UX is not an afterthought and it’s quite evident with the recent change in the way we build websites and apps. Every penny you invest in UX reflects directly in the revenue. A well-developed UX is a universal sign that your users’ requirements and expectations are taken into account, which helps build trust. Above all, you would want to pay special attention to UX because it’s directly linked to user satisfaction, improved interaction, and conversion.
Enough about UX, what about UX Audit? What is it and why is it necessary?
A UX Audit helps product owners, founders, and marketers detect errors that they cannot perceive otherwise, due to being too involved with the product.
Relevance of a UX Audit in 2021
Every business owner wants their website/app looking perfect down to a T. And why is that?
- 88% of the users won’t return to the website where they had a bad experience;
- 90% said that they gave up because of poor performance;
- Customers are 62% less likely to complete a purchase on a poorly performing website.
Now every effort might not yield the same results for your conversions, hence UX Audit. We have made a handy list of things that you should go through to ensure UX that is responsible for long-lasting customer/business relationships and not customer churns.
First Level of UX Audit
Fields and Forms
A UX Audit should follow a typical user journey. That makes Fields and Forms our first stop. Check for properties such as color, form, size of the fields and buttons, space between them, their position, etc.
Login & Registration
Moving onto Login & Registration. You’ll evaluate the work, look, and functionality of login and registration forms. It should have:
- Log in/sign in via social networks
- ‘Create an account’ option
- Forgot password option
- ‘Log In’ or ‘Sign In’ heading
Check if all the pages and their elements align perfectly on mobile. See if forms, footers, and headers, images, and active elements are displayed correctly? Ensure that the keyboard opens correctly in all fields.
You’ll have to cover a whole lot of ground in the Visual Design category. Here you’ll be evaluating the design of alert messages, interactive elements, menus, positions of blocks of information, typefaces, etc. There is also an abstract part to audit in Visual Design which includes going through the clickable look of the objects, how content looks, icons, buttons, and if it represents what it’s supposed to.
Here you’re looking for anything and everything related to the text.
Ensure that -
- Font size/weight is different for various content types
- Fonts used for the text content are at least 14px in size
- Different font styles/families are used to distinguish content from controls
- Uppercase words are used only for labels, headers, or acronyms
- No more than two different font families are used
This step involves going through the navigation and seeing if it’s convenient for the user. Following are the things that you should be mindful of in navigation.
- Navigation is consistent
- There is room for growth
- Option to skip onboarding
- The search bar is visible on every page
- Ability to navigate back and forth
- Related information should be grouped together
This is very important as this evaluation breaks down whether your users feel comfortable with your privacy settings and policies. Here you’ll go through:
- SSL certificates
- Option to refuse using cookies
Building User Trust
Users feel comfortable when a website is transparent with its details. You won’t give information or transact with a person that you know nothing about. Will you? The same goes for your customers. Check if your website/app has complete information about you/ your team/ company. Also, see if customer support is working correctly and all the reviews are presented in an organized manner.
The Next Level
This level of your audit is essentially based on Usability Heuristics and hence will cover visibility of system status corresponding to the real-world, consistency, error prevention, and error control, user control, etc.
Visibility of System Status
According to Usability Heuristics, “the visibility of system status refers to how well the state of the system is conveyed to its users.” The more information about the system status a user has, the more they’re likely to wait and co-operate. For instance showing a progress bar that shows the estimated time to process a particular request, makes the waiting more bearable.
System Language = What Users Understand
Here your audit will ensure that the system speaks the language that a user in the real world understands and your tooltips, icons, hints, descriptions, and abbreviations are all clear and precise.
Questions like does the system speak a familiar language with conventional words and phrases instead of system-oriented terms? Is Navigation visible in familiar places? Is the system designed with user habits in mind? etc. should help in clarifying if the system is user-oriented or no.
User Control and Freedom
Nobody likes a system where they are forced to stay and there is no easy exit in sight. Ensure that your user has freedom and control over actions like deleting an account, backup, and canceling processes or subscriptions.
Asking the following question should help-
- Can users delete their accounts?
- Is there a cancellation feature if it’s needed?
- Is it possible to cancel the process?
- Can users edit information about themselves?
- Are there breadcrumbs to provide navigation for multilevel processes?
According to Usability Heuristics “Eliminate error-prone conditions, or check for them and present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action.”
There are two types of errors, slips, and mistakes. Slips might be unconscious but the mistakes are not. While there’s no denying that you can’t completely control a user’s actions but you can eliminate the behaviors that are responsible for slips and close the gaps in design and user’s mental models that contribute to mistakes.
Recognition Rather Than Recall
A user will naturally choose a system that doesn’t necessarily ask them to remember stuff to get things done. Hence, Recognition over Recall. Here you will ensure that your navigation favors recognition over recall, the elements should be easy to find. Ensure that your logo is consistent on every page and it leads to the main page. You will also need to evaluate your navigation against industry best practices.
Lastly, ensure that all the essential information is readily available and visible so that the user doesn’t have to remember any of it. Remember that you’re making something that’s intuitive and comfortable and not the opposite.
Help and Documentation
Having a well-planned and detailed knowledge base always helps you and the user as well. Does your documentation cover every question that your user might have? Ensure that a user’s understanding of your system is not overestimated. Comprehensive documentation encourages self-service and builds trust in the process.
Treat this blog as a blueprint for your UX Audit and build from there, as no two systems are the same and there’s always room for improvement. If your team is already occupied in your next project or were too involved in the existing one to spot any inconsistencies, you can always outsource UX Audits to specialists. They can get a lot done in a small amount of time and besides it’s a fresh set of eyes, you’ll be surprised by how effective outsourcing a UX Audit can be.
Galaxy Weblinks can help you uncover the optimum ways that your system can utilize intuition and heuristics to be more user-centric. You can catch us here.
Originally published at https://blog.galaxyweblinks.com on April 21, 2021.