The process of UX audit

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When you launch a new website, you should keep a close eye on multiple aspects. That includes usability, aesthetics, overall visual design, etc. Naturally, all the work happens before the website goes live. Web designers, developers, UI/UX professionals in conjunction with art directors build everything from scratch. Still, it doesn’t guarantee success. During the design process, some of the points can go wrong or be missed by the teams. 

Even after the launch, you can face many challenges – low conversion rates, flat activity, and engagement, resulting in poor performance. Most come up with a complete redesign, but this also doesn’t guarantee a new design won’t produce similar problems. So, what’s the answer? 

All these problems will come up unless you get a better understanding of what is right for your website and your target audience. That is why before making any significant decisions, you need to take a careful look at your website and your users. That research helps detect pain points and improve them instead of spending time and money on a redesign that can or can not help. And user experience services, such as UX audit, can show you what your users are struggling with and how your website needs to improve it. 

Essentially, UX audit is the process of identifying the pain points of the overall design system and user experience. One should understand that it is not functional testing only. The process involves specific approaches, methods, and tools to analyze why your website endures setbacks. Intensive user audits help gather recommendations and build the right design strategy that will enhance but not deteriorate the user experience. Thus, you can allocate all your efforts and work on effective solutions and stop relying on hypothetical data or redesigning the same problems again and again. Ultimately, a good user audit helps with the user flow, promotes smooth functioning, and improves usability, which leads to more conversion and higher engagements.

What is more, a UX audit is a long-term decision. Despite the improved usability, user audit helps to get insight from the users’ experience and get to know their desires, attitudes, and taboos. And with that information, it’s easier to satisfy their needs and enhance your performance. Such a research-proven activity is more reliable than a simple redesign, which is a short-term solution in that case. 

As for the process of UX audit, some questions may arise: what to do first, what data to collect and analyze, who is responsible for the analysis, and the research. Usually, there is an auditing team, which is made up of external UX professionals responsible for conducting research. Such specialists have a fresh look at your problems, detecting all the pain points. When you work with internal UX audit specialists or UX designers, the process may not be so effective. Internal professionals may have a blurred vision as they’ve been working with the auditing product. And it can be a problem for them to look at it from a very different perspective. But third parties are more able to evaluate it critically. 

Essentially, the user audit process evolves in several stages. But before, it’s critical to perform some preliminary tasks to facilitate the auditing work. First of all, you need to check that your business has firm objectives and goals. That will help UX audit professionals to find the right strategy compatible with your business requirements. Also, it’s important to set up the desired result you want to achieve, which will be a foundation for future work. Another critical step is to set up the budget and deadline. That helps streamline the UX audit process and set up clear boundaries. And only now, when you have all the above points, you can perform an actual UX audit:  

  • Step 1: data accumulation

UX specialists start by collecting all the necessary information to measure your website’s overall performance. The approaches to gathering the data vary. Usually, analytical data is derived with the help of specific tools like Google Analytics or Kissmetrics. That is an effective and quick way to get insight into user behavior at every stage of interaction with the website. There is also a direct way of accumulating the data, which implies interviews, surveys, and research in focus groups. 

  • Step 2: analyzing the collected data

Next, UX audit professionals analyze the collected information. This step can be time-consuming as it usually takes some additional testing and re-checking. But here, you need to remember that the success of the future strategy depends on the quality and clarity of the information gathered.  

  • Step 3: formulating the recommendations 

Once the data is analyzed, the auditing team can state recommendations that will form a guideline for improvement. Recommendations can touch upon various aspects of a website’s performance, starting from the visual design inconsistencies to the accessibility issues. All in all, recommendations form a vital part of the future design strategy. 

  • Step 4: UX audit final presentation 

Based on the recommendations, professionals create a cohesive strategy and present it to all the respective teams and stakeholders. 

If your website faces many problems and you notice that your conversion rates are reducing, it’s time to conduct an audit. Although the UX audit can take much time, it positively impacts your performance and saves you from useless activities. And if organized well, UX audit can guarantee a perfectly-suited design strategy that is aimed to meet the needs of your audience and that of your business. 

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