Joe Dawson

Joe is the director of and oversees all of the design and technical work that we produce. Find him on Twitter.

Whether you have a website or dedicated app, this is undoubtedly one of the most important marketing assets your business has control over. It’s normally the first port of call for people interested in buying your product or hiring your service.

  • According to recent research, visitors form an impression of a website in as little as 0.05 of a second.
  • Many negative complaints about a website or app link to its usability and how easy it is to find important information.
  • This is a huge factor that effects credibility and influences whether a customer wants to do business with your company or look elsewhere.

This is not just about great graphics and interesting content, either. Even small omissions for your online presence can make a difference. A poll run by found that 44% of visitors will not engage with a company if their website or app doesn’t contain address information or a phone number.

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UX and what it means for your business

User experience or UX is an often neglected but vitally important part of web design. It covers a wide range of design factors, from the way you organise your pages to how long it takes for them to download to the menus and buttons you include to improve navigation.

Did you know that nearly half of people expect your web page to download in less than two seconds? If it doesn’t, they are more likely to get impatient and search elsewhere.

This is just one key characteristic of UX for businesses.

Poor design means that you are potentially losing customers or frustrating them because they can’t find what they want. It means you could be losing money because you simply aren’t meeting your customers needs.

On the other hand, using a UX audit to improve the usability of your website or app, could well increase the number of people who buy from your business or engage with it more readily. Subtle changes can make a significant difference to how visitors behave while they are on your site.

The elements of a UX audit

To ensure you are giving your customers the complete experience when they visit your business online, it makes sense to carry out an audit every so often. There’s no doubt webpages can become outdated very quickly.

  • Sections get added which make navigation more difficult.
  • Images may be too large and cause delays in download speeds.
  • Enquiry forms can be too complex for visitors to be bothered filling in.
See also →  How to design Calls to Action that convert into sales

You’ll be surprised how often we use intuition to decide what changes to make on our website rather than good old fashioned research.

UX or User Experience design is based on hard fact and data. The person or company carrying out the audit will use a range of different tools and gather metrics to clearly define what is happening with your website and how people are using it. More importantly, they’ll be able to make recommendations on how to improve performance.

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UX is all about bringing together what the business wants to do (sell a product or offer a service) with the user (how they want to buy or hire). More importantly it’s about creating the great personal experience that energises the customer and encourages them to engage with your business.

The tools that are used in a UX audit include:

Usability testing

Where users are asked to complete certain tasks on the website or app and their behaviour is monitored to see how difficult or easy it is.

AB testing

Users are given two different versions of the same content and a comparison made between these.

Tree testing

This looks at how simple it is to get to the right page or discover a certain product or service on your site or app.

Form analysis

Many businesses use forms on their websites to gather customer information. How users interact with these can be vital for creating and nurturing leads.

Checkout analysis

How your users reach the checkout stage and what hurdles await them there is also important. Make it too difficult and they can become frustrated and head elsewhere.

Pattern recognition

As a species, we love patterns and react strongly to them. Changing the layout of pages or content can make a big difference to user satisfaction and engagement.

See also →  5 reasons you need a UX specialist to design your app or website

Click tracking

Where people are clicking and what they do when they get there can define how your website ultimately performs.

These different ways of measuring usability can be brought together to provide a greater understanding of how individual pages and their elements work for your business. This is why UX design has become increasingly important, often taking precedent over traditional graphic design for websites and apps.

The UX audit is there to enable your business to consider the options, based not on gut instinct but on actual data and collected evidence.

Here are just a couple of simple examples where it could create a significant impact for your business, defining how it operates online in the future:

  • The audit team look at your contact page and find that over three quarters of visitors click on this location but don’t make any contact. Further investigation discovers users are more often than not looking for a phone number or company address which your business currently doesn’t supply. Adding these details could increase the number of people contacting your company.
  • You find that your most important product or service is not being viewed much on your website. The audit finds that while clicks to your home page are high, the user has to click three or more times to reach the product. Reducing the number of operations your visitor has to perform could, potentially, increase sales for that product.
  • Most of your customers are accessing your website on their mobile phone but you haven’t made your pages mobile ready. This means that users aren’t able to see the content clearly and get frustrated trying to read certain pages. Making your mobile content more attractive and user friendly could boost engagement with your website.

UX matters more now than ever, especially as the technology for websites and apps has become more dynamic and varied. Obtaining feedback and collecting data on how users engage with your online presence helps you understand the process and develop great new websites, undertake cutting edge designs and ensure you stay well ahead of your competitors now and for the future.

If you would like to know more about how a UX audit could benefit your business, contact our professional and experienced team today.

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“They listened to our brief and helped to bring our ideas to life, using their years of experience.” 

Mark Crosby
Communications Director
Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland