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EXPERIENCE YOUR UX – HOW TO CONDUCT A UX REVIEW BY YOURSELF

January 23, 2018
MARIIA ZAKHAROVA
UI/UX designer

Does Your Product Need A UX Review?

User experience or UX entails the multitude of ways your clients interact with your product. Unlike user interface (UI), that concerns only the visual aspects of the project and its surface levels, UX covers the whole range of experiences the customer faces throughout his or her interaction with the product. Thus, UX can cause clients to love or hate your project, and the main catch is that you can never predict their reaction. Luckily, UX review can help you boost your business.

WHAT IS A UX REVIEW?

UX review is an analysis of the product's usability and experience features and the proposals for eliminating problems and correcting mistakes that cause high bounce rates and a decrease in the number of sales, leads, customers, etc. Therefore, a UX review usually consists of several parts, including the approach, detected usability problems, and proposed solutions.

WHY DO YOU NEED A UX REVIEW?

According to the studies, almost 90% of users switch to another app or product if they do not enjoy their experience. Companies that provide compelling UX see a 37% increase in income. In short, the better UX you ensure, the more customers your business will see.

If you are still on the fence about the UX review, here are a couple of examples.

With over 4 million users per month, Hubspot redesigned its homepage to enhance user experience. As a result, the website has seen an increased engagement with navigational elements and critical CTAs. But most importantly, the number of trial signups skyrocketed.

Facebook is not above UX reviews either. After a redesign of news article pages, the social media giant enjoyed a 20% increase in article clicks, and over 70% of the readers stayed to finish the posts without closing them. The number of shares also increased by 30% to improve the Stories' reach.

THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF A UX REVIEW

A professional UX review should include both emotional and logical arguments. While Google Analytics provides gigabytes of data, it cannot explain why users behave in specific ways. To ensure that a UX review is actionable, it should contain several essential sections.

User Flows

Google Analytics and other handy online tools can track the user's behavior on the website or within a mobile app. Their path along the pages and links forms a user flow. When considering the flows, UX consultants notice how the project loses users at each step. And while businesses get revenue from those who stay and complete the purchase, it's those who leave that should give product owners food for thought. To understand their logic, UX consultants follow in their steps and objectively assess each page.

Target Audience Personas

While user research can provide more data for UX improvement, it takes more time and requires significant investment. Still, to ensure the UX review is efficient, business owners should provide specialists with target audience personas or at least a list of their potential audience's goals, needs, and fears. For every persona, the consultant can make a list of things that will make the person leave or stay.

For instance, if the persona is an overworked mom who is looking to buy safe baby products in bulk, a one-click checkout will save her time and endear her to the website, while a drawn-out multi-page checkout process will ensure she doesn't complete the order and never comes back.

The UX review specialist will assume the roles of every persona on the list and go through the user flows to determine, which features aggravate the clients and make them leave. At the same time, the reviewer will propose ways to get around these snags to keep the clients happy.

Usability And Experience Weak Links

While some UX problems are minor and can be corrected in a couple of minutes, others require serious upgrades. Usability defects are usually small, though they can make a vast difference. These comprise the size of the order button, the placement of reviews and links. Any features that are counterintuitive and illogical will frustrate clients and cause them to search for better solutions. If the order button is too far away from the product itself, the users might have trouble finding it.

Experience problems, on the other hand, are rooted deeply in the inner workings of the business. Let's say, the website owner wants to collect the customers' emails before providing the price of the product. This might cause users to leave, as they are tired of useless marketing emails with endless discounts. It's an experience flaw that should be addressed. However, the UX consultant is not the right person to provide organizational recommendations. They can only point out the problem, while business owners will need to find suitable solutions to improve the user experience themselves.

HOW CAN YOU CONDUCT A UX REVIEW?

There are several ways you can conduct a UX review:

  • Perform the analysis yourself
  • Task an in-house team to review the UX design
  • Hire a freelance UX specialist
  • Outsource the UX review process to a software company
The first two options seem the most straightforward, but that's an illusion. In reality, it is nearly impossible to be objective when reviewing your own project. You would have to walk a mile in your client's shoes to ensure your UX review bears fruit. And not every established enterprise, never mind startup, has UX specialists on their payroll.

Experienced freelance UX consultants are few and far between, but you can find and hire them for a reasonable fee. They will locate the problems and provide possible solutions. However, they won't be able to change anything. Therefore, you will have to spend extra time and money on UX redesign.

If you want the UX review to be quick and efficient, the best way to do it would be to hire a software development company. They usually have several UX specialists able to perform a review, and enough developers and designers to enact necessary changes within the tightest of timeframes. Of course, their services will be more expensive, but the ROI will be well worth it.
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