User Experience (UX) Audits are like going to the dentist. You know you should do it but you just keep putting it off because, well it’s expensive, painful and time-consuming. At least that’s what you think. It can actually be quite the opposite.
2017 is the year of getting sh#t done so lets get it over and done with, and trust means it’s far less painful than getting a tooth pulled!
So What is a UX Audit?
A UX Audit is an assessment designed to pinpoint blemishes in your digital site that may negatively affect usability. So basically, it’s a audit that will let you know what areas of your site frustrate users and make them want to take a hammer to their computer.
Why Would I Bother Doing That You Ask?
A UX Audit will allows you to streamline your website so that your customers can reach their end-goal in the most satisfying, efficient and sales converting way possible. Your site plays a vital role in getting your customers to transact or reach the service information they were after. The ROI of UX is proven and positive so spending the time on a UX audit will definitely pay off in the long run.
This Guide Will Show You:
- How to Instruct somebody to conduct a UX audit for you
- The Questions to ask to get measurable results
- 3 Tips for a good audit
Step 1: Understand What Your Business Wants to Achieve
What is the purpose of your businesses website? Is it where your customers go to read about your products and submit enquiries? Does it support your bricks and mortar with service and contact information? Or, are you an online store where customers come to transact? Before you can ask somebody to conduct a UX Audit you need to understand exactly what the purpose of your site is.
Once you understand what your goal is it’s time to do your own mini evaluation. Looking at your key performance indicators (KPI’s) and website analytics what are visitors doing on your site? Where are they spending their time, how long, where do they leave your site? Are you using your unique selling proposition (USP) to your companies advantage or is it lost in the mayhem of your site? Give your findings to your chosen auditor.
You need to understand your goals before you can expect others to!
The most important thing to remember is that YOU CAN NOT DO THE AUDIT YOURSELF. To get an honest and objective report from the audit it’s best that you ask a complete stranger, to yourself and your business, to conduct the audit. You don’t need to pay for this service, ask a friend that is uninvolved with your business. You don’t need somebody who is a marketing genius to conduct an audit. You just need a person that would resemble your typical customer.
Step 2: The 5 Second Test
The 5-second test is all about design. As you move through your site each page should be initially viewed for 5 seconds. From this the auditor must decide:
– Does the website look inviting
– Is it clear what we sell or do? and why it’s relevant to the shopper?
– Is it clear what the shopper can do?
Design plays a huge role in the readability, allure and flow of your site. Aspects of design like unreadable font, small text, poorly cropped images and tacky website templates can really affect the user’s experience and perception of your brand.
Step 3: Scenarios
This is where the auditor will try out different user scenarios and rate the ease in which they can reach their end goal. You need to provide them with scenarios such as find the returns policy, shop for winter boots size 8, find the business address, test search capabilities or make an enquiry. Think of real situations that your customer would often be completing. The auditor will rate these processes based on:
- How long did it take to navigate to the end goal?
- Was there sufficient direction in the CTA’s?
- Load time
- Was the information you discovered/process satisfactory?
- Did the design flow throughout the site?
Step 4: Inspect the detail
Step 4 is where you really get into the nitty gritty of what works for the user and what drives them up the wall. It’s important to ask for each criticism to be given with great detail. If the CTA’s aren’t working for them, Ask why? Do they need to be brighter? Wrong text? Bad positioning?
To finish things off the auditor should rate your UX out of 10 and provide a list of actionable suggestions to improve. The worst thing you can do at this stage is to go on the defensive. If a stranger says they don’t like your site chances are they have a reason. To make a UX Audit valuable you need to understand in detail the sometimes minuscule mistakes that you have made in the design of your site. Sit down with the auditor, skype them or give them a phone call. Get them to walk you through your own site and point out every one of these details and discuss how it could possibly be fixed.
3 Tips For A Valuable UX Audit
- Stay Objective: Don’t pick a friend or employee to do the audit. Their opinion won’t always be honest and chances are they already have a lot of experience navigating the site.
- Detail: When the audit is complete it is really important you get to the bottom of each of the suggested improvements. You should leave with a detailed list of exactly what you need to fix/improve.
- The more the merrier: like any science experiment the greater the sample group the more valuable the result will be. Ask a few people of different ages and genders to do the audit. Chances are they will have unique suggestions and if they are all saying the same thing it just goes to show you need to fix it ASAP!
Alright, hopefully, you’ve made it this far! Now go out there and get the job done. Let us know how you go. Did you find our guide helpful?