Times and Reasons for a UX Audit


The Gist

  • Understand the purpose of a UX audit. Insights gleaned from a UX audit may be necessary to improve the user experience.
  • Know when to implement an audit. An audit may help identify usability issues, assist the user journey and so on.
  • Make a findings report. Reporting on the results of an audit can provide more clarity and direction for your UX team.

A UX audit is an essential tool for any business seeking to optimize its website or app for maximum user engagement and satisfaction. By systematically evaluating usability, design, content and functionality, a UX audit can identify critical issues that hinder user experience and provide actionable recommendations for improvement.

What Is a UX Audit?

A UX audit offers an independent, expert review of a website or app that systematically evaluates usability, design, content, functionality and engagement challenges from the perspective of target customers. It identifies issues that prevent consumers from using your website or app and ultimately meeting your business goals. 

If your ineffective website/app is lacking the resources for a full-fledged research project, a UX audit can be an effective bridge tool. Not only do they offer a quick turnaround, most audits are also moderately priced and require no special equipment. Having an independent third party evaluation also offers a fresh perspective your company may need. 

While similar to heuristic evaluation (which involves several trained experts reviewing the site or app independently then combining the results for reporting), a UX audit doesn’t require the money to hire several experts or time to train them in-house.

Related Article: UX Research vs. UX Design: Exploring Key Differences

When to Use a UX Audit

A UX Audit can be a helpful tool for a variety of reasons, including:

  1. If your company lacks in-house UX expertise
  2. If you need quick results to inform further planning
  3. A means to gain a buy-in for research and/or design efforts
  4. Users aren’t available in the near term
  5. Prototypes/designs aren’t available in the near term

Oftentimes, reason No. 1 goes hand in hand with reasons two and three. Together, they provide the evidence needed to get outside research and design projects funded. If, for example, the board of a women’s organization did not agree on whether a website redesign was needed to attract new members, UX audit findings helped gain support for a redesign.

Here’s another example to highlight the benefits for the latter two reasons: On a large project, an outside vendor is designing a new website, but the internal team does not have permission to test it externally during that phase. With a huge deadline looming overhead, they’d need a UX audit to help plan next steps.

When Not to Use a UX Audit

A UX audit is not a replacement for user research with real or potential customers, which offers unmatched insights into how a product may or may not meet their needs. If there is persistently no time or money for research with actual users, a larger cultural shift may be needed to understand the value of research.

Related Article: UI and UX: What’s the Difference?


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