  • When you have limited resources but want to optimise your website.
  • When you notice that in-stores sales are significantly higher than online sales.
  • When your customer service department is under siege after the last changes.
How will the audit benefit me? An audit is essential to answer key questions such as:
  • Where are users experiencing friction?
  • What is causing the frustration that makes them abandon their journey?
  • What is the nature of this frustration? Is there something they do not like, or do they simply need more information?
  • What might they not understand?

A UX audit helps to identify the cause of low conversion and other issues., That is why it is an important step to creating a great product and significantly improving the User Experience on your site. It will not replace user testing, which provides a more complete view of user patterns and opinions. Still, an audit is a relatively low-cost, quick-to-implement tool to address usability issues. And as we all know - poor user experience is a costly affair.

My best audit tips

I have conducted numerous audits of websites, platforms and digital products. In the process, I have perfected my toolbox and come up with some not-so-obvious strategies, which I am happy to share.

I lead with the good news, there will always be time for the bad ones

It is important that the audit mentions not just the issues that need addressing but also product strengths. It is important to acknowledge the work of the people who created the audited site. I also want to make sure that what is good about the product is not changed once audit recommendations are implemented. I once audited a site whose condition was truly poor - it was hard to find merit. Just before the audit presentation, I found out that the person who had put the site together in WordPress would be attending. I was worried that if I started criticising the current interface at the beginning of the meeting my audience might become resistant to feedback. So I started with what was good. In this case, it was the colour palette. When I talked about it, everyone became very engaged and started discussing how particular interface elements helped with conversion. This helped me move smoothly to more difficult topics.

Talk to people

The sales and customer service departments are a treasure trove of knowledge about users and their problems. By exchanging thoughts and asking questions you can immediately diagnose the most pressing problems and, in the process, learn more about the product context and target audience.

Where will the UX audit take us?

To summarise, a UX audit is an effective tool for improving user experience and, as such, it positively affects conversion rates. Contrary to what it might appear, building an effective website is not that easy. Success depends on many factors and UX is among the crucial ones. Users expect a seamless experience, so when they come across obstacles, they leave in a heartbeat, never to return. A functional site means higher conversion and a better brand image. There is no room for coincidences in business.

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Joanna Bałdyga

UX Designer




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