Usability audit. How to identify problem areas and improve website conversion.

10 November 2020

Usability determines how comfortable is a website for visitor to use . On a simple and intuitive website, the number of people who actually made a purchase, i. e. the conversion, increases.

In order for the conversion and activity on the site to be maintained at the proper level, the user must quickly find answers, information and easily perform the desired actions. To check the usability and eliminate the shortcomings of the web resource that negatively affect the sales volume, a usability audit is carried out.

The need for usability testing arises if:

  • It is necessary to test the convenience of the website use, which is being actively developed and will be launched soon.
  • The conversion rate on the website is not high enough, and there is an opportunity to increase it.
  • It is necessary to explore the possibility of introducing new functions on the site.

Usability audit is carried out to attract additional audience and eliminate factors that repel customers. For example, the information on the site is written in a complex, incomprehensible language for a person who does not know about the products being sold. The problem may lie in the non-obvious  placement of web content, which is difficult to navigate. The client will also not be satisfied with the complicated procedure for purchasing goods in the online store.

It is believed that eliminating all the shortcomings of usability requires a complete redesign of the website or the creation of a new project. In practice, to solve such problems, it is enough to adjust the problematic elements of the site that affect the user experience.

How to identify problem areas on the site?

Usability issues are found due to low user interest in the website, lack of customer referrals or criticism from customers. In addition, you can determine the insufficient level of usability using:

  • Analysis of behavioral characteristics. For this, analytics services are used, which show the frequency of visits, the number of refusals, the duration of users' stay on the website. You can also study the statistics of pages with a high level of refusals to identify problem areas, which need an improvement.
  • The opinions of friends. Despite the subjective and inaccurate indications of problems, an outside opinion will help to see some of the flaws in the project and get hints for improvement.
  • Expert analysis.
  • Testing. This method allows you to accurately determine the weak points of the site, and fix the shortcomings. Testing a website involves testers, who perform a specific task on the website that produces results that indicate usability issues. The disadvantage of this method are its cost and duration, but the disadvantages are compensated by a complete and comprehensive analysis.

Usability studies focus on the following parameters:

  • Problems in the technical part of the website. These problems lead to the fact that the user cannot view the information he needs or waits for a long time for the web page to load. To identify and eliminate such faults, you first need to check the integrity and absence of errors in the JavaScript code, Cascading Style Sheets, HyperText Markup Language - these components affect the display of page elements and the correct operation of its functions. You also need to check how quickly the page loads and whether there are any server response errors.
  • Content - information posted on the site. It is important to avoid confusing or ambiguous titles and to explain their meaning. The information should be readily presented to the reader. In this case, it is worth considering the specifics of the target audience. Text for a wide range of people should not be written in a complex, technical language or oversimplified if the readers are specialists. Correct text formatting and layout consistency are also important to improve the writing experience and help you find keywords quickly. In addition, well-chosen link anchors have a positive effect on usability.
  • Navigation - search for the necessary information on the site and the user's transition to it. If the navigation on the site is correctly implemented, the user can easily find links and follow them; there are no broken links; the structure of the site allows you to navigate through its pages; there is a content map of the web resource.
  • Site appearance. Despite the variety of design options, the design must comply with general standards, for example, the colors used are thematically related to the content of the site. It is recommended to use comfortable-to-read text fonts, to maintain a uniform design style on the nested pages of the site. Icon images should be intuitive and consistent with the content. The presence of a mobile version of the site will increase its convenience for users of portable devices.
  • Content for conversion includes buttons for checkout, purchase, recommendation, cart. Choosing the right design for these elements affects the number of buyers among the users.
  • Information about the company. The user is interested in details about the owner of the site, his activities and contact information for communication with him.

The number of satisfied users and, as a result, the conversion of the website depends on how quickly and easily the client finds answers to his questions. For this, the website must have an understandable structure, be easy for perception and dispose to perform the targeted action. Usability audit is a way to detect and eliminate website imperfections that drive away users and reduce the number of purchases.

Order usability audit

In the process of research, we in VIS-A-VIS demonstrate all the possible problems of using the website and give recommendations for their elimination. Based on the testing results, a report is drawn up on the tests performed and the problems found.We also study competing websites, analyze and compare the useful functionality and, taking into account their experience, offer solutions that simplify interaction with customers on your website. Before making changes to the functionality of the site, we warn you about possible problems associated with it, and we plan in advance how to bypass them. Moreover, we provide support for the website's usability in the process of further development.

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