04 min read
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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