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The benefits of UX audit and UX test

The UX audit consists in evaluating all the interfaces of an interactive system, in order to identify the problems that hinder its ergonomics and the blocking points that slow down the user.

User testing involves end-users in the design process by testing the site in real-life conditions. These tests allow us to understand the behaviors, thoughts and emotions of users as they interact with the system.

The union between the UX audit and the UX tests allows to better understand the obstacles of an optimal user experience and the most efficient solutions to remedy them and succeed in having an ergonomic website.

Let's see what characterizes an ergo website and then the interest of unifying audit and UX tests.

The aspects of an ergonomic web site 

An ergonomic site ensures the efficiency and pleasure of interaction with its system, which leads to the satisfaction of the user. Indeed, web ergonomics is based on these aspects and aims at producing an interactive device (website, application or software) that is reliable, useful, usable, user-centered and adapted to the cognitive functioning of the user.

The ultimate goal of web usability is to increase visitor engagement and make them happier. It is thA useful site is based on interesting, clear and high value-added content. This is a key factor to gain the satisfaction of the Internet user.e inevitable way to build loyalty and improve the conversion rate and traffic of the site.

A useful website

A useful site is based on interesting, clear and high value-added content. This is a key factor to gain the satisfaction of the Internet user.

The site must offer useful functionalities and bring added value to the Internet user in order to maximize the pleasure of navigation. A useful site must guarantee the user's satisfaction: this is a determining element for accepting or rejecting the site.

A usable website

Usability defines the ability of the site to ensure an efficient and intuitive dialogue, with the least possible number of errors. The flow of actions to be performed to interact with the site must be fluid in order to facilitate the user's journey.

The time required to perform an action must be reduced and key information must be placed in strategic areas: home page or breadcrumb trail, in order to attract the user's attention and guide him directly to the information he needs.

The usability of the site is also influenced by the level of accessibility of the system. Indeed, the target audience may include individuals who suffer from some particular difficulties, such as cognitive or vision problems or other physical disabilities. 

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, established by the UN in 2006, states that access to "information and communication technologies, including the Internet" is a universal right.

To this end, the site's functionalities must be flexible in order to meet the specific needs of users, even the most temporary ones, such as stress and fatigue.

A user-centric website

An ergonomic site guarantees the readability of the message transmitted and the comfort of interaction with the system. This generates positive emotions in the Internet user and offers him a better UX.

The user experience of the Internet user puts the latter's satisfaction at the top of the list. This improves visitor retention and multiplies the chances that they will return to the site. It is the optimal solution to build loyalty and optimize site and brand awareness.

Internet users (or mobile users) who are happy with their web experience can become ambassadors of your brand and thus participate in consolidating your e-reputation and your online presence.

Why perform a UX audit?

The UX audit is used to determine usability flaws by reviewing all ihm interfaces of the interactive device. This UX evaluation allows us to inspect each page based on standard ergonomic criteria, such as the heuristics of Jakob Nielsen or the criteria of Amélie Boucher 

You can even apply an audit with your own heuristics, which are tailored to your specific business and needs. In this case, it is worthwhile to opt for the Capian audit tool. Our tool helps you perform an effective audit based on a customized evaluation grid.

Reasons to apply a UX audit

Here are the signs that indicate the need for a web audit:

  • High abandonment of conversion functions (shopping cart, registration, shopping tunnel…).
  • The deterioration of performance indicators, such as bounce rate, time of a user session, number of visitors, number of sessions, most viewed pages, etc.
  • Negative customer reviews.

How to carry out a UX audit ? 

The spectrum of the UX audit is quite wide and it covers different dimensions: ergonomic, SEO, editorial, marketing, etc.

Audit SEO

The SEO audit is used to identify the problems that lead to a faulty positioning of the site on the search engine results. It consists in a complete analysis of the site in order to detect the blocking points that reduce its traffic and its online sales. This helps to anticipate the alternatives of improvement allowing to optimize the natural referencing of the site.

The SEO audit focuses on these points:

  • Keyword audit: it consists in a semantic study to identify the most strategic keywords to integrate into the tree structure of your site. There are a variety of tools for this purpose, such as: Semrush, Answerthepublic, Ubersuggest, etc.
  • Analysis of the performance of your pages to identify the most visited pages, the pages that bring in the most traffic, the pages that retain users more time and those that are uninteresting and have low retention power.
  • Evaluation of the quality and weight of videos and images that impact site load time.
  • Analysis of backlinks and netlinking through dedicated indicators such as Domain Authority and Trust Flow. This study consists of analyzing the internal mesh between your pages and the inbound links that point to your site. To perform this audit you can use Majestic SEO, Moz and Ahrefs.

Editorial audit

The editorial audit consists in analyzing the quality of all the contents of the site, by reviewing these points: 

  • The volume of content, this includes the number of articles in a blog or the length of a web page.
  • The problems related to the architecture of the information.
  • The level of readability and consistency of content. This audit checks whether the pages are well ventilated and help the user to find and understand the information quickly.
  • The unnecessary and superfluous content to be eliminated.
  • The frequency of publication.

