As with any brand touchpoint, your digital design elements determine how people feel about your brand: trust, warmth, credibility, and desire are just some of the triggers that can be elicited by exquisite design and a rewarding user experience. And, with so many websites, apps, and social feeds competing for our attention, those feelings need to be established quickly and effectively in order to keep consumers engaged.
For many businesses, the proliferation of social media has led to a neglect of official company websites. As brands prioritise third-party platforms for the deployment of their digital product and marketing materials, the home base has suffered, often with broken links, error messages, stale content, weak mobile design, and significant usability issues. Businesses need to address these issues to take advantage of SEO (search engine optimisation) opportunities and to ensure that their potential customers can quickly and easily understand what their brand is about.
At The Bank, our digital design and UX audit services cover all of the visual elements of your company’s website. From typography and colour scheme to overall layout and quality of the user experience, we’ll make sure that your website is on-brand, optimised for conversion and delivering a great user experience.
To learn more about our website audit process, contact our team today. Alternatively, keep reading for our in-depth guide tothe digital design and UX audit process.
Design Audit + UX Audit = UX Design Audit
The terms design audit and UX audit are often used interchangeably, resulting in some confusion about what they actually mean, and what the differences are between them (if any).
A design audit will normally the visual elements of your site. Traditionally, when we conduct a design audit, we’re looking primarily at aesthetic and cosmetic factors, including:
Are your visual design elements of a high quality, and are they consistent with the rest of your brand?
Are the graphics, typography, and background patterns consistent site-wide? Are brand guidelines followed across the entire website?
Are your different brand assets built with your target audience in mind? Do your visuals support and enhance your copy, or are they unrelated and distracting?
Have you been using the same design conventions for many years? Are you following old branding guidelines. Are you using the latest correct logo file throughout the site?
A UX audit is normally more in-depth, serving as a heuristic evaluation of your site as a whole. Among other things, a UX audit might examine:
Is your website’s layout easy to understand and use? Are your user flows intuitive? Can users navigate your site easily?
A UX audit will evaluate website performance and try to identify usability problems.
A UX audit with look at quantitative data to establish benchmarks for conversion rate optimization going forward.
UX Design Audit
At The Bank, we merge the concepts above into a UX design audit: a comprehensive assessment of your website’s design, user experience, and application of usability heuristics.
UX design audits consist of extensive usability testing, involving the creation of user personas to assess the impact of your design system on consumer action.
The result is a UX audit report comprising actionable recommendations on how you can improve your website’s design and user experience. This detailed report will show you the areas in which your site may be falling short, and help inform future design and content strategy as your company grows and your business objectives change.
Do I Need a Website Audit?
Conducting a regular website design audit is good practice to keep your website up-to-date, and to ensure that it is optimised for both users and search engines. If you’re not sure whether your website could benefit from a design audit, ask yourself the following questions:
Has It Been More Than Two Years Since Your Website Was Updated?
Two years is a long time in business, and even longer in the world of digital design.
You might not feel that site needs a major redesign, but it never hurts to run through a design audit checklist and make you’re on top of things:
- Are your landing pages and background styles consistent?
- Is your logo usage correct and up-to-date?
- Are there design inconsistencies between your website and social media pages?
These kinds of simple questions can give you an insight into whether your digital platform is truly working to advance your company’s business goals.
Have You Noticed a Decline in Traffic or Conversion Rates?
If you’re noticing a dip in your website traffic or conversion rates, it could be a sign that your website is no longer optimised for users.
By running usability tests against established usability heuristics, a UX audit will help you to identify any areas where your website is falling short when it comes to the experience it offers.
- Does your site provide good user control and autonomy?
- Does it hide key information, such as current system status?
- Are your customers getting stuck on broken redirects that take them to the same page?
A thorough audit can help drastically improve these elements, and, in turn, improve customer satisfaction.
Has Your Website Received Negative Feedback?
If you’ve received negative feedback about your website—whether from user testing or direct user interviews—it’s time to take a closer look at the design.
Maybe users find it difficult to navigate, or they think it looks outdated. Perhaps your design system slows down their system, or just doesn’t look good on their mobile devices.
Whatever the case may be, a digital design audit will help you to identify the root cause of the problem and come up with a solution. It will look at your existing digital product and through in-depth competitive analysis, examine how it stacks up in the modern digital environment.
