We know that your website must grow and live with your business, and with your customers. So, how do you know what areas of your site need to be updated, improved or refreshed? It all starts with an User Experience audit to identify pain points and areas that are causing problems with your visitors.
If you are looking to scratch the surface and complete an audit on your own, here are the 6 most important things to consider in terms of your site’s user experience will get you started.
Users will make opinions about your website within a second of arriving at the homepage. With that, there are a few things you should be asking yourself about the homepage of your project.
- Do the visuals and information architecture on the homepage encourage users to explore deeper into the website?
- Does the homepage clearly explain what your company/product does and what users can do here?
- Is there a healthy balance between white space and content density?
Try to test the homepage with people who are not familiar with the site. Do not just ask yourself. Based in this feedback you can detect pain points and make changes.
Every page on the site should have a main goal or path users should follow. Start off with the top navigation level pages for this evaluation. Design, organization and layout can contribute to how users flow through the pages of a site, so take a detail look at how clearly this information is showed.
You should ask yourself if the action you want users to take is clear, or if there are distractions inhibiting the user from completing the task you want them to accomplish.
Navigation and Information Architecture
Site navigation allows user to get from one place to another on your site. Effective web navigation is critical to help users completing tasks.
A high-level analysis will help you determine if there is a convenient and obvious way to move within the site. You should ask yourself:
- Do all the navigation links follow a design and terminology convention?
- Is there a relationship between the navigation and the page the user is currently viewing?
Try asking some people. If your navigation is not living up to these standards, you may want to consider making design changes.
Forms and Data Entry
Forms on a website provide an opportunity to extract valuable information from site users and allow you to form the basis of a relationship. If forms are not working well on your site, you may miss the opportunity to connect with your users/customers.
Review forms on your site to ensure that form fields are clearly labeled and explained, that clues are provided to the users about expected input values and that information is checked for accuracy before the user moves on to the next step.
Don’t let a faulty web form get in the way of a customer achieving a goal.
Trust & Credibility
Credibility is essential in web design. The success of your site is an outcome of how your customers perceive their experience interacting with your company. Credibility also fosters customer loyalty and facilitates positive word of mouth sharing.
To start, you can just make sure that your site is free of things that would cause users to feel uneasy about the site.
- Is the content free from errors?
- Is the content written for humans or over-stuffed with keywords?
- Does the site use ads in a professional way?
Creating content for a website is an extremely important process.
Page Layout & Visualization
Customers will make judgments about a site largely based on the site’s visual appeal. Many design styles can be applied to a site. However, all sites should adhere to the established design best practices.
- Site layout should assist the user in knowing where to focus and what is most important on the page.
- Items that are clickable should appear to be so and items that are not clickable should not look like they are.
- Overall the site should be pleasant to look at and navigate.
- There should be a balance between white space and content.
An UX Site Audit will dive much deeper than you see in this article, but reviewing these 6 common trouble spots will help you diagnose the most pressing issues with your site.