It is recommended to perform an editorial audit in the following cases: 

  • The increase in informational density.
  • The need to restructure the editorial strategy and reorganize the content.
  • The negative feedback from users.
  • The expansion of the business.

Ergonomic audit

The usability audit is a UX evaluation method that aims to inspect all the pages of the site, in order to determine the obstacles that hinder a smooth interaction with the site. This audit generally focuses on the following points:

  • The ease of access to information.
  • The comfort of navigation.
  • The consistency of information prioritization.
  • The effectiveness of Call To Action.
  • The organization of pages in the site map.

Why complete a UX audit with user tests? 

What is user testing? 

User testing (UX testing or user experience testing) consists of having the product/service (or prototype) tested by users in a real situation. It consists in observing their behaviors and reactions, in order to understand their motivations, their frustrations and their expectations while browsing the site.

UX testing is part of the UX Research phase. It evaluates what the UX designer has designed and what the user expects as a result.

There are several methods of UX testing, but generally two forms:

  • qualitative analysis: Provides clues to the quality of the interaction with the site. Examples include: individual interviews, focus groups, ethnographic studies, field surveys, etc.
  • Quantitative analysis: Offers conclusive insights to evaluate the extent of the problems encountered. Such is the example of A/B test, card sorting, heatmap, etc.

User experience testing is very important because it helps to:

  • understand how the user will interact with the site.
  • Verify that the user manages to perform a task as required.
  • Ensure that the site is functioning properly and in accordance with the user's needs.
  • Detect the impediments to smooth and intuitive navigation and that generate negative emotions in the user. These feelings can lead to the departure (sometimes without return) of the Internet user.
  • Identify possible improvements to reinforce the usability of HMI interfaces.
  • Optimize the design process and accelerate the development process. Indeed, these tests allow to detect some inconsistencies that can represent serious problems in advanced stages in the development phase.

UX audit and user testing: Unity is strength

The UX audit is conducted by an expert, be it a UX Researcher or a Senior UX Designer. It often results in subjective recommendations that do not take into account the concerns of some users. 

On the other hand, user testing results in objective recommendations that emanate from the users' experience. These results are important enough to adapt the interface to their needs. Furthermore, the UX audit sheds light on the optimization paths required to increase the site's performance and make it more desirable.

In light of this, it is relevant to complement the UX audit work with user testing, in order to understand the real needs of the users. This way, you can build a more exhaustive vision (from the expert and user point of view) of the friction points and problems that hinder a coherent user journey. 

It is recommended to start with a UX audit, in order to reveal general usability issues. Then, user tests should be performed to deepen the understanding of these issues based on the feelings of the users, for whom the site is intended.

Thus, investing in the duo: UX audit and user testing helps to obtain realistic and rich hypotheses. These lessons can be enriched by new needs or problems that were not taken into consideration during the UX audit. As a result, this winning duo guides you towards the best decisions to take to improve the overall UX of your site.

Examples of user testing

User testing

User testing consists of evaluating the functionality of the site and the different emotions experienced during the system's experience. This allows us to validate the ergonomics and efficiency of a web interface. This includes navigation, graphic design, information architecture and system functionality.The development of user tests goes through these steps:

  • Defining test cases.
  • Recruiting users.
  • Testing, whether in the lab without the observer present (also called unmoderated testing) or testing in real-world conditions.
  • Analysis of results and generation of insights.

User testing is based on an iterative model and can be performed at different stages of the UX project: at the beginning, during the design phase, during the development phase and even after the site is online.

For this purpose, two types of tests are Summative Usability Testing:distinguished:

  • Formative testing : Which is applied from the beginning to the end of the design process. Its purpose is to identify usability problems by performing tests in an iterative way.
  • Summative usability testing It is applied at the end of the product development to ensure that the product/service perfectly meets the expected objectives.

A/B testing

A/B testing is a quantitative analysis technique that consists of having several users test two different versions of the same user interface. This method allows us to identify the best page in terms of conversion and which are the most interesting features that arouse the curiosity of users.

A/B testing is very useful for :

  • optimize the usability of your interfaces. 
  • Identify and prioritize optimization opportunities.
  • Optimize the conversion rate of your landing pages and consequently build customer loyalty.
  • Increase the click-through rate and traffic to your site.

5-second test

The 5-second test is both a quantitative and qualitative evaluation method. It allows to detect the first impressions that a web interface can leave on the user during a too short experience of 5 seconds.

This method helps identify the most powerful UI elements (CTA, message, image, etc.) that quickly capture the visitor's attention. It also helps to understand what the visitor appreciated at first sight and what they may have retained in their memory after this brief experience.

Conclusion

UX audit and user testing represent a powerful duo to preserve the efficiency of a user interface and to be able to propose an impactful user experience.

The blocking points identified during the audit stage will be consolidated by more real analyses resulting from the actual experience of the site by the target user, through user tests.

In order to strengthen the performance of your UX audit, we suggest you experiment with our Capian audit tool. It is an optimal way to easily inspect your interfaces.

Capian offers a complete toolkit for annotating, updating, sharing reports and exchanging with colleagues for seamless collaboration. It's a powerful collaborative tool that ensures collaboration through a centralized platform accessible to all members of your team. 

Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

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