How to make a sample UX review on your own
Let’s first understand why you should do a UX review (or UX Audit) on your own. The main 2 reasons are considerably quick results and the possibility of handling it even despite the limited budget.
If you’re performing a UX review on your own product, it’s very difficult to be objective, so it’s preferable to at least get a second opinion.
The main purposes of your review should be to:
- Improve your product’s performance;
- Understand its value;
- Spot any UX and usability issues before spending money on new product development;
- Fix problems with a current product;
- Gather advice for the future.
- Identify the value for users who are using, or will use the product.
Before you begin, prepare the research and the tools, resources and software you’ll need in the process, that’ll help you decipher all your analytic data, metrics, user information. It is also essential to keep track of your progress and be organized.
So, the steps:
- Market research
You should understand the market you are targeting, who your competitors are, and what they are good at.
2. Stakeholder interview
Get to know as much as possible, including your requirements and expectations for the review.
You should ask about primary and secondary user groups, specific business metrics for conversions and engagement, tasks we want users to accomplish in our flows, primary sales channels, brand values, most important web pages, top competitors, etc.
3. Determine the extent of your review
During your own UX review, it is necessary to define the size and volume of the system and how much time is available, and also whether you will offer recommendations, or will only list the problems found.
4. Choose the right methods
Each project has different demands — some may need more thorough market or business research, while sometimes you may not have enough data to work with. Some may require only usability issues analysis, rather than full market analysis. Research methods must be accommodated to the requirements of each project and set in line with your stakeholders’ expectations.
If a review consists of various techniques, prioritise them, and set up a research strategy.
5. Research and data analysis
Depending on your preferred method, the process of research changes. Always keep in mind the overall goal of the analysis, and stay focused on more significant and important issues.
Also, data is essential. If you can’t access analytics directly, ask (or look) for reports for specific timeframes and segments.
6. Make your report
Show your findings and data in a clear, logical and visually appealing way. The aim of the review is to pinpoint issues for change, however only describing errors doesn’t add value by itself — you should provide quick solutions and recommendations that will positively change the product.
The final report can be arranged in this order:
- Main approach;
- Overview of usability problems;
- Summary of experience issues;
- Overview of Google Analytics findings;
- User journeys;
- Detailed page-by-page review.
The important thing to do is determine the audience — what the users will be (or are now), and what’s the purpose of the product.
It is also important to divide the problematic issues into three categories:
- The main ones that contradict the known principles of design;
- Potential problems that should be reviewed with users;
- Differences in style — things that you would do differently if it were up to you.
Start the review by following user journeys step by step. When you move through the user flows, consider the user goals on each page. You’ll find both usability and experience problems. Usability problems are easy to fix, and they often require quick design changes.
One of the main problems you may face is the lack of objectivity in self-review and UX evaluation — when you put your personal opinion as an issue on the list. If you believe that your assumption is indeed an existing problem that needs to be solved, then you need to present evidence and arguments. Objectivity requires 2 sources of data — analytics to appeal to common sense, and users’ perspectives as the emotional side of the problem.
Prioritize each problem — sort by impact, severity, amount of work to solve it, because often an overwhelming list of issues found prevents you from seeing the perspective. Once you’ve identified the main problems, you should focus on issues that could potentially be an obstacle for users when performing various tasks.