How To Perform Effective Web Design Audit To Improve User Experience

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by Graphicszoo 15+ days ago 5 mins read

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First of all, if you are feeling a bit nervous by reading the word “audit” then don’t be. Using the term “web design audit” doesn’t really mean that your company is going to be under the scrutiny of digital authorities. 

A design audit is essentially a brand checkup that is highly recommended to every business in order to ensure smooth functioning and high performing website. 

Considering it as a self-assessment of your website’s different design elements. 

Conducting a thorough design audit allows the companies to express themself consistently across all channels. This could refer to their website on big screens as well as mobile phones, social media, emails, and other digital ad platforms.  

A proper audit will also make sure that the message and verbal or written communication is on point too. 

So, how exactly can you conduct this web design audit? Here are some simple and quick steps to follow;

Steps to perform web design audit

Set Your Criteria

One of the very first things that you need to do, in order to conduct a successful design audit, is to define a clear end goal/objective for the audit. 

What is it that you are trying to improve through this audit? Here is a list of some of the commonest categories;

Marketing/Sales Goals

 In this case, you must check:

  • Do you have marketing strategies and goals?
  • Are you achieving your goals?
  • Are you currently generating leads from your website?
  • Do you have a clearly defined target audience?

Effectiveness (data/analytics)

In this case, you must check:

  • Do you know what the purpose of each page is?
  • Do you have calls-to-action (CTAs) on each page?
  • Is your current marketing tactic generating traffic?
  • Do you know what people are engaging with the most?

Design

In this case, you must check:

  • Do your pages have a consistent format for navigation, headers, text, typography, and hyperlinks?
  • Does your design help make the content more digestible?
  • Do you include CTAs that give visitors a clear path to guide them along the way?
  • Does the design align with your company brand?
  • Does the imagery tell the story you’d like it to tell visually?

Structural quality (SEO)

In this case, you must check:

  • Do you have title tags, description tags, alt tags on images, interior page title tags?
  • Do you use keywords (without stuffing)?
  • Do you utilize outbound and inbound links?

Content

In this case, you must check:

  • Does the homepage clearly describe what you do and/or provide?
  • Do you use creative headlines for blog posts?
  • Are you providing fresh content on a consistent basis that your users will want to read?
  • Do you have duplicate content on several pages?
  • Are there spelling or grammar mistakes on your pages?

Security

In this case, you must check:

  • Does your site have an SSL (secure socket layer) Certificate?
  • What is your technical support/maintenance setup?

Depending on the type of audit you want to conduct, these are the basic things you need to first outline in order to move in the right direction. 

Gather All of Your Visual Branding Elements

Now, once you have decided on the type of audit you want to conduct for your web design, it’s time to collect the important brand elements to assess them individually. This includes elements such as;

  • Website pages
  • Logo in all formats
  • Facebook ads, banner ads, all the web ads
  • Radio, TV, or print ads
  • Flyers, business cards, stationery, email signatures
  • Landing pages, marketing campaigns, and their collateral
  • Classes, workshops, presentations, promotional speaking engagements
  • Posts from coal media including stories
  • Original design files vs. what’s live right now

Gathering your elements together may sound unnecessary, but some flaws in your designs may not become apparent until you’re looking at the whole picture.

Analyze Your Website’s Visual Elements

This should not come as a surprise at all since visual aesthetics are the core of any graphic design. 

How your website’s UI appears to your website visitors hold a lot of importance. 

So, once you are done with your key branding elements, it’s time now to assess and analyze the key visual elements in your website design. This includes;

      - The navigation bar – Is it the same throughout. 

      - The brand logo – Is the same logo file used across assets?

      - The background – Are the background patterns and styles consistent? 

      - The responsiveness and adaptivity of the design – Is it the same when accessed from different devices?

      - The typography – Is it the same throughout?

      - The display ads – Are the pop-ups and hello bars in alignment with the branding?

       - The icons – Are the icons all from the same set?

Analyzing Your Social Media For Web Design Audit

We know what most of you must be wondering right now, “What has social media got to do with an audit related to website design?” Well, in all honesty, it has got nothing to do and, at the same time, everything to do with web design audit.

Confused?! Let us explain.

In today’s digital era, social media is no short of an extension of your business website. 

Similar to a website, the social media pages/profiles allow companies to interact and engage with their target audience and possibly convert them into potential customers.

So, when conducting a web design audit, it is equally important to check; 

            - Are the messages expressed in social media aligned?

            - Is the wording consistent across platforms and brand guidelines?

            - Are the images adequately designed and sized for different social media networks?

Here’s an interesting take on the role of graphic design in social media marketing

Create a Design Standards Manual for Your Website

And finally, after assessing and analyzing all your brand design assets, it is time to design a useful brand style guide. 

The purpose of such a design guide is to ensure that you can outsource graphic design services without having to micromanage them in the future. 

Having a standard design manual can help future team members to understand your visual branding better and follow the patterns easily. 

A usual brand style guide outlines the following web UI/UX methods;

         - How your logo and its variations should be used?

         - The typeface, color hue, and image sizes should be used throughout your website.

         - Provide examples of the types of buttons, icons, and other similar elements you want to use in your designs.

Getting this set up early will not only ensure that future design audits go by more smoothly, it’ll also help you train new additions to your team faster.

Here’s a detailed article explaining everything you need to know about a design style guide


 

To conclude…

We understand that your website probably has dozens and hundreds of web pages and, it may not simply be possible to check them all at once. However, a thorough website auditing is important. 

It is here, that you can always take help from professionals to ensure your time and efforts are aligned in the right direction. 

GraphicsZoo has been helping brands audit their brand designs and define accurate style guides to ensure a good ROI. To know more on how we can help your business to set the right brand aesthetics, contact us today at support@graphicszoo.com