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UX Audit - A Beginner's Guide (Steps, Templates & Checklist)

PUBLISHED

16 November, 2023

Tope Longe
Tope Longe

Growth Manager

UX Audit

A UX audit is like a diagnostic tool to carefully examine the layers of your apps’ UX and UI design, identify usability issues, and discover untapped opportunities. It's vital in developing user-centric products, necessary to thrive in today’s fast-paced digital landscape.

At UXCam, we know how invaluable a UX audit is to stay competitive, so we’ve stepped in to help. This article explores the realm of UX audits, covering the essential steps, best practices, popular templates for a head start, and an indispensable evaluation checklist.

So, let's dive in!

What is a UX audit?

A UX audit is a systematic, data-driven assessment of a product’s overall usability and accessibility.

It involves identifying areas of user experience that could be improved and brainstorming concrete suggestions to do so. A comprehensive UX audit should cover all aspects of the user journey—from onboarding to navigation to the check-out process—and identify any trouble spots that could potentially cause friction or confusion.

This could range from anything:

  • Simplifying navigation

  • Fixing broken links or buttons

  • Improving readability

  • Signposting and providing more information

It's all about understanding the users’ needs and preferences so that you can create an optimal digital product for them.

What happens during a UX audit?

A UX audit involves systematically examining how (and how effectively) users engage with different elements of the product. It entails evaluating the interfaces, flow, and overall usability of an existing product, analyzing all the user interactions with it.

At a minimum, a UX audit should include:

  • A review of product structure.

  • Product monitoring and analytics to observe user behavior.

  • Session replays and heatmaps to understand user interactions.

  • Usability tests to identify usability issues and collect qualitative feedback.

How do you do this? Usually with a monitoring and product analytics tool like UXCam.

new-funnels-by-group

New funnels view.

Our platform captures the quantitative and qualitative data required for comprehensive UX audits based on real-time in-app behavior. Use it to make confident design decisions and learn how to improve engagement empathically.

But more on what we do later.

Benefits of a UX audit

Here are some of the advantages you’ll gain by performing a comprehensive UX audit: 

  • Identify the design flaws disrupting user journeys and conversions.

  • See what parts of your design work well.

  • Gain design ideas on how to enhance user satisfaction by meeting your customer’s goals and expectations better.

  • Learn how to boost conversion rates through enhanced designs to support goal achievement.

  • Gain a better understanding of the metrics you should be monitoring.

  • Verify how well your product aligns with business goals.

  • Gain a competitive edge in the market over businesses yet to invest in UX audits.

How to conduct a UX audit

Step 1 - Define goals and scope

First, pinpoint the goal of your UX audit.

Are you trying to address a specific usability issue that you’ve noticed? Are you trying to improve a business metric (e.g., LTV) or increase user engagement? Once you have a clear goal in mind, define the scope of your audit.

To do that, identify relevant metrics, KPIs, or tests that align with your goals. For example, if you’re interested in improving feature engagement, you should set up tests that can measure how users interact with them.

Step 2 - Create user personas

If you haven’t already, creating user personas will give you helpful context for your audit.

A persona is an archetype that represents each important (and distinct) user segment in your app. It should include personal characteristics, needs, goals, and pain points that affect how they use your product.

Product Insight Tool for Mobile Apps

UXCam’s Segmentation feature is incredibly helpful at this stage—you can segment your data using any characteristic tracked by the SDK. These segments can be named, saved, and monitored to add significant data to your user personas.

Step 3 - Evaluate the user interface and interaction design

Next, choose one user persona to focus on. Evaluate how they use your product, including interactions with the design, page flow, and user interface elements. Look for areas that could be improved to provide a better experience.

Consider the following points in your evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria: Familiarize yourself with standard design principles like consistency, hierarchy, and feedback, and perform a screen-by-screen evaluation. UXCam’s Journey Analysis highlights your customer’s in-app journeys, so you can see exactly which screens are leading to drop-offs.

Screen flow with Session Replay
  • Nielsen’s Heuristic evaluation: Examine the UI design for potential usability issues against Nielsen’s ten general principles and guidelines for good design.

  • Run usability tests: Observe how users interact with your product when completing tasks to assess its intuitiveness and an assessment of usability barriers in context. Our Session Replays show you the entire session from the user’s perspective, so you can analyze natural user behavior and discover frustration points.

Session replay in UXCam
  • Visual aesthetics: Assess the visual appeal of your UI design, consider color schemes, imagery, and whether the design aligns with your brand and audience preferences.

  • Consider accessibility: Ensure inclusivity for disabled users by checking whether your design meets standard accessibility guidelines like WCAG 2.1.

