When collaborating with a company on their product's design, it’s always good to evaluate their existing solution and pinpoint both what works well for their users and what doesn’t. In the world of digital product design and development, this is called a UX audit.
Essentially, it’s a way for a designer or researcher to “walk through” the product as if they were a user and discover where the main struggles are or why users aren’t spending as much time in the product or app as the company would like them to. It is usually conducted when an app or software has been released and in use for some time, as both digital and business goals will often time change over time. In other cases, the more users start to use your product, the more "hiccups" or issues they start to find along the way.
Getting to the mindset that you need a redesign might be hard but is most certainly a necessary step you need to take before applying changes to the visual design of your app. These changes are usually done when your company experiences a certain stage of growth:
Here are the five ways in which a UX audit can help achieve these goals.
When talking about creating a seamless user experience, your focus should always be in one place - your user. It is also important to note that you are not your user!
That's why when trying to conduct a UX audit, it's best to outsource it to a UX design agency or an experienced product designer who will be able to do an exploratory walk-through and evaluate your usability.
A good UX audit is when you do usability testing on your own product. But a great UX audit is when you also do a competition analysis that shows you what your competitors are doing right, what they're doing wrong, and what you can do or add to your user journey to make it stand out!
It's a great way to see how they approach challenges that you might also be facing and to evaluate where your weaknesses in design or development might lie so that you can overcome them.
Sometimes, when we work at something for too long, let's say an app, we start missing things like bugs or experience design mistakes and that's because we just know the product too well. This is the stage where getting in touch with someone outside of your organization who can evaluate your product is a must!
As a product design agency, we've seen pretty much all and that's why we provide our clients with a detailed and fresh perspective on the challenges that they might be facing.
Data is king when it comes to re-evaluating existing user experience. When we get to work on an audit, we always turn to the numbers and to the user data that has been collected in order to gain insight into the "full picture."
User personas, business goals, usability heuristics, engagement and traffic data, and customer care are just some of the resources we take into account. The goal is to find the cause of the problem and then design a solution that can fix it.
Last but not least, and probably one of the most important benefits of conducting a UX audit is that it can help you save money on product development in the long run! The moment you have access to analytical data and want to start adding new features to your app or software, you should consider reviewing your user experience.
Once you have that analysis, it will serve as the basis for you to create wireframes and designs before moving on to development. One of the biggest mistakes we have seen companies make is rushing into adding new product features directly to their code before going through actual user research and design discovery.