As markets become more and more inundated with brands offering unique solutions, the last thing any business needs is to find their product is slow, confusing or under performing. To avoid this, the best (and easiest!) activity one can do is a UX Audit.
A UX Audit is a simple series of steps that can be used to help determine why and how to better your offering. Not only does a UX Audit provide data to back up any of your claims, but it allows brands to action recommendations and sack any of those pesky bugs that are driving your users crazy! All in all, it make for a wonderful experience.
With that said, here are my 5 steps to run a UX Audit for any business:
While everyone has their own agenda in terms of the goals of their products, your focus should always be on… What does the business want from the users? And… What do the users want from the business?
Once you have answered these, do interviews with users, departments, CEOs, create user flows, search for problem areas on the surface, outline issues/possible solutions.
Hopefully, you should have access to user data via software such as Google Analytics. Here, look for trends, funnels, user paths and see where the bounce rates are and what the users are searching for. It’s vital you use this information as this should back up any recommendations and any previous issues you found prior to investigating the data.
In some cases, clients have additional data available which can be utilised and reviewed during this step. Additional data includes:
Use these to create hypotheses as to why problems are occurring for the user at a background level. If you have the budget, look into gaining further knowledge and look into heat mapping and or in-house user testing.
As a business, you should know there are usability heuristics all products abide to that basically make them more user friendly and easily accessible to all. Take what you have learnt from your analytics and create insights about your users. Understand how and where they are using your product? Why do they need to use your product/s in order to complete their tasks? Have a look at Jakob Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics as a standard.
For myself, this is the exciting part where we get to compile findings and make recommendations. We find it’s best to condensed all findings into a document to ensure they’re clear, concise and easy to digest for the wider team.
Make a set of actionable recommendations and outline how they should be implemented, along with how they can affect the business needs and user’s objectives.
Think, is it visual design, responsive issues and or lack in the clarity of a message, that might be the problem.
Keep in mind, findings and recommendations should be presented in whatever way is most effective. This could mean words, but it may be more valuable to convey recommendations through site maps, wire frames, prototypes, or other visual means. When you present your findings and recommendations, avoid being overly critical; try to focus on the positive by providing solutions for improvement.
The last step of the UX Audit is to compile and synthesise findings for the wider team – this includes any critical usability issues, quick wins, and A/B test suggestions.
Continue to test and take note of what worked and what didn’t, iterate if necessary, and always keep an eye open for changing trends!
At Blueclaw, user experience is at the heart of everything we do. To discuss our approach or for help with a UX Audit, get in touch.