UX audit is not only about pointing out everything that is wrong with an application but also providing solutions around those pain points. A fully fleshed out UX audit could average a period of two weeks and include UX evaluations and user research.
However, I found that having a basic checklist could get you started on your audit journey. The checklist is a good foundation for a UX audit and can be used as a starting point and not as an end goal because different applications present different challenges.
Download the UX Checklist
- Identify the end user application, in other words, who is the intended user of the application
- Understand the business goals and how that aligns with the user expectations
- If there are any existing documentation, it would help a ton to review those docs
- Gather as much data as possible both qualitative and quantitative data.
- Analyze research to find trends and tendencies
Perform a simple usability walkthrough of the application. Below is a checklist I like to use for a usability walkthrough.
- Information Architecture should be obvious to the end user — i.e content should be easily scannable. User should be able to move back and forth where reasonably expected.
- Information should start with most important to least important
- User can navigate back and forth any wizard or pages
- A search bar is present and visible on every page for larger applications
- Related information should be grouped together
- Navigation should be consistent on every page
- Information on website looks credible. References, where needed, are provided.
- Contact information is visible as well as business location. Usually placed as the last item in a navigation menu and footer area. Depending on the end goal of the application, contact us should be placed to reflect business goals. Example, business goal is to reduce the number of users contacting the business, then contact us shouldn’t be in the menu but rather footer area.
- Users can skip irrelevant tasks
- Errors in forms are displayed next to or below the input field with the input field highlighted and autofocus cursor
- Errors messages should let the user know what caused the error and how to fix it
- Errors should be visible with suggested fixes to users.
- Errors should not use technical lingo to users
- Buttons, Links, Checkboxes, Radio buttons, Dropdown options are easily clickable and visible
- All forms ask only relevant questions related to the form. No questions about date of birth in a contact us form
- Link/button names represent actions. e.g replace a “Submit” button with a “Send Message”.
General Usability/User Experience Checklist
- If information is based on user location, then the application should reflect information based on user’s location. e.g. E-commerce: shows pounds for UK and dollars for US.
- When a user is registered, there is an immediate application value. e.g free versus paid service, or instant access to dashboard.
- Images reflect content of application.
- User’s location detection should always be done with users permission
- If application would cost a fee, then prices should be clearly shown no hidden fees
- Application is clear about products versus services with no hidden fees
- Any media usage is clean, clear, and easy to view in detail e.g pics can be enlarged for an E-commerce product page.
- The application has different Onboarding states e.g First time user versus returning users. No annoying app walkthrough for a returning user
- The application has a title in tab and favicon on window
- CTAs are visible and easy to understand and find.
- Also follow a consistent CTA placement “Z” or “F”
- The landing page is highly valuable and should be descriptive enough to provide understanding of product
- End User’s name is used for signed in users e.g Hi Username!
- Primary CTAs are buttons and prioritized over secondary CTAs or Links.
- All links are not broken. All links go to the intended page
- There is enough contrast between text and background
- Application uses easy to understand language
- User can easily undo detrimental actions like Delete
- Users always confirms important actions
- Entire application provides great user feedback based on user actions
- Content can be readable when stylesheet is turned off for accessibility purposes
- The application is responsive and can work on any device
- Application is compatible with most browsers e.g Safari, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, etc
- Application should have a good mix of popups and flash messages. Show pop ups for most important actions and flash messages for secondary actions or feedback.
- The layout of the entire application is consistent
- Report your findings which could be a pdf or a powerpoint document
- Make data-driven recommendations
- User-centered design and iterations: wireframes, sketch, prototyping