Most companies know there are tasks they could do to improve their site’s user experience, but it is easy to get stuck on how to best prioritize updates. A handy tool that we often use with clients is a “usability audit” — a formal evaluation to examine your site for user friendliness, content efficacy and ability to drive traffic to conversion goals. From an audit, your company should get a clear list of which changes can produce trackable results and how we might suggest you prioritize updates. And, much like usability testing, an audit can be designed to fit your time and budget (Steve Krug would approve).
So, how do you know if you need a usability audit to help you in your quest to better your customer experience? Here’s a handy reference guide to the top five reasons CMD recommends performing an audit:
- Your site was not designed with a mobile-first approach.
That’s right, if your site wasn’t built specifically for the mobile experience, it’s time to take stock of how to make it mobile friendly. Statistics show that 52.48 percent of users are accessing the web from their mobile devices, up from 30.67 percent five years ago, and we want to ensure that you look as good on a smaller screen as a big one. Becoming mobile friendly doesn’t necessarily mean rebuilding from the ground up, but it definitely requires revisions to ensure that your content is accessible to everyone who wants to view it.
- It’s been more than two years since your site had a checkup.
If you have not performed a major overhaul or large visual lift to your site in the last two years, it’s probably time. Again, a refresh doesn’t necessitate a rebuild, and an audit can help you figure out how to get the most bang for your buck with a few meaningful updates.
- You do everything in house.
Everyone’s managing their own website these days. It’s cost-efficient and gives you greater control. But, sometimes it’s easy to become blind to your own shortcomings when you are the only one looking. An audit is a great way to get an outside report card even if you intend to make any updates using your internal team.
- Your site features outdated design modals, like an image carousel or parallax pages.
The last thing you want your customers to say is “That’s so 2013” when they look at your site. If you have updated the images on your site, but not the method by which you are presenting them, then it might be time for an update. Image carousels, text in images, overlays, auto-play media, infinite pagination … these are all design ideas that had their time in the spotlight and have now been replaced by more effective design strategies. Want help improving upon these less-effective design elements? An audit can help you create an inventory of where they appear throughout your site.
- You have questions about your site.
At the end of the day, if you have questions about what you could or should do, asking a professional is the way to go. Here at CMD we are nerds of the best kind … we know technology from the front end to the back end and everything in between. If you have questions, we’re here to assist. Want to know what’s new in the market? What are your competitors focused on? What new platforms are available to push content to your customers?
We’d love to take a look and offer suggestions based on your specific needs. Drop us a line here.