Great user experience has incredibly large benefits for any high growth business. Here's how you could keep your UX in check.
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Now on to the most important misused term in design: UX Audit
What is a UX Audit?
UX Audit, meaning auditing the User Experience, is a detailed analysis of the usability of anything. It is a set of heuristics you revisit regularly to make sure that what you are building, selling and growing stays easy and operates as expected.
Why is it important?
High-growth brands have multiple touch-points with their customers. What you communicate while building digital campaigns, must align with the experience they get while on your site or application. That’s coherence. It’s the single most important yardstick of a well crafted brand. And a UX audit helps you keep all of those coherence points in check.
Now because it’s such a vast field, I may not be able to cover everything in just one email. So watch out for my next one, to get a complete understanding of the right parameters & checklists. I’ll soon be putting together a document that you could download and use as a tool for your teams internally.
While there are multiple aspects to a UX Audit, we’re only focussing on certain key usability criteria. This is assuming that you’ve got your customer personas, journey and flows already in place.
The usability of a product (site or application) can be divided 8 key functions:
1. Mobile UX: this is where you specifically focus on the navigation, flows and checks for a mobile screen. Most of your customers would be accessing your product on a mobile. So it’s wiser to build the mobile UX before you even get to the desktop version. Some basics that you must go through while auditing for usability on mobile devices:
a) Reducing the load time of your splash screen and making it super interactive. I wouldn’t go on to say that animation is a must, but it keeps the user engaged for those 3 seconds while the app loads.
b) Add in sticky CTA’s in case you have multiple folds
c) On a mobile, your screen space is relatively less. Use standard icons as compared to more text. It’s intuitive.
d) Use haptic feedback (vibrate) to give cues for important information
2. Fields & Forms: This is an important function to focus on, since your primary goal is to collect information from the users, as part of their journey. Making is easy for them to (auto) fill information and establish high levels of trust are critical:
a) For any inputs, keyboards (qwerty or numeric) should be differentiated and should pop-up instantly.
b) Use an asterix to display mandatory form fills.
c) Clearly differentiate between multi-select (square) and multiple-choice options (circle) with the right icons
d) Try and keep the form sizes consistent across all input fields
3. Interactions: These help in building high levels of intuitiveness:
a) Give system feedback in case the page is loading. It helps keep the user engaged and stick around for a little while longer.
b) Give feedback right after a user has filled in some information
c) Warning & relevant prompts especially while entering monetary values or confirming orders.
d) Build in a site-map on the website for them to navigate through multi-page sites
4. Log-in & signup (on-boarding): This is your first interaction with your customer. Induce high levels of stickiness factors here.
a) For new users on an application, give 2-3 screens explaining what the app is about.
b) Make the onboarding questions interesting and fun, give options and let the user feel immersed in the product.
c) Easiest if you could link log-ins with social media platforms like google, facebook or twitter. Don't forget the ‘forgot password’ option.
5. Fonts & types: This ensures visual consistency and builds coherence with your brand throughout the product
a) Restrict your typefaces to a max of 3 through your product
b) Try and keep font sizes (especially for mobile) beyond 12px
c) Use a consistent grid system to design. An 8 point grid or 10 point grid system is considered the market standard for mobile applications. (Use https://www.gridlover.net/try to help here)
6. Visual Hierarchy: This builds consistency across features, colors and gradients across the product.
a) Use the same button styles, sizes & types for each type of button (Eg: Your primary CTA should remain the same to establish recall)
b) Keep your actions like : caution, failures, etc consistent throughout.
c) Add in familiarity in common user actions. Don't make users think too much about similar behaviours (Eg: Chat.)
d) Use F shape or Z shape hierarchy for easy readability
7.Information Architecture: This is the most important part of your flow. Get this right, test it right at the beginning and then embark on making wireframes.
a) The main CTA should be within 1.5 swipes (in mobile) and on the first fold on desktop
b) Maintain consistent spacing between fields or elements in line with the grid system you follow.
c) Reduce the number of folds & scrolls wherever possible
d) Link payment & checkout flows seamlessly throughout various sections. Reduce the number of steps, but dont miss out on relevant safety checks
8. Trust & Safety: The one thing that most products dont give as much attention to, while designing UX journeys.
a) State the reasons clearly before asking for inputs like locations, etc.
c) Be upfront about any fees instead of waiting till they checkout
d) The IA and content should be so well designed that the need for FAQ’s should be minimal
e) Mandatory popups like ‘track cookies’ should be very friendly and easily cancelable.
While my detailed checklist will give you everything you need to know about each of these in detail, today I’m only touching upon these at a high level. A lot of these functions are overlapping, but you get the drift.
Well, that’s it for now. Write to me in case you struggle with any aspect or need to talk more about them. I love feedback and even more constructive conversations on growth.
Until next time,