  • Speak to users: Gather customer feedback using interviews or surveys for opinion information. Ask them about their likes and dislikes when using your product to learn about unmet needs and pain points. Focus on recurring themes rather than outliers.

Step 4 - Analyze your data

Examine your findings to understand the main issues during the audit, then group them by similar patterns and themes to find blanket issues. 

Once again, UXCam’s Segmentation feature is a major asset here. That said, you’ll also want to create dashboards for key reports, metrics, and KPIs so that you can quickly recognize changes in user behavior.

When you do spot interesting patterns, use higher-fidelity analysis methods like Session Replays and Issue Analytics to start to understand the root cause of the problem.

Step 5 - Formulate a hypothesis

At this stage, you’ll need to connect the dots and interpret the data you have collected to develop your hypotheses based on user feedback. 

Ask yourself: 

  1. Why is this happening? 

  2. What are my users trying to achieve? 

  3. What can I do to help them succeed?

These three questions will help you determine the underlying cause of the issues and inform your strategy for resolving them. Repeat this process for each problem you encounter until you develop a comprehensive understanding of user behavior.

For example, Recora was seeing incredibly high numbers of support tickets complaining of faulty products that—upon examination—seemed to be working perfectly.

Recora Case Study - How Recora reduced support tickets by 142% with UXCam

They used UXCam’s analytics tools to answer these three questions and found that users were attempting to press and hold a button that was designed to be tapped. Adding this simple feature reduced support tickets by 142%.

Step 6 - Compile and share findings

Create a report of your findings and recommendations—your account should include:

  • Introduction: Include an overview of the audits’ purpose and what you evaluated.

  • Methodology: Establish credibility by describing the methods used to gather the data, e.g., heuristic evaluation and usability testing.

  • Findings: Provide a clear summary of your evaluation results, including strengths and weaknesses. Focus on user pain points, usability flaws, and opportunities for enhancement.

  • Recommendations: Give actionable recommendations to improve the UI and interaction design.

Include visual representations like screenshots and links to data where possible to allow teams and stakeholders to understand issues clearly and justification for the recommendations you’ve made.

UX audit templates

1. Factory Pattern

Factory Pattern’s template is ideal for beginners. It’s highly detailed and includes a handy checklist to track resolved items. This template is suitable for various domains, but particularly best for e-commerce websites.

UX Audit Template

2. HubSpot

HubSpot offers this comprehensive and uncomplicated UX audit template ready to share with your stakeholders. It effectively organizes and presents audit insights, making the information easier to grasp.

UX Audit Template 1

3. Figma 

The community over at interface design tool Figma created this user-friendly template with a sleek and modern design. If you use Figma, you can access it for free by copying and adding it to your Figma project.

UX Audit Template Example

UX audit checklist

Here is a general guideline for a checklist that you can adapt to your product and audience.

Getting Started

  1. Audit preparation — define scope and objectives.

  2. Create a user persona.

Overall UX and UI Design Evaluation

  1. Perform Nielsen’s 10 Heuristic analysis.

  2. Access the simplicity and usability of navigation and the information architecture.

  3. Evaluate the inclusivity and accessibility.

  4. Check visual elements for consistency and coherence.

  5. Evaluate the value and relevance of information and content. Review the readability of typography and text.

Platform Performance and Security

  1. Assess platform responsiveness, performance, and stability.

  2. Assess the functionality and responsiveness of interactive elements.

  3. Assess compatibility and responsiveness on different devices and browsers.

  4. Evaluate privacy and security considerations.

Customer Journey

  1. Identify strong and weak points of the customer’s journey.

  2. Evaluate onboarding and other instruction experiences.

  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of in-app help and support features.

Analytics

  1. Review pages with the highest and lowest conversion rates and drop-offs,

  2. Review common exit points, rage clicks, gestures etc

Analysis

  1. Review product alignment with user’s goals and expectations.

  2. Analyze findings—focus on usability flaws, pain points, and common hindrances.

Report

Create recommendations and a plan of action.

Use UXCam for more complete UX audits

A UX audit thoroughly evaluates your product’s design, functionality, and overall UX. It discovers what needs rethinking, what works well, and new design ideas to meet your customer’s needs.

UXCam provides a deep level of understanding you need to help make sense of your findings.

Are you ready to evaluate your apps’ UX for design insights that will help revolutionize the user experience? See how the UXCam platform will help you get there by signing up for a free account or requesting a demo.

You might also be interested in these;

React native mobile app analytics tool: UXCam

How to get mixpanel session replay with UXCam integration

Mobile app redesign - How to redesign an app UX

UX insights examples - Ideas to improve user retention

UX optimization: 4 Steps to deliver a better user experience

AUTHOR

Tope Longe
Tope Longe

Growth Manager

Ardent technophile exploring the world of mobile app product management at UXCam.

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