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The UX Audit Process 6 Steps to Beating the Competition and Boosting ROI

February 21, 2024

What is a UI/UX review, why it’s important, the 6 steps in the ideal UX audit process, and how to know if you need it

Is your product still relevant?

Today’s ever-evolving business environment demands we need to stay on top of our products and investment like never before.

Fortunately, doing a quick product health check-up where it matters – your user – is relatively cheap and fast with a quickfire UI/UX audit.

Here’s an outline of the UX audit process, so you know what to expect:

What is a UI/UX audit?

A user experience (UX) audit reviews your product’s design and user experience. It entails a deep dive into your product’s usability, specifically to find out which parts of your product are working or not from the user’s perspective.

Just like a financial audit, a UX audit is a technical process using empirical testing methods to find key ways to enhance your product. That’s why most businesses use UX audits to ensure their product is user-centric, competitive and remains relevant – because that’s what drives engagement, conversion, and ultimately profits.

What is the objective of a UX audit?

A UX review gives you actual data and deep user insights, to help ensure your product stays competitive – UX is a vital driver of product adoption and stickiness. When using an external eye for the audit, you gain additional new perspectives to add to your internal team’s practices, and overall the UX audit helps protect your investment by ensuring your product is still relevant.

See why a UX review increases your product’s value and also explore the many benefits of a UX audit.

Also see how we used it to bolster engagement and conversions on SA's No 1 digital job management system, ServCraft and also discover the value of the ultimate MVP method for e-commerce.

The ideal UX audit process

Wat is involved in a UX audit? Well, it’s an empirical methodology for reviewing how users experience your product, involving actual user research, competitive analyses, and building recommendations for product improvements out of that. See how to use analytics for better app user engagement.

You can look at it almost like a 6-step UX audit checklist if you will:

1. Project prep

To kick things off, your UX audit team is assigned, and they will start by setting up a schedule for all the research, questionnaires, etc. as well as initial engagements with your product to just get a feel for it and the scope of the project.

2. Product discovery

Next is a deep dive into the business side of the product. The audit team meets with the product owner and clients to get an understanding of the product’s system and its commercial objectives before mapping out the system and user flows.

Lastly, we delve into user journeys and map it all out in detail, and often summarise and present an overview of the discovery, just to ensure everyone’s on the same page.

3. User research

Then the work begins. The audit team will create questionnaires and conduct interviews with all stakeholders (client’s team, management, etc.) before conducting user interviews – to find out how users actually find and use the system, and get their opinion and feedback.

The audit team will also assess different user personas, and make adjustments and recommendations as needed, to be used later to fine-tune journeys.

All of this is then collated, summarised, and presented for discussion and exploration.

See the must-have retail app features for personalised user journeys. And to ensure you get great, usable feedback? See our guide on how to do customer interviews.

4. Data & analyses

Next is the data analysis. Can you actually see what the system intends is happening in your data? Where are the drop-offs or the likely causes of churn or places for improved conversion?

This is also where you do a competitor analysis – looking at other potentially competing products in the same space to discover how they are solving user goals. As means of benchmarking your product in a real-world user-choice scenario.

5. UI & UX audit

The actual UX audit takes all the findings leading up to this point and applies them to your product, first by looking at user journeys. Does what the users say match up with their actual behaviour on the product, and does that line up with what your team/developer intended at each part of the journey? Does that then translate into success for the user and income for your business, or is there a better way of achieving the goal?

A second phase takes the same process but applies it to the actual screens of your product. The design is reviewed, and the navigation and interface (UI) are examined to find out if this is the most effective way to help the user achieve their goal.

And then, basically, you end up with a list of what’s working for your product, what’s not, and where it can be improved.

6. Findings and next steps

All this information is then packaged and supplied to the owner of the product, down to the tiniest detail. And it all comes down to one thing: What can be done to improve the UX of your product?

Now, this usually goes hand-in-hand with a redesign process. The two are not inseparable, though. You can have an agency do the UX audit, and then have your internal team apply the recommendations (redesign). Or have the agency do it all in one fell swoop. See what goes into a full-scope UX audit and redesign.

And discover how long UX audit should take, plus use this framework for your user engagement strategy.

How to know if you need a UX audit

In today’s fast-moving product space, it’s actually recommended you do a UX audit quarterly, or at least every 6 months. But, how can you tell if you really need UX audit services?

There are two essential checks:

1. Is your product making money?

Simply put, if you have loads of users coming in, engaging, converting, and filling your pockets, well, then your UX is probably great. If not, well, then that’s why you need a UX audit – low conversions, low engagement, high churn rates, that’s what a UX audit helps solve.

2. Will it keep making money?

Things are good now, but what competitive or industry changes could threaten your product tomorrow? A UX audit also helps you stay ahead of the game.

Still not sure? Check out these 6 sure-fire signs you need a UX audit. (Also see why your project needs a scrum master.)

Need a UX audit service? Get in touch with Spenco.

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