We have all been in the position of visiting a brand’s site and quickly giving up. This may be because you were unable to quickly locate what you were looking for, or perhaps the site was impossible to navigate on your mobile device. Whatever the reason, it all comes down to the site not having an optimal user experience.Whether you’re considering redesigning your website or have a site that was built years ago, there’s never a better time to conduct an audit of your site’s user experience (UX).
It’s a common misconception that “UX” is a term only used to refer to design. In actuality, UX encompasses how a user interacts with the site as a whole, including its usability, function and behavior. As a result, UX audits do more than analyze if a site presents products and services in a well-designed approach. UX audits ask whether your site is easy to understand and navigate. Is it searchable? Is it consistent? If done well, a UX audit pinpoints what is working on your site and what isn’t as well as delivers data-driven solutions for improvements.
In addition to providing a roadmap for optimizing your site, a user experience audit can result in:
When incorporated into the process of a new website build, a UX audit will help save time and money by using qualitative and quantitative data to drive decisions during the build or site refresh.
In order to know what to look for in your audit, we must first establish goals for your business and your audience. Who do you want your site to speak to? What actions do you most want your users to take? What kind of information is most relevant to them? In addition to your overall objectives, we need to simulate how someone would move through your business’s customer funnel, following the path from a prospective user to one who has converted. What are they thinking, feeling and doing at each stage?Additionally in this stage, we identify your key competitors and review how their sites are performing by comparison.
By breaking down the audit into several components, we can get a much deeper understanding of your site’s usability which will inform our recommendations for making the site perform as optimally as possible. UX audits contain a combination of the following tasks:
Hopefully, you’ve been using Google Analytics on your site to measure web traffic and engagement. In this part of the audit, we’ll review who’s visiting the site, which content they’re interacting with, and any trends related to user demographics and on-site behavior.
How is your site’s navigation? Is your information laid out logically and clearly named? If a user has a hard time finding what they are looking for — and if your most important pages aren’t prominently displayed — you risk a user abandoning your service and/or products altogether. Site navigation also impacts Google rankings on search engine results pages (SERP).
In addition to the information architecture of your site, a UX design audit evaluates what’s working, or not working, from a design and style perspective. This may include logo usage, brand colors and fonts, typography, and how the design works with or against the site content.
While search engine optimization (SEO) is a long-game, you can set your site up for success by conducting a review of its search engine performance. From keyword quality and usage to optimized URLs and calls to action, you can help your site become more visible to search engines so your business can be found by future customers.
A technology audit will look at how your site is performing from a website framework perspective. This part of the audit looks at site speed, responsiveness, broken links/redirects, theme and plugin updates, security issues and how the site is indexed.
From your main pages to blog posts, you should evaluate your site’s content for several factors. Is the information helpful and engaging? Is the tone consistent across the site? Are there any grammatical or spelling errors? Is there any duplicate content? This type of evaluation will help determine what content needs to be revised and what’s worth leaving behind.
We can’t know where we’re going if we don’t know where we’ve been. A UX audit identifies new opportunities for optimizing your site, direction for your content, improvements to the information architecture as well as provides ways to eliminate issues and improve your site user experience. This roadmap is critical for creating a site that delivers the optimal user experience. Of course, it’s important to remember that a UX audit isn’t the be-all, end-all, and you’ll need to consistently evaluate your site, review the data and make improvements to stay competitive and compliant.As a website consulting firm, Integrity has worked with leading companies — from CPA firms to large healthcare organizations — to provide not only our web development services but cohesive strategies for improvement. And each successful project starts with an audit. Contact our UX web agency today to get started.
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