How to Conduct a UX Audit (Examples and Methods)
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In 2016, the HubSpot team made the decision to optimize their website. Although HubSpot was performing well at that time, its user experience wasn’t as good as it could have been.
Initially the team thought that to change the situation for better, they would have to refactor or redesign around 70 of the website's critical pages. But the UX design audit they conducted prior showed that they can reduce this number down to 39, which was already a bit less stressful.
What’s more, the UX audit allowed HubSpot to spot major areas for improvement, such as adding videos to the product overview pages and getting rid of the illustrations completely. The redesign made after this research turned out to be successful and doubled HubSpot conversion rates.
That’s the power of a good UX audit to you.
There are different types of UX audit, and if you’re new to this, you might struggle with figuring out which type to pick for your specific situation. That’s why we want to help you, explaining these types and sharing our personal approach.
Which types of audits are there?
As a design agency, we at Eleken can say that there’s no such thing as a universal UX audit. The audit always depends on specific goals and therefore comes with a different approach.
In general, we can split the main types of the UX audit into usability audit, accessibility audit, visual design audit, and content audit. Below you can find more details about each of them and ways to conduct them.
The goal of usability audit is to spot any usability issues that make user experience confusing and unsatisfactory. For this type of audit, you need to collect all the valuable data that could aid you in the process, such as app’s statistics, user interviews, usability tests, user personas and feedback. Additionally, you can observe how users interact with your product.
Analyze this data to discover areas of improvement and update the product accordingly. We recommend doing it in several iterations: once an update is ready, show it to the target audience, collect their feedback, and implement it. Repeat, until you’re satisfied with the feedback.
Accessibility audit helps ensure that people with disabilities will be able to use your product without experiencing major difficulties and discomfort. Unfortunately, at the moment it’s immensely difficult if not impossible to make interfaces 100% accessible, so such reviews should become a routine task rather than a one-time project. However, it’s definitely worth the effort. Even the smallest improvements and minor fixed problems will open new doors for more users.
There is no one-fits-all approach on how to conduct an accessibility audit. The perfect option would be asking people with disabilities to test your product, but not all have resources to do that. The less perfect yet efficient option is using special tools designed to test the accessibility of a product. like screen readers, browser developer tools, automated testing tools, and color contrast checkers.
Visual design audit
As its name suggests, visual design audit is the review of all design elements that a brand or a company uses. This is done to ensure that the visual communication is consistent throughout all channels or to revise visual branding (for instance, when you’re planning a rebranding) by uncovering things that have to be changed or improved.
If you decide to do a complete visual design audit, you’ll have to analyze all the elements your company uses for branding and visual communication. Evaluate if they are easy to work with, consistent, up-to-date, and have a single source explaining how to use them (be it a brandbook, a style guide, or a design system). Make a report containing what is good and what has to be improved. Discuss it with your team and update if necessary before you start implementing the changes.
Just like visual design audit evaluates the visuals, content audit reviews the content for consistency, relevance, SEO performance and other important things. While we all know that content is the king of marketing, we still need to access it from time to time and look for ways to improve it. That’s why 61% of companies that succeed the most in content marketing run content audits at least 2 times a year.
To run a content audit for a website, start with defining your target goal, whether it’s improving SEO or increasing the conversion rate. Gather all the data and analyze it to see, what performs better than expected, what underperforms, and what has to be updated with relevant information. Adjust your content strategy according to the insights you discovered during the analysis process.
These are the general recommendations on how to conduct different types of audit. However, being a design agency that has been creating high-quality SaaS design solutions for years, Eleken has its own approach to the audit process and we want to share our insights with you.
How Eleken conducts UX audit
A thorough UI/UX audit is an integral part of every redesign process at Eleken. We stick to a pragmatic design approach heavily supported by data and conduct UX audits to collect this data and understand user pain points.
For better understanding, we’re going to analyze the UX audit example of the Datawisp solution. Datawisp is a no-code data analysis platform that offers a new, visual way of working with numbers. When they turned to Eleken, they already had a validated, pre-funded idea, and needed to design an MVP.
Overall, our UX audit included three main steps. Here are the details.
Step 1: figuring out the details
To enhance the product’s UI and user experience, we have to understand how the product works now and what are the potential areas of improvement. Even if we already have some information provided by the client, we always go an extra mile and try to scrap additional data ourselves. After all, the more data you have, the better.
For Datawisp, we deconstructed the existing app into user flows, and these user flows – into separate data blocks, cards, and tables. We had to understand the role and meaning behind every single design element to figure out what can stay as it is, and what could be improved.
Step 2: utilizing heuristics to uncover user experience problems
We didn’t try to reinvent the wheel here: we used Jakob Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics to research and analyze any potential UX issues a product might have. Despite these heuristics having been developed over 30 years ago, they are still relevant as they are based on human behavior, that, surprisingly enough, hasn’t changed much.
Our designers examine the product’s interface and decide if it complies with Nielsen’s usability standards. They take notes and screenshots of every problematic area they spot, adding their comments.
Here is an example of Datawisp’s screenshot analyzed according to the heuristics.
Step 3: organizing our findings in a report and implementing changes
Once all the issues are spotted and described, it’s time to move to the next stage of the UX audit process, which is organizing them in one place. At Eleken, we always create a detailed UX audit report for the client. It contains problems, their suggested solutions, pieces of advice, and insights that we discovered during the analysis process. We show this UX audit proposal to the client, discuss it with them, decide what needs to be done, and only then move to the design.
Such approach helped us turn Datawisp from this:
As a result, Datawisp not only looks modern but also has all the functions the client wanted to implement and is more user-friendly than ever. New design created by Eleken helped Datawisp raise a $3.6 million seed round.
There are different types of UX audit, depending on what you want to evaluate. But, none of these types will bring any effective results unless you figure out how to fix the uncovered problems.
That’s what we at Eleken do. We can not only conduct high-quality SaaS UX audit, but offer efficient, modern solutions to problems we find. While realizing the number of issues a product has isn’t always a pleasant experience, we won’t leave you in the dark with these findings, but help you fix them quickly and professionally within the discussed timeframe.
If it sounds like a good deal, reach out to us for a free consultation.