User experience (UX) is a critical aspect of product design, and conducting a UX review is an essential step in product design. Because UX review involves evaluating the entire user experience of a digital product from start to finish, it identifies any pain points or friction in the user experience to make informed design decisions. It’s excellent for new start-ups as well as products that have been on the market for a long time but would like to improve their performance or user engagement.
But how can you approach it the right way? Learn how conducting a UX review step-by-step can help solve your problems and design an efficient user experience.
What is UX Review?
A UX review helps to answer questions such as:
- What difficulties do users encounter when interacting with the product?
- Are there complications with functionality or navigation?
- Where is the user journey point when they leave the site?
- What do the metrics tell you about user behavior?
- What changes can you make to make your website or app perform better?
- Is the content easy to find and understand?
- Is the design, layout, and color scheme clear and compelling?
After all, the variety of methods used in a UX audit allows you to look at problems from different perspectives and find their most likely causes. That is why conducting a UX review is crucial in product design. A UX review involves evaluating the entire user experience of a product from start to finish. It’s a comprehensive analysis of how the product interacts with the user, intending to identify any pain points or friction in the user experience. A UX review aims to uncover any areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to enhance the overall user experience.
How do you conduct a UX review?
The person conducting the UX review (the reviewer) should not only be very knowledgeable about usability best practices but should also be someone who has not been involved in creating the project. A fresh perspective is more unbiased and provides honest feedback. An outsider is not emotionally invested in the project, is unaware of internal team politics, and can quickly spot glaring problems that may remain hidden from someone looking at the same design for too long.
Step 1: Define your objectives
The first step should always be to write down the activity’s objective, which will allow you to plan specific actions and allocate their execution. Collect metrics and materials. If the goals were adequately defined before the audit began, you would have known what information you needed; now, you just need to think about what data will give you that information. Having clear objectives will help guide your review and ensure that you stay focused on what’s important.
Step 2: Gather data
Gather quantitative information (Google Analytics, Mix Panel) on traffic sources and flows, trends over time, and what users do before and after visiting the site. Make sure your analytics go back far enough to see trends rather than relying on isolated data points. If the premise of your site or application is e-commerce, look at conversion rates or sales data. Use this data to gain a better understanding of the needs and expectations of your target audience.
Step 3: User personas
User personas will help you understand the motivations and your user needs. After all, the primary purpose of the audit is to check that processes are intuitive, accessible, and evident from the user’s point of view. Used correctly, these personas with the correct data can help you add a human touch to our UX audit.
Step 4: Evaluate the product
Perform a heuristic evaluation of the product, try to put yourself in the customer’s shoes, achieve the user’s goals, and focus on identifying potential barriers. You can maintain concentration by using standard criteria, such as Nielsen heuristics.
Step 5: Make informed design decisions
Gaining access to the original product requirements will save you time and help you understand why design decisions were made the way they were; this information will be helpful when it comes to writing workable recommendations. You can make design decisions using the information gathered in the previous steps to improve the overall user experience. This may involve making changes to the product’s UI design, improving the user journey, or addressing any usability issues.
Step 6: Talk to actual users
Asking internal product stakeholders like product owners and developers about the product roadmap, requirements, and development obstacles is an excellent place to start. The comments and opinions from users can be used in a UX audit if the marketing or sales department has ever performed user surveys.
Step 7: Create recommendations to solve problems
Depending on the situation, the team can develop recommendations in a workshop or by an assessor. This may involve working with a development team to update the product’s code or with a design team to update the product’s user interface design. It is then essential to prioritize actions based on business outcomes and the level of difficulty and commitment of the changes to be made.
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The outcome of the UX Design Review
Based on the results of the UX audit, a summary report is provided that includes the following:
- Identification of faulty elements of the system (together with an indication of the severity of the fault).
- Identification of factors that are not working correctly, along with an explanation.
- Recommendations and actionable directions to be taken to improve the site’s usability and accessibility.
- Suggestions as to which elements should be improved to optimize critical processes.
A UX audit is a great tool, even if the actual results are satisfying. The best way to optimize performance is to be proactive. The fresh perspective of a UX expert provides valuable, unbiased feedback seen through the eyes of the user. Addressing usability issues will improve UX, streamline internal design processes, and increase business value.