Design Audit and its impact on your business
At Kodework, any design’s true purpose is to improve interaction. We apply this to an e-commerce website purchase, the download button on a file-sharing app or even a transaction on banking portals.
We love these otherwise meaningless looking interactions, which in reality play a huge part in understanding user journey. A swipe on a mobile app. Meaningless action. But it indicates that either a user is looking for something that he cannot find or what he needs could be at the bottom of the page.
But what if the design for that app is poor. What if this issue could have been rectified on a second test? The answer is “Yes”. Design Audits can identify design bottlenecks and find alternative solutions to squeeze through.
User Experience looking dicey? Enter Design Audit
An organization or business needs a design audit to maintain the balance between the functionality of the app or website and the growth of the organization.
A design strategy that worked 3 years ago, may not work anymore. Capabilities and company growth both mature. A design audit can help evaluate various digital product dimensions.
Just like how a financial audit uses set methods to evaluate financial records, UX audit or product audit does the same using respective factual methods. The end goal is to influence the customer experience. It is like a design or product check-up.
What does a design audit mean?
A design audit is a brilliant opportunity to perform a final check of designs. Let’s add products, company branding and user experience to its broad categories.
It is an enquiry towards user design architecture and the complete execution of a website or app.
What is the design audit planning process?
Every UI design audit works on an audit template. The template looks at how the product, website or app yields business insights through its architecture. Here are 4 design audit evaluation categories in no particular order.
Conversion metrics audit
Checks if the product, website or app matches the industry standard for conversion rates. Bounce rates (the rate at which a user leaves your platform) is another parameter here.
This audit checks if the business achieves its conversion goals. How many users are onboarded? How many users converted into actual paying customers? User adoption rate of the business needs to grow month on month.
Usability involves making sure the best UX practises are followed and adhered to. Web developers need to ensure ‘a user can use the websites with ease’.
Here a health check is done to ensure the current design or branding won’t impact the conversion rate. With COVID-19 rearing its ugly head, a design audit ensures user sentiment is not hurt. For us, this is the most important of audit categories.
Once you understand the categories, the next step is to clearly set measurable objectives. We call these – ‘audit goals’. Some refer to it as ‘ROI’, whereas some name it as ‘conversion criteria’. A timeline needs to be set for the design audit. A design checklist works well too, especially to collate promotion and branding material.
A web development company in Boston shared a video about usability guidelines. Check the video below.
Who undertakes a design audit?
Kodework.com prides itself in handling design audits for numerous companies. Traditional companies don’t employ a dedicated UI/UX team who focuses totally on a digital product.
The same is the case with leading brands and agencies as well. At Kodework’s app development team, we test, improve and modify third-party applications. Any company that wants to redesign its product can get a design audit done.
What are some design audit metrics that help?
When we talk about design audit metrics, we refer to visual audit or visual branding audit, stakeholder interviews, analytics and heuristic evaluation. Let’s take a quick glance.
Visual branding audit
The purpose of visual audit as a metric is to understand various design collaterals such as mobile apps, business cards, ads, social media posts etc. Anything that is a touchpoint for customers. Through visual branding audit, the tone and voice can be made to look authentic.
The comments or feedback received through consumer surveys are used as parameters. Even stakeholder interviews and minutes of meetings are used as parameters.
Analytics tools show you the quantitative information to recognise trends, data points and user behaviour.
If analytics produces quantitative information, heuristic evaluation provides qualitative data to work with. It is an inspection method for detecting usability problems.
Drew Bridewell from Bridewell Design, put out an interesting video on the metrics that impact a design audit. Check his video below.
How does design audit impact businesses?
Design audits help any business answer some tough questions. User satisfaction and usability issues are just two of those questions.
Through an effective design audit, businesses can look for relevance. Disconnects between expectation and reality can be bridged in the product. The value proposition of the app or website can be gauged. Call-to-actions can be measured and tested for optimum usage.
In closing, we need to stress on the massive importance of a design audit. It is similar to an expert review. It can maximise business conversions, build failing user engagement and lets designers understand information hierarchy better.
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