IMPROVE YOUR USER EXPERIENCE WITH A UX AUDIT
As a business owner, you set aside time to learn the tricks-of-the-trade when generating sales, building a loyalty program or improving overall customer experience. But did you know that by simply learning the digital needs of your user, through your very own website, you can begin to improve almost any area of your business?
Just like web designers and developers know the importance of a visually-stimulating and high-performing website, business owners need to understand how that user experience impacts their everyday goals.
Whether you are a business owner or web developer seeking to enhance a website or product, getting a solid grip on basic principles, best practices and different methods of improvement will be sure to yield long-lasting results.
This article aims to prove just that—by introducing the concept of a “UX Audit” and why it is important to apply when improving your customer’s experience.
UX or UI – what’s the difference?
Before we dive deeper, let’s differentiate between the terms “UX” and “UI”. More often than not, these terms are used interchangeably, thereby causing confusion around their true meaning.
UX Design (User Experience Design) is the process of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the customer and the product.
UI Design (User Interface Design) is responsible for the look, feel, presentation, and interactivity of a product.
In other words, if UX tackles the “big picture” ideation, integration, and flow of a product, then think of UI as it’s trusty sidekick, helping to make that process as visually-appetizing and interactive as possible.
For the purpose of this article, we will stick with the term “UX”, but it’s important to know the two can overlap.
What’s all the hype?
Properly-designed UX is essential if you want to optimize the user’s action on your product. This will enable the user to make more meaningful action, which in return, will lead to better ROI.
By having the needs of the user in mind, you are paving the path for a memorable experience, ultimately keeping them loyal to your product or brand.
Check out these stats to get a better sense of general user mentality:
- 83% of people say a seamless experience across all devices is very important.
- Judgments on website credibility are 75% based on a website’s overall aesthetics.
- 60% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it.
- 48% of users say they feel frustrated and annoyed when on sites that are poorly optimized for mobile.
- 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company.
As you can see, a lot of people take their experience on a website or app seriously, and will base their actions on the unique experience.
“The design should always be driven by the user experience, not the other way around”
What is a UX audit?
As you work through the ins-and-outs of your UX landscape, consider whether to take a step back and assess overall performance. A UX audit can be simple and effective way in doing this.
An audit will allow you to examine the value and performance of your product’s interface or design, and if done correctly, can detect certain pain-points, or may even confirm what’s been doing well.
For example, picture multiple Call-To-Action buttons in the same area across a page. This could generate confusion for the user around which action to take and why. Similarly, imagine a website whose pages take forever to load. This can cause potential leads to lose patience and interest quickly, thereby increasing your bounce rate.
When conducting an audit however, you permit yourself to look behind the curtain with a bird’s-eye view. You begin to better track and understand the incorrectness (or correctness) of product’s performance and design, and in due time, you learn to make great leaps towards improvement and long-term success.
How does it work?
A typical UX audit will consist of 6 stages:
- Metrics and materials gathering
- Validation of results
- The organization of data
- Review of trends and tendencies
- Reporting of findings
- Creation of evidence-supported recommendations
Essentially, a UX audit will provide actionable follow-up activities based on empirical evidence, not just mere hunches. It will support strategic design plans and produce metrics that can be used for any future tweakings.
Using anything from a Google Analytics report to a simple customer survey can generate a whirlwind of insights. This will help you make informative decisions when reconfiguring and improving your user experience.
A UX Audit can tell you:
- What is or is not working?
- Which metrics are collected & which should be collected?
- What does the data tell me about my user needs?
- What has already been tried & what impact did it have on metrics?
The data collected from an audit can eventually be formed into a hypothesis (bearing in mind the needs of the user). The recommendations should be tangible and deliverable so that you can generate results within your budget.
Why should you care?
Conducting an audit will help you understand how to reach your company’s goals, boost conversions and improve ROI, if and only when follow-up action is taken.
If performed in systematic, non-biased way, it allows designers to internalize “best practices” and understand why they are important. Not only will it provide useful information to designers, but will inform developers and stakeholders of necessary changes needed to reach these goals.
In a digital nutshell…
Effective and engaging UX design is mandatory if you want a strong online presence. In today’s ever-growing digital arena, competing for the spotlight and user’s attention is a long and steady effort.
The bottom line is—make your website or product look great—and perform even greater. Separate yourself from the competition by creating a unique experience that can be achieved through a UX design audit.