Is your website living up to its potential? Are you providing the most optimal and frictionless experience to your users?
What’s the problem and how do you begin fixing it?
Questions like these are the birthplace of endless meetings, Slack threads, emails, and hours of lost sleep.
Without a plan, you could waste countless dollars and hours using an underperforming digital marketing asset, or rather planning complete ground-floor-up overhauls.
Luckily, there’s a solution: The UX Audit.
What is a UX Audit?
UX Audit Defined: The UX Audit is a formalized discovery process – often involving a multi-disciplinary team — that investigates what challenges users face when engaging with a product’s (e.g., website, application, digital ad) user interface (UI).
Why a UX Audit: It’s a useful tool for connecting data to user behavior as they engage with your website or other digital asset. Done correctly, the audit will identify potential areas for repair or revision and learn positive aspects you may want to use again.
UX Clarified: User experience is everywhere around us. A common misconception is that UX relates only to websites, and related wireframes and information architecture. In reality, UX is relevant to all entities we interact with from an elevator to an ad campaign, and how they make us feel and react.
Related reading: The Difference Between UX and UI in Web Development
How to Conduct a UX Audit
Here are the essential steps you need to cover for the best results:
- Define Your Goals: Like any good plan, before you begin you need to document your primary goals, or KPIs. Be specific. What parts of your experience deserve the most focus? Which area is the most sensitive as it pertains to the success for your business? Have these types of questions answered.
- Identify User Flow: The key to your audit is having an in-depth understanding of the steps a customer takes as they engage with your digital marketing asset. Highlight and troubleshoot all crucial decision points during a customer’s arrival, consumption, decision-making, and choice.
- Evaluate Your Design: Now, it’s time to review your design with a fresh perspective. Give it the squint test. Does the layout, copy, typography, and color scheme work in harmony or are you finding some potential red flags? Ask people outside your design department to have a look. Make certain all hyperlinks, navigational elements, and other functional components operate cleanly and efficiently.
- Review Your Content: Make certain all messaging is in language that speaks to the users’ level. And, for gosh sakes check for typos and grammar errors. All of these things are certain to turn off and turn away users.
- Analyze the Data: Get your analytics together and identify anomalies in the user experience. Determine where customers leave, where they stay, and where they take action. Eye-tracking software is typically helpful, but there’s no substitute for valuable Google Analytics data.
- Provide Recommendations: After performing the previous steps, you should be able to connect the dots as to what’s working and what areas need improvement. Make sure you are as prescriptive as possible because these recommendations will become upcoming project plans. And, as we’ll discuss next, the more frequently you perform your audits the better you’ll be able to fine-tune these recommendations.
When’s the Best Time to Conduct a UX Audit?
There’s never a bad time, but you should focus on a few crucial moments in the project lifecycle:
- Before launching a new product or service
- Following a major redesign
- Upon noticing drops in user engagement
Those moments aside, the UX Audit is most effective as a regular, routinely scheduled activity for any of your brand’s digital products. Let’s discuss.
Annually, semi-annually, or even more frequently, you will better plan for continuous improvements of your marketing investments by conducting a UX Audit routinely. This keeps you ahead of your competition because your digital marketing product meets the evolving needs of your users.
Think for a second about how many websites have let you down when you’re trying to perform the simplest action.
With a routine UX Audit, your team will catch issues before they become critical. You also will ensure you stay current with ongoing product and brand updates and meet evolving accessibility guidelines and user best practices.
What’s Holding You Back?
A UX Audit of your website, landing page, digital ads, or other marketing assets is one of the most useful and valuable exercises for maintaining an efficient digital marketing program. By following the above steps, you can conduct a thorough UX audit that will help you identify issues and make recommendations for improving the user experience.
Need help planning or executing your UX Audit? Let our team of design, analytics, strategy, and technology experts guide you through it. Contact Liquid today and let’s discuss.