User Experience (UX) is the overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or computer application, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use. With 88% of online consumers less likely to return to a site after a bad user experience (2010 Gomez report), business owners and marketers can’t afford to ignore ‘UX’.

Imagine… You manage a website that takes online bookings. You know that some users are starting the booking process, but are dropping out during their journey and not converting. A UX audit can identify the areas of friction on the website or application and provide actionable recommendations to provide a better experience for the user and improve conversion.

What is a UX audit?

A UX audit is the strategic process of reviewing a website, intranet or other web application to identify the pain points or frustrations which affect the users ability to achieve their desired goals. A UX audit will include user-centric recommendations to help boost the specific business conversions, whether that is to increase enquiries or sales, improve engagement or reduce calls to customer service.

A UX audit takes a broad, user-centric approach to reviewing a site. In the example of the online booking site, a UX auditor would look beyond just the immediate online booking process to analyse the wider site and business context, as well as understand the users, their goals, tasks and the context of their activity.

To conduct a UX audit a variety of UX tools, techniques and data are used. These include conversion metrics, web analytics, usability UI inspections (known as Heuristic evaluation), stakeholder and user research and UX best practice.

On average every $1 invested in UX brings $100 in return.

(Forresters research)

By investing in a User Experience audit you will be able to pinpoint those all important areas of your website or application that are preventing or hindering conversion. By identifying and fixing these issues you will see a visible return on your investment.

The benefits of a UX audit is to:

• Balance the needs of the users with the objectives of the business
• Provide unbiased, evidence-based analysis
• Provide actionable, insight-based recommendations that will have impact
• Prevent wrong expensive changes based on opinion or assumptions
• Increase customer satisfaction leading to repeat online engagement
• Increase conversions i.e. leads, sales, subscriptions, content downloads etc

When should you do a UX audit?

The best time to do a UX audit is at the beginning of a redesign project so that there is past data to examine. However, if you feel that your website isn't performing at its best or you are seeing a decline in conversion rates, a UX audit could provide a valuable health check.

As technology continues to advance at a rapid rate and as your users continue to interact with more and more digital experiences, their expectations will grow. You cannot afford to build a great website and stop the project there. A website is a living thing that needs to be iteratively evolved to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of your ever-demanding users.

To avoid the need for significant capital investment every few years for a complete new redesign and development, it is much better and cheaper to take a strategic approach to UX. Investing in regular appraisals of the site, testing elements and making incremental changes based on the insight gained, will ensure that your site is constantly striving to be the best it can be.

Who should conduct a UX audit?

While a UX audit can be done in-house, there are advantages to bringing in a UX professional including:

• Objective and impartial expertise
• Cutting edge UX knowledge and experience of UX in practice
• Experience in implementing proven UX methodologies
• Access to all the relevant UX tools and techniques
• Ability to provider actionable insights in a shorter timeline
• Dedicated and focused on the task in hand without distractions from other responsibilities.

If you are wondering how to improve your conversion rate or increase engagement, contact the User Experience experts at DotLabel about a UX audit.

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