UI UX audit: Why and How?
Before we dive deep into our guide on how to do a UI UX audit, let’s first understand the important principles of User Experience design from our experienced designers at Seven Peaks Software.
Meet Andy, our Head of Design
Andy is an enthusiastic, creative and goal driven thinker. He covers a range of design services, end to end UX processes and project deliveries.
Andy has worked with several brands such as BP, Telenor, Dtac, IHG, Sky, DHL, Accenture, Disney, BCG, HSBC, SCB Thailand, RHB Malaysia, UOB Singapore giving him valuable experience working under large profile clients involving a range of design disciplines.
More recently Andy has been working with clients on digital transformation projects leading discovery workshops and facilitating research and design led processes to help define and deliver fast to market MVPs.
Many of these cases have involved mapping manual workflows to understand and build digital solutions, bridging the gap between client needs and development teams.
Our experienced international design team will work with you to put usability at the forefront of your product.
Our design process understands the continuous cycle of product development including: research & discovery, information architecture, wireframing & prototypes, user testing & validation, final UI design & handoff, branding, and more.
UX design plays an essential role in creating meaningful and successful digital products.
Many companies are now turning their focus towards improving the user experience of their products as customers expectations grow and competition rises.
According to Interaction design foundation, User experience (UX) design is the process design teams use to create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users.
A UX designer’s goal is to create a positive sum of emotions and perceptions when interacting with a digital product. It’s all about creating a positive response and meeting the user’s needs so that the user will stay longer and return often.
To ensure quality user experiences can be offered designers use UI UX audits to assess how user friendly digital products are.
A User Experience Audit (UX Audit) is a process of finding out the issues, obstacles, or complications associated with digital products and using the results of the User Experience audit to analyze and set the main goals for the product.
The purpose of the UI UX audit is to benchmark a product, it’s current problems and highlighting any areas of weakness to help suggest improvements.
An audit will provide useful data that gives insight into the problems that are occurring, and can often offer paths to resolving issues within the product. A UI UX audit is one of the most effective tools in the arsenal of the UX ecosystem.
What is a UI UX audit?
According to Nielsen Norman Group there are 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design which are also well known as Jakob Nielsen’s 10 general principles for interaction design.
The UX auditor will most likely use these 10 usability heuristics as the foundation for auditing or reviewing the digital product.
Jakob Nielsen’s 10 general principles for interaction design are:
1. Visibility of system status
2. Match between system and the real world
3. User control and freedom
4. Consistency and freedom
5. Error prevention
6. Recognition rather than recall
7. Flexibility and efficiency of use
8. Aesthetic and minimalist design
9. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors.
10. Help and documentation.
During the UI UX audit process, the auditor will utilize various methods, tools and metrics to analyze the digital product.
The auditor might review bundles of different data to see the performance, behavior, operation of the digital product which could be includes: Business and User objectives review, Customer care data, Sales data, Conversion metrics, Traffic & Engagement Data, Heuristics Usability, Mental modeling, Wireframing and prototyping.
In doing an analytics audit of your product, our team will analyze various sets of data or indicators including the user volume, location and demographics, browser & device, page behavior. By doing the analytics audit we will be able to identify the behavior patterns, gaps, performance issues and other insight to the product.
In gathering the data analytics for the UX audit there are few tools that will be used on tracking the performance of the product. These could include Google Analytics, Hot Jar, Metrica, and Full Story, those are few applications that might be used.
Before starting the analytics audit process it is recommended to review the current metrics to see the current status of every element inside the product. Be sure to take into account external or internal factors when analyzing this data.
Selecting the data range to analyze and understanding its relevance, and relation to your current to the products goals is an important step to creating accurate and relevant data analysis.
Navigation and information architecture
Information architecture is defining the process of organizing and structuring content to enable users to navigate products and find information easily.
Navigation & Information architecture audits are needed to see how the current architecture of the product works towards the user.
In this audit there will be various sets of data that will be analyzed this will include: Existing sitemap AI, information architecture, global navigation, buttons and interactions, global search bar and other sets of data that are related with the product architecture and navigation.
Layouts; arranging on-screen elements
Layouts in digital products can be referred to as the position and arrangement of elements on a screen. A good layout will be easy for a user to understand and navigate.
When auditing layouts of screens Seven Peaks focuses on the following: Design of the layout across various devices, hierarchy of content, illustrations, content sizing, alignment, imagery, options of the menu, layout repetition and other elements that related with the product layout.
Accessibility; building accessible products for everyone
Making products that are accessible by everyone regardless of their abilities is becoming an increasingly hot topic. Accessibility focuses on considering how people with a range of disabilities could engage with a product or service.
We believe that having accessible design not only increases overall user satisfaction and experiences but also helps drive innovation, brand engagement and market reach.
Including accessibility in an audit helps highlight areas where people may have trouble using a product or service. For example users who use screen readers benefit greatly from having labels and icons names in a descriptive way.
Visually impaired users can navigate easier with properly sized fonts and well contrasted colors.
A competitor analysis audit is needed when a product owner would like to understand how their product compares to a competitor’s. With this analysis, it can help the owner to generate new ideas for competitive gains.
We will define the assessment criteria based on what the clients offer and we will use it as the benchmark to make the comparisons between the product and the product competitors. Normally 3 main competitors in the industry will become the benchmark for the audit.
Trust and Credibility
Trust and credibility of a product is what most users are looking for when they are using a digital product, especially when spending money, or providing sensitive information.
Users will be wary of products that do not look legitimate or lack credible content such as appropriate visuals or written information. Using specific design techniques to make users feel safe and comfortable when using a product is a great way to gain new customers and increase retention.
This audit topic gives clients a sense of how users may perceive a service based on what they see, understand and how a product performs.
Who should consider performing a UX audit?
A UI UX audit is usually carried out on the product that has already existed for some period of time. With an already established backlog of data to review.
But it’s also recommended to conduct a UI UX audit at the very early stage of the product. When a company already has some signal or indicator that their product is not meeting the users expectations and is confusing or causing frustration for users.
The product could also be failing from a business perspective, either in failing to grow at the anticipated rate, or failing to generate revenue targets.
Research has shown that companies who do not have a devoted UX team will rarely see the benefit of the UX audit, as the company tends to be more focused on revenue and business goals, rather than the user experience.
Those with a devoted UX team will be assessing and updating the product on a regular basis as they will monitor changes of user behavior and find opportunities for improvement.
However, it’s still recommended to have a third party to do the UX audit for a company who has a devoted UX team as sometimes it might be hard for an in-house team to see the product from different perspectives.
The benefits of a UX audit
As mentioned, the UI UX audit is an important task to do in the digital product, it brings tons of benefit for the product and the company. These benefits are:
To move into the right direction and gain new product perspectives
Based on the findings from the User Experience audit, problem areas and untapped potential can be identified, priorities, and addressed.
Allowing companies to better understand their user base and the way that they interact with their products. Allowing the company to design quality and push their products in the right direction for their users.
To increase the overall user experience and satisfaction
By implementing the suggestions from the UI UX audit report, the product owner might see opportunities for growth. Improving the value proposition and communication will allow the users of the product to understand the product faster.
Eliminating all the complication and confusion on the purchase path will increase the conversion rate. The more intuitive the product, the more satisfied the customer feels.
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