UX audit helps eliminate interface errors and improve website KPIs. You are going to find out what types of usability analysis exist, for which purposes they are used, and how business can benefit from them. The table at the end of the article will help you figure out which option suits you best.
There are three main tasks UX audit solves:
- correction of interface errors,
- growth of key website metrics,
- identification of the development vector.
The depth and focus of the usability audit will depend on the main purpose you pursue.
1. UX audit aimed at detecting interface errors
In this sense, UX audit is an expert assessment of how your potential customers interact with the website, what challenges they encounter and what prevents the targeted action. Based on the analytics and analysis of customer behavior, the expert finds critical interface flaws that cause money loss to the business and develops recommendations on error corrections.
When to use this type of usability audit:
- When the conversion rate of the website is low and usability problems have been detected;
- To decide on the strategy of the further project development –– RSR (Revolutionary Site Redesign) or ESR (Evolutionary Site Redesign);
- To collect and analyze data on the customer interaction with the site;
- When you are looking for a partner and would like to test one in action at minimal cost. Such a not-time-consuming scope of work will help check the competence of the company.
This type of UX audit includes the following stages:
1. Collection of requests
Communication with the business owner and other stakeholders, identification of the target audience, their needs and tasks, documenting complaints and expectations of the users, analysis of the analytics figures if those are provided.
In certain cases, additional tools can be involved, such as heat maps, feedback collection services, etc.
2. Search for errors
For this, specialists examine the website interface:
- Analysis of the customer path from the first interaction page to the targeted action;
- Check of conversion paths: analysis of all the key pages the user goes through to place an order or reach some other goal;
- Analysis of all the pages involved in customer scenarios. All the website versions are checked –– from adaptive to desktop ones.
- Analysis of the structural elements: comprehensiveness of navigation, convenience of the sections placement, proper work of filters and links.
- Assessment of technical parameters: download speed and display on different devices, cross-browser compatibility, functionality of all the elements;
- Content quality analysis: logic, readability, correctness of the images and video display, match of the purpose and content of the pages.
3. Forming hypotheses
Based on the analytics data and the expert’s personal experience, a number of hypotheses on the customer interaction problems are generated.
4. Filing a report with an action plan
The report will contain the following information:
- research methods used;
- description of the detected interface flaws with screenshots for visualization;
- recommendations on error elimination;
- prioritization of the tasks in accordance with their criticality.
Thus, as a result, you get detailed actionable guidelines.
You can further decide if you would like to implement the guidelines using the studio resources or on your own.
Who needs a UX audit aimed at detecting errors
This type of UX audit suits you if there are problems in the operation of the online store and you are looking for operational ways of addressing them. It will give you a clear view of what should be corrected in the first turn, and what interferes with the proper operation of the website.
2. UX audit aimed at improving KPIs
UX audit aiming at the revenue increase is an inseparable part of the Evolutionary Site Redesign. The main task of such usability audit is to define the problems and growth areas of the product for the improvement of the key metrics and revenue increase. It is actually the beginning of the controlled process of conversion optimization.
Such audit presupposes involvement of additional tools and detailed study of web-analytics in order to get objective website effectiveness rates. After the introduction of changes to the interface it will be possible to compare the “before” and “after” figures.
As a result of such audit you receive several documents:
- a detailed report on the detected errors and growth areas;
- correct analytical data on the current website effectiveness;
- a table with prioritized hypotheses.
Thus you will get a detailed plan on the increase of the revenue of your e-commerce project.
When to use this type of UX audit:
- When the site doesn’t need complete redesign;
- When there is a problem with usability, which prevents the site from bringing the desired profit, or there are growth areas that need to be developed.
UX audit helps to make correct conclusions based on the analytics, better navigate through the work of online channels, and not only get the expert’s recommendations, but also gain some of his/her knowledge in e-commerce issues. The ultimate purpose of such an approach is not a report or a table, but the on-going process of development. Thus, this type of audit is a good option only for a mature business looking for a reliable partner for development online. The process consists of the following phases:
1. Collection of requests
Objectives and tasks of the project are defined. In-depth study of the subject matter is effectuated: web analytics is analyzed, the niche and target audience of the website are studied.
The potential of the online store is evaluated based on the existing data: the average transaction cycle, the traffic source, analysis of the customer behavior and path, etc.
2. Adjustment of website analytics and other tools
Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager settings are checked. The funnel is marked up and is further divided into micro-funnels. Reports on the audience involvement are filed, the data on the pages and catalogue sections are analyzed, correlation of the actions made with micro- and macro-conversions is established. The necessary events on the customer path are marked for the transition of the data in Google Analytics.
Conversion paths are tracked with the help of heat maps, scroll cards, webvisor, exit intent popup, UX feedback, etc.
Then the collected comments are analyzed and grouped in accordance with the problems identified by the users.
The feedback is compiled in the table, where one can see, from which device the users opened the website, which browsers they were using, and which problems encountered.
3. Search for errors and growth areas
During 2 weeks the analytics data are gathered and tracked. The data received and the interface are analyzed.
4. Forming hypotheses
All the observations and data of the custom reports are entered in the document in the form of charts and tables for further comparison and identification of correlations. Based on these data hypotheses are formed, as well as recommendations on their implementation.
5. Filing a report
The priority is defined for each hypothesis depending on its influence on the key metrics. The order of implementation of interface solutions is assessed and built, their commercial efficiency is calculated. Thus, the business owner gets a structured list of recommendations based on the qualitative and quantitative indicators.
Results of the analysis are compiled in the table. This is a step-by-step plan on the site redesign with specific dates, terms and expected results.
Who needs this type of UX audit
This option is good for you if your project is profitable, but still has untapped potential and room for growth. Such UX audit is the first step of the evolutionary redesign process and is basically a ready-made action plan on the interface improvement, based on the figures and analytics data.
Already at the stage of the implementation of the first recommendations you will see how your website KPIs are changing. Please have a look at the Intertop case in order to see what one can achieve as a result of the evolutionary approach.
3. Express UX audit
Apart from the two basic UX audit types described above, there is also express UX audit. It is a quick website analysis performed by a UX expert in order to define the current state of usability and development vector.
Even without going into analytics, based on his/her experience only, the expert can find critical mistakes and point them out to you. Such usability audit will not give you a full picture of the customer interaction with the site, but you will get an idea of what to do and where to move already on the next day.
You can have a look at an example of express UX audit here.
How to choose the right type of audit?
|UX audit aimed at detecting errors||UX audit aimed at improving KPIs||Express UX audit|
|Task||Identify interface errors and receive recommendations on improving the website usability||Detect growth areas, form hypotheses for improving KPIs and increasing revenue||Assess the website usability, identify obvious mistakes and define the vector of the work on the website|
|Who needs it||Any website experiencing usability problems or showing low effectiveness rates||Big online stores that are profitable but need improvement and development||Any sites that need preliminary usability evaluation|
|Expert’s time spent||30-40 hours||50-80 hours||6 hours|
|Execution time||1 week||3-4 weeks||1 day|
|Level of involvement||Medium||High||Low|
|Tools and resources used||Google Analytics (others – by necessity)||Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, heat maps, scroll cards, feedback collection services, etc.||Google Analytics (when there is access)|
|Deliverables of the audit||Error report with recommendations on their elimination (60-90 pages)||Plan of income increase in the form of a table with prioritized hypotheses and accompanying documents with the results of analysis||Consultation or a little report containing 5 critical interface errors, recommendations and expert conclusion|
Need help in choosing the type of UX audit?
For 10 years in interface design we have accumulated enough experience and expertise to answer your questions on usability and development of e-commerce projects.