How to know when it's time for a usability audit

Five things that trigger a usability audit

Usability audits allow your team to see if your site is accomplishing its goals. They can take a lot of time and be costly, but, if users are having trouble finding the information they need, they are not likely to convert into customers or leads, which is bad for business.

Last week we walked through our five-step process for usability testing. But, how do you know when it’s time to invest in a usability audit? We have five indicators that you might want to work a usability audit into your busy schedule.

1. Your bounce rates are high and returning users are low

As you review the analytics for your website, pay attention to your bounce rate and returning users. Just because you have a high bounce rate does not mean your site is underperforming, but coupled with a low percentage of returning users, this could be indicative of a problem. Make sure to review the pages with the highest bounce rate to determine if the page is meeting its goals despite the high bounce rate.

2. You receive multiple complaints about your site

While one complaint may not be enough to warrant a full usability audit, if multiple people are taking the time to let you know there are issues with your site, it’s worth looking into. If that one person is high up in your organization, or right in your target market, one complaint may be enough! Review the issues that have been identified first, then take a look at other key areas of your site.

3. You’re getting ready for a marketing and advertising push

Promise me that before you put any ad spend behind driving people to your site, you’ll make sure it’s easy for the user to do everything you want them to do on your site. You will be wasting your money and your users’ time if you don’t.

4. You want to make major changes or build a new site

If you’re looking to make changes or are about to rebuild your site, complete a usability audit to identify other issues or improvements that need to be made. The usability audit can help you re-align your site with your business goals.

5. You just made major changes or built a new site

Once you’ve completed site updates or redesign of your site, it’s time to make sure that it is meeting the goals you have set. Sometimes during the website redesign journey, initial decisions and goals may change, which is fine! It just means that you should redo the usability audit and compare the results with all site goals.

These are just five scenarios we recognize as little red flags that make us recommend a usability audit. Stay tuned next week for five things to look for during a usability audit, or revisit last week’s post to see our five-step process for getting started with usability testing.

If you need an awesome team of user experience experts to complete a usability audit, let us know!