Introduction:

User experience audits are more than just a bulleted list of issues with website functionality or interface navigation; they're a clear look at potentially deep underlying flaws in your customer journey and provide an opportunity for tremendous improvement of conversion and engagement metrics.

With this in mind, they should not just be thought of as static, impartial reports, but actionable, prioritized insights.

Without a clearly defined process with infrastructure in place to deal with issues as they present themselves through the audit, you're left without rigorous, structured data.

This checklist will guide you through what works and what doesn't in the landscape of your user experience, and help you to understand the best practices for dealing with some of the most common (but stubborn) pitfalls. With user experience (like so many things), there's always room for improvement.

Let's get started with the checklist.

Preliminaries:

Prepare the audit

First up, let's get some basic information down about what is being audited and who is performing the audit; this will be useful later on for any reports that you might want to export.

Details for audit review and approval

Certain tasks in this UX Audit will require review and approval by the relevant personnel in your team. Please fill in the details of the personnel int he below form fields.

Personas:

Review UX business goals document

To properly orient the UX audit, you should begin by considering the most important business goals tied to the website. These goals will then be used to determine the user persona that will guide the UX audit.

Consult your business goals document and use the sub-checklist and form fields below to record what you determine to be the most relevant information.

  • 1
    Identify the actions you want visitors to take on the site
  • 2
    Identify primary sales channels
  • 3
    Identify key brand values
  • 4
    Identify top competitors

Identify user persona

Now that you've aligned your business goals, use that information to identify your primary user persona.

There are many different types of user, and as such many different ways to determine what constitutes a good or bad user experience. So it makes sense to start off by identifying a user persona with which to use whilst auditing the website.

When deciding on your primary persona, the following three attributes form a useful starting point:

  1. goals (how does each persona relate to your business goals?);
  2. needs (theoretical needs the personas have when visiting the website);
  3. hates (things we should avoid doing as part of this persona's user experience);

Below you will find a drop-down field with example user personas; once you've considered all of the above, you will want to edit this task to include your own, and then fill out the remaining form fields.

Analytics:

Review analytics reports

UX is far more than just about the aesthetics of the interface; it's about refining a system of many interconnected parts. Analytics reports are one of the most important parts of this machine; one which provides invaluable insight into the quality of user experience.

You may not have access to the website's analytics data; if this is the case, then you should ask for reports for specific (recent) timeframes and segments.

  • 1
    Review time on page data
  • 2
    Review eCommerce conversions data
  • 3
    Review mobile and web statistics
  • 4
    Review user flows
  • 5
    Review traffic metrics
  • 6
    Determine most common entry points to the website

Identify pages with highest conversion rates

Now that you've reviewed the analytics data, list the pages with the highest conversion rate.

These pages are key insight into successful customer journeys, and are where you want to be looking (and differentiating from poorly performing pages) for what the UX is doing right.

Often, high conversion pages can help to shape an overall stronger user flow.

FIll in the form fields below and move on to identify poorly performing pages in the next task.

Identify high-traffic pages with high bounce rate

Just as the highly converting pages represented a well-designed UX, these pages represent the opportunities for optimization on your website. 

High bounce rate is usually considered anything above 70%, but this metric should be adjusted for context. Go ahead and fill out the forms in this task.

Customer journey:

Identify weak points in customer journey

Customer journeys can be part of great strategies for highly optimized user experience, but getting them right can be tough.

It's expected that some customer journeys will have weak points - what's important is you locate these weak points and understand why they're failing. 

Weak points can be identified by asking where specifically in the customer journey does the customer deviate from the intended path as identified to be in line with your business goals.

Check out this article on how to identify the weaknesses and strengths of your customer journey and then put that knowledge into practice by filling out the form fields below.

Identify strong points in customer journey

You must also look at what's currently working well for your customer journeys. These strong links will help you build better solutions and fix what isn't working. 

Earlier, you looked at the analytics profiles of certain pages and identified some high performers. It's likely that these pages will correlate with your responses to this task; in any case, you should be thorough in checking analytics profiles and referring back to the data gathered in previous tasks.

