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Improve your digital experience with UX audit

September 19, 2021・10 min read

What is UX audit

User experience audit (UX audit) is a series of research methods and techniques that allow a product owner to identify and understand the problems that a user faces on your website, mobile application etc. Through a mix of research such as competitor benchmarking, usability tests etc, we identify the not-so-perfect areas of the product that are causing troubles for your users. Just like financial audits, UX audit provides you with user-centric recommendations for improvements.

How do we conduct a UX audit

“Start from data driven hypothesis”

 

Starting from a set of clearly defined business KPI, UX audit identifies problems from a set of pre-established standards or goals. At the very beginning of the project, we want to understand the objective of the exercise, do you want to focus on improving conversion, better monetization, or increasing engagement. 

We then conduct an initial discovery to assess the scope of work, take conversion for example, how many channels do I have, are there different flows in the conversion experience. After we identify the scope, we gather all the data available and advise you on what tools you can use to gather more useful info. We take into account: conversion metrics, customer support team data, sales data, traffic/engagement, compliance with UX standards, usability heuristics, mental modelling, wire-framing & prototyping, UX best practices.

Assess the baseline
With the data in hand, we perform an initial diagnosis to understand the current issues: what are the worst and best performing channels, where do most traffic come from, what are the areas that deteriorated most in the past quarter. 

We work with you to determine the priorities and phases so we can deliver actionable insights to your team sooner. We produce the research plans and competitor list together with your team. It is important we understand the rationale behind the list so we know what to look for during our research phase.

Benchmark with competitors to establish the baseline

Comprehensive competitor analysis helps you to define key success elements in your industry, find out what helped the market leaders achieve their position, and what made others fail. Through our research, we provide examples to show what your strengths and weaknesses are when compared to competitors, helping you improve your advantages and eliminate flaws so you will stand out from the crowd and provide unique customer value. 

 

This is also applicable to the new features your team is working on as it broadens the analysis to check how companies in different industries approach similar challenges. With benchmark analysis we were able to improve our design to align with the customer expectation and further identify areas for improvement.

Conduct usability benchmarking to gain new perspectives

If you constantly work on a product you start to miss certain bugs or logic flaws, because you know it too well. The same goes for content — are USP of your product clear to users who see them for the first time? Are you sure you’re not using business jargon? 

 

Through usability benchmarking, you can quickly pick up those flaws and a UX expert can also point you in the right direction. After working with dozens of mobile and web software projects for customers from many different lines of business, we’ve gained a wide perspective on the market and problems that businesses face every day (see our portfolio). That is why we can help you in almost any situation.

 

When we perform a product walk-through to get to know the users’ objectives, we gather quantitative data from tools such as: Google Analytics, Hotjar, Firebase or Mixpanel. Besides standard user acquisition channel or web traffic analysis we’ll check how users behave when using your product based on heat maps and session recordings. It will all allow you to realise if your product is intuitive and if users behave as you expected.

Finalize the action plan to improve current UX

At the end of each phase, we summarize a list of action items and discuss with the team how to incorporate them into your development cycles. There may still be some questions that we need to answer, or a few options we want to test to decide which one to go with. We can then plan them into the next phase so we make sure to continue to optimize towards your KPI.

When should you perform UX audit

Most often, a UX audit is carried out:

 

  • Ideation: before a website or mobile application starts development, a UX audit allows you to remove the obvious usability issues, saving development cost and bringing better business results
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  • Revamping: when looking for ways to improve your metrics, UX audit helps you to identify the top areas of improvement with the best business impact and plan a clear plan to better outcome
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  • Iterations: when the product metrics is not performing as expected or when there is decrease in traffic, UX audit helps to create the path to better conversion

Actually, you can perform an audit whenever – there is always something we can improve. However, if you do it at the beginning of a product lifecycle only design changes will be necessary, while adjustments in a well-established product will take longer time and require more resources.

 

 

Recently, we finished a UX audit project for EventX, a Hong Kong based company that offer white-label virtual event management solution for companies that are looking to host virtual shows/exhibition, online classes, workshops, town hall meetings or live broadcasts. EventX wants to help its virtual exhibition customers increase conversion engagement as many complain that people who are attending the sessions do not engage in the conversation or leave any comments.

After looking at the EventX data, we concluded some interesting findings:

  1. There is no significant correlation between the type of events (e.g. fashion, electronics etc), the time of the session (weekday v.s. weekend, morning v.s. afternoon), the type of engagement (e.g. firechat, presentation etc) and the level of engagement, it seems in general, organizers that are using EventX’s virtual expo solution is not having good engagement from its users;

     

  2. While they are not engaging with the sessions, they are still “in” the sessions, meaning that they are staying in the session. 70% of the attendants stay more than 80% of the session, but they just do not post any comments or asking any questions;

     

  3. Over 70% of the participants are joining the sessions on mobile, when we cross compare with the ones joining on PC, we found over 80% of the interactions (chats, comments etc) were generated from PC users;

From these insights, we knew that we need to optimize the mobile experience to make it seamless to engage, raising questions, sharing comments or even participating in the discussion with a host.

We looked at a list of competitors (AventriCvent etc) to identify what they are doing to engage customers in a mobile environment. We invited testers to download and try in their natural environment, in a co-work space, at home with kids or on the way to meet a client. and we found a few engagement features that really stand out:

💬 Auto-to-text questions

It is very difficult to text when you are in a crowded and moving environment, and even if you do, it takes time and by the time you manage to send the message out, the live session has proceeded to the next topic and your question/comments gets ignored. Using an auto-to-test function, EventX can greatly shorten the turnaround time and mobile viewers get their feedback to the host in time.

📋 Sentiment gathering and request submit before events

Participants to a live event feel they have no control over the direction and sometimes are not clear to the value they got. They are enticed by the marketing message of the event to register but have no idea what specific topics are covered. They may leave the event in the background and “casually” listen but get off-track to their immediate surroundings. 

We thus tested out 3 pre-meeting engagement strategies to find the best option and develop the communication strategy. We found ~50% of the potential attendants interact with the engagement message (notification, email, sms etc).

🤠 Simple reaction to a event with emoji

From our customer interview and Linkedin cross referencing, we see the most simple way of interacting (just a like or smily face) are what people are wired to do. When they are presented with visual prompt, they would take action. 

We thus introduced “reaction” which allows participants to interact with just one click. Applying the same mental model that Facebook and Instagram had used to exponentially grow their user base, we were able to increase the engagement rate from 11% to 55%.

Conclusions

UX audits enable us to understand how the business objective is connected to what our clients what to accomplish, then we can easily implement all data in our designs to meet business goals. Having a platform that is easy to navigate will positively influence customer experience as well as the business metrics. A killer UX will keep your end users satisfied and more likely to choose (or stay with) your product.

A US audit explains the key factors of success in any business. It helps you to target the right audience and knows what are flaws in your product compared to competitors. It also eliminates all issues which users are facing.

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Whether you want to learn about UX Design or need product design services, feel free to get in touch. We love a good challenge.

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