The Ultimate UX Audit Guide for Business

Does your business have digital representation via an App, Website, or Web platform? In that case, you’re probably concerned about such metrics as customer retention rate, conversion rates, session duration, abandoned checkout rate, or customer satisfaction scores. These metrics and overall business performance depend on product design.

It’s clear that poorly designed digital touchpoints significantly influence businesses’ performance and customer loyalty, leading to direct financial losses. But even if the product was initially well designed, user expectations from the interaction experience evolve over time under the influence of other products customers met in their lives.

To identify the gaps in customer expectations and opportunities for business & product metrics improvements, successful companies time-to-time run UX (user experience) audits – in other words, user experience assessments.

In this article, we’d like to outline what is a UX audit, how it can be conducted, and what the best practices you can consider to use to maximize ROI from the project.

What is a UX audit, and what’s its goal?

A UX audit is a comprehensive review of an interface or user experience journey, which purpose is to detect existing problems users have while interacting with your product and find opportunities for improvement. The audit typically evaluates usability, accessibility, and overall user satisfaction.

The UX audit aims to pinpoint any barriers or issues preventing customers from effectively using the product.

The result of the audit is a report that outlines and prioritizes usability issues and provides recommendations for addressing them.

The insights and advice from the UX audit report can help the product team make informed data-driven decisions about enhancing the user experience and improving the product.

When do you need a UX audit?

A UX audit is usually needed when a business wants to assess and improve the user experience of its website or product – increase user engagement or conversions, improve usability, or provide a better overall user experience.

For example, you noticed that customers used to spend more time on your app or website, and now, for unknown reasons, they leave it much faster. Or more people started to add something to the cart and not complete the checkout.

In such situations, a UX audit helps reveal the reason for low metrics, gather recommendations on eliminating product issues, and create a more seamless user journey.

UX audit is an excellent solution for the following situations:

  • A website or product has low user engagement or a low conversion rate.
  • A website or product is difficult to use or navigate.
  • A company or organization is launching a new website or product and wants to ensure that it meets the needs and expectations of users.
  • A company or organization wants to gather user insights and feedback to inform future design and development decisions.

Types and methods of UX audit

There are plenty of research activities you can use during usability assessment. We list below the most used options by our team when we conduct UX audit projects.

  • Expert review is a technique that involves an experienced usability auditor evaluating an interface to identify and rank usability issues.
  • User testing is an organized session where users interact with the interface, and the audit team observes and measures their user experience and comments. 
  • User interviews are moderated conversations with people with specific experiences to gather insights and feedback about their experiences with the product.
  • UX data analytics is capturing and analyzing quantifiable data about their experiences with the product.
  • User journey mapping: a visualization of the user’s steps with detailed information about user experience and behavior on each touchpoint.
  • Accessibility audit: assessment of the interface to ensure it has no significant barriers to users with disabilities.
  • UX Benchmarking is a way to calculate and compare the usability score of the product and its components. 
  • UX Best Practices shortlisting is needed to find and include recommendations in the UX audit report so the product team knows how to fix the issues.

These methods are often mixed and used together during the audit process. Picking suitable options depends on the specific goal, objective of the audit, and available resources. 

Conducting UX audit — the process explained

Here are ten steps that take place during an effective UX audit. Depending on the context, specifics of the project, and goal, the number and sequence of stages can vary.

  1. Define scope and goals: Start with setting specific goals and objectives you want to achieve as a result of the audit. Then identify the sections of the product that will be assessed. 
  2. Identify and involve stakeholders: Determine who initiates the audit and who will receive and implement the result. Make sure all stakeholders agree on the audit brief and process.
  3. Choose audit methods: Select the specific methods that are the most suitable in this case, such as user testing, user interviews, heuristic evaluation, etc.
  4. Conduct the audit: Use the chosen methods to evaluate the product and identify any issues or problems.
  5. Analyze the results: Review the audit findings and identify improvement areas.
  6. Explore and shortlist examples of UX best practices and recommendations.
  7. Create the report: Summarize the audit findings and provide recommendations for addressing any issues or problems.
  8. Present the report: Share the report with stakeholders and discuss the recommendations for improvement.
  9. Implement changes: Based on the recommendations from the report, implement changes to the product or website to address the identified issues and improve the user experience.
  10. Evaluate the results: After implementing the changes, evaluate the effectiveness of the improvements and continue to iterate as needed.

What should we do as a business to get the maximum benefit from the UX audit?

If you want to ensure UX audit brings business results — follow this checklist. 

Before the audit, make sure you’ve defined business goals and relevant objectives. 

For small products: Know your strategic goals and try to address them. 

For big products: Better to focus on one functionality than try to evaluate the whole product at once. 

Before the audit: Involve key stakeholders, including the product team, developers, and top management. Make sure they are all agreed on the brief and process and ready to invest in applying changes as the audit report would suggest. Without their involvement, it will be a waste of money and time. 

At the beginning and during the audit: Maintain open and transparent communication with the agency conducting the audit to ensure that the process is on track and the business’s needs and goals are being met. Remember that both of you are interested in good results.

After the audit: Implement the recommendations from the report promptly and strategically, and be prepared to iterate as needed based on the results. Get a consultation to get a design review.

After recommendations are implemented: Measure changes after applying the most critical recommendations and track the changes. Now you can see their effectiveness and even calculate ROI.

Overall, a successful UX audit should result in meaningful improvements to the user experience and meet the goals and objectives set by the business. By following the steps outlined above, a business can maximize the benefits of the audit and ensure that it is a valuable investment.

The key to a successful UX audit is a reliable and dedicated partner. If you want to improve your products and become much more attractive to your customers, we’ll be happy to help. Feel free to contact us and get professional assistance from our team.