UX audit OR convenient or attractive?

What is UX audit, why is it needed, why UX and UI are always together?

UX audit is a quality assurance activity that aims to evaluate products in terms of user experience in order to ensure that it meets the requirements. Audit is significant in order for a designer to identify previously unforeseen gaps and problems in his product’s design that should be fixed.

The design is mainly associated with beauty and nice pictures that can be found on Behance or Dribble. Actually, the appearance of the site or application attracts the users and encourages them to make the first download, but it is the convenience of the application, on which whether the user will stay with you depends. It happens sometimes that due to small bugs, which can be fixed in a few hours, a large number of users are lost. So the question arises: “Why aren’t they fixed?”. That is because of non-acquaintance of their existence. That is why the audit before the launch of the project is crucial.

Common problems that can be detected during UX audit:

  • The absence of the alternative text in the images.
  • The usage of different types of fonts on site pages.
  • There are no navigation links.
  • The content is outdated.
  • The improper usage of component templates.
  • The colours do not match the brand book.
  • The composition is disturbed due to non-use of the modular grid. There is little white space; illegibility and clutter.

In order for the site to be truly convenient and attractive, the whole team needs to work jointly. That is why UX and UI are always together and often are made by one person. The role of marketers is also significant, because they set the right accents, determine the information, which should firstly be seen by users so that the site or application is useful for business and sells well.

Let us move on to the main part. The stages of UX audit:

  • Identify the object of the audit.

It is crucial to determine what exactly should be analysed, the person, who should do this and time frames. An affordable audit budget is also significant to be determined, because it may sometimes be quite large.

  • Understand business goals.

It is necessary to be aware of what this site or application is designed for, what the desired outcome is, whether the result should be fast and what are the expectations from designers as well as from the final product.

  • Create a user persona.

It is important to analyse who will use the site or application and under which conditions, what these people are interested in, what they are used to and what their manner of behaviour is like. 

  • Be aware of the user’s aims.

The reason for the user’s need for the site or application - what he is able to do and what the priority is should be determined. Whether he is a one-time user or may become a permanent one should be analysed too.

  • Review the analytics and data analysis.

It is crucial to determine the current state of affairs.

  • Perform heuristic assessment of usability.

It should be checked whether the design meets all standards.

  • Conclude and give recommendations.

That is the exact reason for the conduction of the audit. Ultimately, a clear and systematic list of both all errors and drawbacks and possible ways to correct them should be made.

The performance of heuristic assessment of usability:

  • Informing the user about his status.

The design should always keep users informed about what is going on and at what stage they are now. 

  • Displaying the information in a way that the user understands better, using the user's language.

It is necessary not to use fictional, slang words or professional vocabulary, which the user is unlikely to understand.

  • User control and freedom.

The user should be able to correct errors or to make current changes.

  • It is crucial to be consistent so that the users do not confuse the meaning of different words, icons, etc. Follow platform and industry conventions.
  • Error prevention.

The system should either avoid conditions under which errors occur or warn users before they take risky actions. For instance, it should be asked about deleting the information.

  • Recognition.

The user should not be forced to remember something, so the information should be visible and easily accessible.

  • Flexibility and efficiency of the usage in order for experienced users to find faster ways of achieving goals.
  • Minimalist design.

The interface should contain only relevant and necessary information. Every extra unit of information in an interface competes with the relevant units of information and diminishes their relative visibility.

  • Available error information.

Error messages should be expressed in plain language (no error codes), precisely indicate the problem, and constructively suggest a solution.

  • Help and documentation.

Ideally, the system should be completely clear, but sometimes some things need to be explained, so the documentation, instructions and tips should be provided.

The development team receives a report with errors and drawbacks as well as options for ways of improvements at the end of the audit. 

At this stage it is crucial for the whole team to jointly decide on the way of solving the problematic issues and set the right priorities. It should also be determined whether all errors need immediate correction. The division of responsibilities and setting deadlines is also significant.

Therefore, the answer to the first question: 

We live in times of high competition, so there can be no compromises for qualitative and competitive products - they must be both convenient and attractive.