UX is a popular acronym in the world of online marketing. Its extension is User Experience, which translates to “user experience.” User experience consists of the total experience experienced by users when interacting with a website or application.
Why is UX so important?
Thousands of websites are created daily (547,200, to be exact!). Therefore, when using the Internet and browsing sites, we expect them to provide us with valuable content while also being seamless. When we come across a site and, after just a few seconds, are discouraged by its design, unreadable content, or unintuitive navigation, we turn to its competitors. That is why site owners must take care of the experience and convenience of visitors.
It is necessary to make the Internet user’s experience only positive. Therefore, it is needed to improve the product (site/store/application) to be maximally useful and function-oriented.In this case, if you have no experience, nothing stands in the way. You can safely hire one of the UX design companies that will help with this problem.
UX audit – what is it and what does it check?
A UX audit, also known as a usability audit, analyzes a website, online store, or mobile application. During this analysis, experts (UX researchers and designers) check whether the interface has been designed to allow efficient and comfortable use by users. A UX audit is a useful tool for those who want to identify usability problems with their digital products. It also helps detect problem areas that cause users to abandon the customer journey.
While a UX audit can’t directly solve all problems on a website or app, it provides answers to such fundamental questions as:
- Where do users encounter difficulties in understanding navigation or functionality?
- What does the data tell you about user behavior and needs?
- How can the website or application be changed to improve its business performance?
A usability audit should help define the underlying problems in your product, the solution of which will increase the conversion rate of the website/shop and improve its usability.
Why conduct a UX audit?
The results of a UX audit are usually laid out for the client in a report, which includes, among other things: a description of the project; the main objectives of the UX audit; the methodology; detailed test results highlighting the main problems and potential areas for improvement; recommendations and suggestions for improving usability and maximizing ROI (return on investment).
Of course, there is no universal format for a UX audit report, as its size and structure depend on the activity’s complexity.
If, after reading this article, you’re still wondering whether it’s worthwhile to conduct a website usability analysis or UX audit on your online store, the following list of benefits will undoubtedly convince you:
- It is a step to improve the site’s functionality and meet users’ needs.
- The purpose of a UX audit is to make the owner aware of the site’s shortcomings, which he may not have noticed himself. Thanks to the analysis, it is possible to identify and eliminate problems that negatively affect the user experience.
- Improved functionality as a result of a usability audit increases customer satisfaction. From a business point of view, a satisfied customer means a higher conversion rate and better sales.
1. Heuristic analysis
A heuristic analysis examines a site according to accepted principles of site construction. Specialists analyze the web, looking for common mistakes, following rules and expert guidance such as Nielsen heuristics, Schneiderman’s rules, Connell’s rules, or Gerhardt-Powals’ cognitive rules.
2. Cognitive wandering
Cognitive wandering is what is known as an expert’s walk around a website and testing the usability of the site from the point of view of a new customer. This way, the expert tries various user paths, making an authentic purchase, searching for a particular text on the website or a product, and performing specific actions.
3. Utility audit and popular tools.
When analyzing a website’s usability, several tools can be used. Some of them are worth applying to specific industries or sites such as e-commerce or blogs. The following tools help you conduct UX usability tests for websites.
4.Nielsen and Molich heuristics.
Nielsen Heuristics is a set of 10 guidelines to follow when developing websites. It’s a checklist for a UX specialist who analyzes a site. Here they are:
- Show system status.
- Keep the correspondence between the system and reality.
- Give the user complete control.
- Stick to standards and maintain consistency.
- Prevent errors.
- Allow choice instead of forcing memorization.
- Provide flexibility and efficiency.
- Take care of aesthetics and moderation.
- Provide effective error handling.
- Ensure support and documentation.
5. Gerhardt-Powals’ cognitive rules
Another guideline for conducting a heuristic site analysis is Gerhardt-Powals’ cognitive rules, which take a more holistic approach to the subject. Here they are:
- Automate unwanted workloads, such as calculations or comparisons.
- Show users the data clearly and concretely.
- Go from general to specific.
- Present information in a way that everyone can understand.
- Use names associated with functions.
- Limit the number of tasks based on raw data – use appropriate colors and graphics instead of raw data.
- Display only the information needed at a particular moment.
- Make data available in different encoding formats when necessary.
- Control excess information.
6. Content usability
Content cannot be overlooked during a UX audit. Its role is significant. Ultimately, it is the text that conveys specific information to the user. Usually, attention is paid to ensuring that the text is qualitative and relevant on the semantic side.
Still, it is worth taking care of the aesthetics and formatting of the text in question. The usefulness of the text can be worked out by avoiding verses, using sans-serif fonts, and using headings or mid-headings. The text should have maximum informational value.
7. User behavior analysis
Eye tracking and heat map analysis can detect problematic page elements. Eye tracking and mouse movements examine user behavior in a non-invasive way without the user’s knowledge. Eye tracking checks which elements a user pays attention to. Heat maps are click tracking, which analyzes mouse clicks, and scroll tracking, which tracks page scrolling. And attention tracking examines elements that attract users. Both eye tracking and heat maps help improve conversion rates.
These are just a few tools and techniques in user experience. When deciding on a site audit, getting an idea of what a specialist proposes to do is worthwhile. The cost of the entire audit often depends on the methodology adopted, with some studies requiring more money.