Design and usability:

Have site layout evaluated

Site layout governs a lot of the user experience; often associated with usability, it also relates to and directly influences how your user profiles are moving along their user journey, and can hugely impact UX, for better or for worse.

Below are some layout checks you can use as best practice standards to ensure your testing team can make sure the site is optimized for a positive user experience.

If you believe that improvements could be made to site layout, specify in the form field below the sub-checklist items.

  • 1
    User needs fulfilled
  • 2
    Site navigation does not inhibit customer journey
  • 3
    Page content (copy, etc.) is in line with customer journey
  • 4
    Site search is easily accessible
  • 5
    Formatting is clear and considerate of customer journey

Have mobile experience evaluated

Often overlooked, mobile experience is a crucial consideration, given how many people use their mobiles for website browsing at this point.

Delegate your testing team a mobile experience review, and make sure to include the following points in the briefing:

  • 1
    Highlight importance of pop-ups not hindering user experience on mobile
  • 2
    Highlight importance of loading times (are they agreeable on mobile?)
  • 3
    Highlight importance of making sure all media is working on mobile
  • 4
    Highlight importance of formatting (is everything visible on mobile?)
  • 5
    Highlight importance of social sharing menus working correctly on mobile
  • 6
    Highlight importance of plugins working on mobile
  • 7
    Highlight importance of eCommerce features working on mobile

Solutions:

Create solutions plan of action

All solution plans need to be reviewed and approved by the relevant personnel. Completion of this UX Audit is not possible until solutions have been approved.

You can begin your solutions plan by road-mapping a list of dates for specific milestones. This report should be high-level; the opportunity to flesh it out will come later - what's most important is achieving a working draft that can be shared to the rest of the team and feedback given.

    Below is an equally high level plan for approaching a solutions document, which you should attend to by checking off one sub-task at a time as you make progress with the draft.

    • 1
      Consider the biggest UX problems within this review
    • 2
      Consider the biggest UX strengths within this review
    • 3
      Research UX of competition
    • 4
      Create actionable solutions to these problems
    • 5
      Create an overarching content strategy for primary user profiles
    • 6
      Perform usability testing
    • 7
      Continue performing UX reviews

    Once you've drafted the document, upload it to the form field below.

    Redesign full purchase path for weakest customer journey

    In order to maximize your conversions, you have to get the customer journey right – so you need to build one that matches user’s needs; refer back to task 4 (Identify goals) for this.

    The following process has been outlined for redesigning a full purchase path for the weak points in your customer journey; just check off each sub-task as you go:

    • 1
      Figure out how the user is getting to the site (entry point)
    • 2
      Determine their desire as a user (user goal)
    • 3
      Determine your goal for them, as a business (business goal)
    • 4
      Map out a path from entry point to the final action (sign up, download, etc.)

    InVision is a great platform for quickly prototyping UX sketches and wireframes for work-in-progress designs so you can share your solutions and get instant feedback. Check out the video below on how to create rapid prototypes with InVision.

    Suggest improvements to site usability

    Site usability affects how users are able to fulfill their needs and desires. It's not necessarily something a user sees, it's something they experience. Upon visiting a website, they are either invited and welcomed or off-put and confused by the impression of website usability. 

    The following is a list of checks you can perform to make sure site usability is up to scratch.

    • 1
      Make sure buttons and links are easily clickable
    • 2
      Make sure color alone is not used to convey information
    • 3
      Make sure site can be navigated with just a keyboard (without a mouse)
    • 4
      Make sure alt-attributes are provided for non-text items
    • 5
      Make sure the search-bar is available on every page
    • 6
      Make sure important content is displayed first
    • 7
      Make sure content is scannable
    • 8
      Make sure pages aren't cluttered

    Approval:

    Will be submitted for approval:
    • Create solutions plan of action
      Will be submitted
    • Redesign full purchase path for weakest customer journey
      Will be submitted
    • Suggest improvements to site usability
      Will be submitted

    Sources:

    Sign up for a FREE account and
    search thousands of checklists in our library.

    Sign up for a FREE account and search thousands of checklists in our library.