In this step, additional research was conducted to provide the client with recommendations based on current trends, best practices, and general guidelines. This involved aspects specific to e-commerce websites and others that pertain to general UX considerations.
What did we look at?
During the audit, it was essential to define the questions or issues for which answers and solutions were sought on top of achieving business goals. Below is a summary of the key aspects that were addressed while looking at the website as a whole while also focusing on the users’ critical path :
- Browsing and finding products.
- Adding products to the cart and completing a purchase.
Points of Investigation:
- Commonly used pages & features
- Pages with low hits and high bounce rates
- Workflow from a usability point of view
- What do users not understand?
- Can users find relevant information?
- Are users able to achieve their goals?
- Where and why are users getting stuck?
- Where and why are users dropping off?
- Are there any interesting user patterns?
Critical aspects for assessment:
- Initial impression
- Website structure
- General workflow and navigation
- Functionality & Usability
- Visual hierarchy and readability
- Mobile responsiveness
- Compliance with UX guidelines & best practices
After looking at the website from different angles and combining insights from all audit activities, we were able to derive some actionable recommendations – based on solid data and best practices – to improve the website experience.
From a design perspective, the website was found to be visually pleasing and the design was clean and appealing to users. Closer inspection of certain features, pages, and e-commerce features revealed some points for further improvement. Greater attention was devoted to pages and features that lie on users’ critical paths such as browsing, searching, filtering, and purchasing products. Other less critical aspects were also addressed.
Summary of key findings and recommendations *:
Finally, it’s time to share a few key insights and recommendations from the UX audit!
Analytics data revealed that there is a relatively high bounce rate at the following crucial steps in the purchase funnel :
- Product page : a good number of visitors left without adding products to the shopping cart.
- Checkout page: a high rate of cart abandonment was detected.
When investigated thoroughly and by reviewing user session records, it became clear that there were some elements that made it difficult for users to achieve their goals :
- Product page:
- The product imagery is very attractive and visually pleasing however the product page contains long technical text which makes it difficult for users to compare similar products and make a decision on whether a product is suitable for their needs. Therefore, a recommendation was made to make the text shorter, use product tags, and visualize product features to make the product technology and features more understandable and less overwhelming.
- Checkout page:
- It appeared that on mobile devices, certain buttons, links, and text elements were smaller than the recommended UX size , which made it difficult for users to interact with devices with smaller touch-based screens. UX guidelines recommend that font-size for text should be 12px or larger for better accessibility support eg 14px or 16px. Buttons and other clickable / tappable controls should be at least 44x44px in size with enough space around them to avoid triggering multiple controls at the same time; In general, the physical limitation of an adult thumb should be considered a minimum.
- The discount field was not easy to find. It was recommended to make it more prominent to make the users’ checkout process as smooth as possible.
Heatmaps showed that users are mostly engaged with the top part of the page and that only a few users scroll down to the bottom of the page. They also revealed that some important elements, such as compiling headlines and call-to-action buttons , were located below the average fold . This requires redesigning the layout to make important elements more prominent above the average fold and investigating how to present elements above the fold that would win users over and invite them not only to interact with the top part of the page but also scroll down and explore what the website has to offer.
The user test sessions and user session recordings uncovered the following:
- Product filters offered limited filtering options.
- Search and filter results were lost after users visited the product page.
- Order cancellation after payment completion was not straightforward
Recommendations were provided to address the issues above – in addition to others listed in the final audit report – and it was advised to prioritize solving them as these elements are needed for users to achieve their goals and form an essential part of the purchase journey .
Analytics also revealed that more than 60% of website traffic and more than 55% of purchase transactions originated from mobile devices . During the manual audit and test sessions, some technical and UX issues that were not visible on the desktop version of the website were encountered when using mobile devices. Therefore, it became clear that more effort should be directed towards providing a mobile-first experience and removing usability obstacles for touch and small-screen devices .
Another aspect involved recommendations on how to promote their brand voice through visuals and copy-writing. To support the suggested UX enhancements, it was also recommended to review and improve the website’s information architecture to make it easy for visitors to quickly access desired product categories and relevant information such as unique selling points , technology details , and the company’s sustainability practices .
From an e-commerce point of view , it was found that the website lacked some up-selling and cross-selling features to increase overall sales. But it was not only important to add such features but also to consider when and where they should be presented to users to avoid unnecessary distractions during shopping and maintain an enjoyable experience without being overwhelmed by marketing efforts.
One last item to highlight here is that the online shopping experience begins even before users visit the website . Our analysis also showed that when users search for similar products using search engines, the client’s brand did not always show up among the top results or in the first search result page. This led to some recommendations pertaining to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) such as adding relevant meta tags (keywords, description, titles) and also improving the website structure to better support this.
* The client was provided with a detailed report and a visual presentation.
End users are absolutely indispensable in the process of product design and development. Whether a new website or app is developed or features need to be added or changed, it is important to base such decisions and designs on actual user needs and solid data . Sometimes business needs and technology trends may dominate the decision making processes, however, it is important to take a human-centered design approach from the beginning and revise experiences as consumer behavior and technology or design trends evolve . A UX audit is a step that can guide value-driven product development and save time and cost by addressing aspects that matter and having a direct effect that is tangible to end users. Finally, the client was also provided with recommendations on methods to test and track the impact of the UX enhancements to be implemented.
We are very grateful that the client put their trust in our team to work on this very rewarding challenge. We are excited to see where this collaborative journey would take us!