The Common Culprits
At The Bank, we’ll often have clients who come to us and answer “no” to all of the above questions. They’ve updated their site recently, traffic and conversion numbers are strong, and consumer feedback has been positive—it’s just that something feels… off.
Take a look below, and consider if any of the following issues might apply to you.
Designed by Developers
Building a website is quite different to creating a digital design. They are two very separate disciplines. Designing for digital includes paying attention to the user journey. Part of this involves mastering the ultimate dark art: human behaviour:
- Which call to action should we use?
- How do we make it stand out best?
- What deserves greater prominence on the page?
- How do we use size, balance, colour and imagery to create stand-out designs that compliment our overall brand identity.
This is often a real creative challenge for which the more functional developer simply isn’t equipped. At The Bank we conduct a UX review, we’ll examine the design system as much as we do the technical elements, making sure every aspect compliments each other.
Tired Visual Elements
Platforms, devices, and visual trends come and go; and in the digital world, they come and go fast. And what looks great today, is tomorrow’s old hat.
That cool video parallax effect which was built into your site last year? It’s now an on-page distraction that slows your site down. The pastel colour pallet which was really on-trend? Now it’s stale and flat. That same logo file you’ve been sticking with since you were established? Well, you get the idea…
By focusing on classic aesthetic and minimalist design, The Bank’s team can help you choose colour accents, fonts and image styles that distinguish your web property. These are proven techniques that serve some of the biggest brands in the world. You can strip away trend and still have digital design that everyone loves but stands the test of time.
Personal Preference Over User Preference
Marketers make subjective decisions about design based on nothing but personal preference. Since it is quite rare for you to be exactly the same demographic as your target audience, how can you guarantee that’s a good choice?
You are probably older or younger—if you’re lucky—than your target audience. You may earn more or less than your average customer. You’ll almost certainly have different tastes, and you should get to grips with what your audience actually think, rather than what you think they think.
Let insight lead digital design. There is a science to customer behaviour and how it links to design. You probably execute techniques like split testing regularly with things like email marketing—often an out-of-the-box offering with most software packages. If this is the case, why not with your website? It’s great that you’re building best practices with your brand in one area, but the same logic can easily exist throughout the rest of your digital marketing creative.
The Bank: A UX and Website Design Audit with a Difference
The Bank helps brands plan their websites and digital design visuals in their entirety. Our holistic approach is designed to help you reach your business goals by offering an outstanding user experience, a refined design process, and rigid quality assurance that helps your strategy remain consistent for years to come.
We pride ourselves on offering clients a fresh approach. We don’t just offer a design audit or a UX audit—we provide extensive, client-driven research and analysis to help you understand what needs to change and how you can improve.
We don’t quite don the lab coats, but we do scrutinise—with actual customers—the elements of your brand which are truly resonating as well as those that aren’t. Given most people have established websites, digital design agencies tend to be focused on website redesign and redevelopment for prospective clients: making sure you don’t throw out the good is extremely important as part of that process.
While we love your opinion we’d rather provide you with facts. rather than blind subjectivity guiding you – or us – to the creative decisions with most merit. If you’d like to understand what this looks like for your current digital platforms, give us a call and we’ll get the bunsen burners out.
As part of our UX design audit checklist, our team utilises a heuristic evaluation. This process is a great way to evaluate your site’s ease of use and effectiveness.
A heuristic evaluation is conducted by our team of experts, who will go through your website with a critical eye, looking for common usability issues. Once these issues have been identified, we provide you with an extensive report, detailing what needs to be improved and how you can fix it.
What separates The Bank from other digital agencies is our focus on providing you with tangible results that help improve your business. We don’t just give you a list of things that need to be fixed—we work with you to make sure the changes are implemented and that they actually make a difference to your bottom line.
Inspiration and Experience
Our ideas provide the creative inspiration to deliver your vision. We believe it’s our passion for your business and our innovation as an agency that will retain you as a client for years.
Our experience in digital product development is extensive. We’ve been on your side of the desk dealing with shrinking resources and increasing workload. You can’t create because you have to manage. You can’t analyse because you need to react. Your agencies suddenly aren’t fast enough or smart enough to get it. You have to put in all the hours because it all comes down to you.
We get it, we’ve done it, and we’re here to help.
UX Design Audits and a Whole Lot More
What are you waiting for? Contact us today to learn how we can help take your digital properties to the next level. We can’t wait to get started!