User Experience Audit Model

  • A. LOOK & FEEL (scored 1-3 OR as an aggregate score 3-18)
    • Branding (scored 1-3)

      1. Brand presence is weak; brand identity adherence is poor; brand recognition is difficult and requires  prior awareness of the brand.
      2. Brand presence is average; brand identity adherence is fair; brand recognition is fair but does not build towards exposure in other channels or touchpoints.
      3. Brand presence is strong; brand identity adherence is very good; brand recognition is easy and continues brand experience beyond the channel. 

        BRAND PRESENCE: Can you, based on a cursory view of the experience, determine what the sender does, what sets them apart, what they stand for, how they are relevant to the customer?

        BRAND IDENTITY: Does the design align with brand standards and other brand touchpoints?

        BRAND RECOGNITION: If you cover up the logo, can you still recognize the brand, or at least the industry, or does the page appear generic and unspecific?

    • Aesthetics (scored 1-3)
      1. Look and feel is dated and/or inappropriate for target audience; aesthetics are not cohesive; visual impact is weak and visual impression is conflicted.
      2. Look and feel is neutral and/or not customized for target audience; aesthetics are average; visual impact is fair and visual impression is acceptable.
      3. Look and feel is modern and/or appropriate for target audience; aesthetics are consistent; visual impact is strong and visual impression is pleasing.
        VISUAL IMPACT: Does the overall design create a strong, distinctive, memorable impression?


        VISUAL IMPRESSION: Does the design make the sender appear professional and credible; is it likely that the target audience would view the sender favorably, without skepticism?
    • Typography (scored 1-3)
      1. Typography is poor; legibility is muddled; text hierarchies are unclear; text is too small; choice of fonts is questionable and/or inconsistent.
      2. Typography is fair; legibility is acceptable; text hierarchies are differentiated; text size is OK; choice of fonts is acceptable or at least consistent.
      3. Typography is good; legibility is good; text hierarchies are clear; text size is purposeful; choice of fonts is sophisticated and consistent.

        TEXT HIERARCHIES: Is typography used purposefully to create a structured appearance of the text, where it is clear how sections relate to each other, linearly and/or hierarchically?

        LEGIBILITY: Are characters, words, lines and sections sufficiently large, recognizable and distinguished from each other, but not so far separated or contrasted so as to cause confusion? Are line lengths appropriate (preferably no less than 20 chars and no more than 60 chars)? Are lines spaced apart enough to guide the eye along one line at a time, but not so much that the reader has trouble finding the next line? Are different weights (for instance: light, regular, bold, extra bold) being used to appropriately contrast with ordinary body copy?

        CHOICE OF FONTS: Is there an appropriate variety of fonts on the page so as to create clarity and contrast, but not so varied as to cause confusion and disharmony? Do headlines stand out sufficiently from body copy? Do fonts align with the brand identity? Do fonts render well, or do characters seem fuzzy, or bump up against each other?

    • Imagery (scored 1-3)
      1. Images are of poor quality and/or inappropriate; image compression is poor; size, cropping and composition is inadequate; treatments are questionable.
      2. Images are of decent quality and/or appropriate; image compression is fair; size, cropping and composition is adequate; treatments are acceptable.
      3. Images are of high quality and very appropriate; image compression is good; size, cropping and composition is good; treatments are purposeful.

        IMAGE SIZE: Are images able to render on the page without “crowding” it and compromising the layout? Does image size align with the purpose of the content, or is image size unrelated to the importance of the content piece it is representing?

        IMAGE CROPPING: Does the way the images are cropped create confusion or lack of clarity about what the image is meant to convey?

        IMAGE COMPOSITION: Does the way the images are composed and placed on the page draw attention to appropriate elements, or does it create a distraction? Does image composition create an appropriate emotional response?

        IMAGE TREATMENTS: Are effects and filters applied to the images, and if so, are these treatments aligned with the purpose of the page, and/or the brand identity, or do the treatments appear gratuitous?

    • Use of color (scored 1-3)
      1. Color usage is weak or overpowering; choice of colors is inappropriate; colors clash; color interferes with scanning and/or reading of the page.
      2. Color usage is fair and balanced; choice of colors is appropriate; colors do not clash; color does not interfere with scanning and/or reading of the page.
      3. Color usage is strong and supports the content and layout; colors match; choice of colors elevates the experience; color facilitates scanning and reading.

        COLOR USAGE: Are there a lot of colors on the page, and if so, do they all appear to be justified by the purpose of the page, or do they cause confusion? Are there very few colors on the page, and if so, are components of the page looking too similar? Could the page have benefited from more colors? Does there appear to be a system behind how colors are applied, or do they appear to have been applied randomly? Do the colors evoke an appropriate emotional response?

        CHOICE OF COLORS: Are color choices justified either by the brand identity, or by elements on the page being made more easily distinguishable and/or groupable by contextual similarity? Do colors contrast sufficiently to not cause uncertainty and vagueness, but not so much that it causes visual competition and conflict?

    • Design Execution (scored 1-3)
      1. Quality of design execution is lacking; visual errors or flaws are common.
      2. Quality of design execution is fair; visual errors or flaws are few.
      3. Quality of design execution is good; no visual flaws are apparent.
  • B. USABILITY (scored 1-3 OR as an aggregate score 3-18)
    • Navigation (scored 1-3)
      1. Menu is absent or poorly designed; navigation is complicated and/or confusing; paths to content are unclear and confidence in navigation is poor.
      2. Menu is acceptably designed; navigation is workable; paths to content are identifiable and confidence in navigation is fair.
      3. Menu is well designed and functional; navigation is straight-forward; paths to content are clear and confidence in navigation is high.

        PATHS TO CONTENT: Does navigation provide sufficient direction in how to structure and assimilate the content?
        Does navigation aid sufficiently in finding and selecting the various pieces of content?

        CONFIDENCE IN NAVIGATION: Is the navigation behaving consistently and predictably so as to instill confidence in the user that using the nav will have the desired results? Do navigation elements provide sufficient cues to guide the user in what to expect, and to confirm current position in the site structure?

    • Iconography (scored 1-3)
      1. Icons are absent or poorly designed, and hard to understand; icons cause more confusion than clarity.
      2. A few icons are utilized, are adequately designed and reasonably clear, but may be gratuitous and/or contributing to visual clutter.
      3. Icons are well designed and purposeful; facilitate navigation and/or scanning of content; clarify site structure and/or product offering,

        ICON DESIGN: Are icons designed in a manner consistent with the overall aesthetics of the brand and the site? Do they stand out sufficiently to aid in scanning the page, or do they create a visual distraction? Do they detract from the brand?

    • Conversion Point (scored 1-3)
      1. Online form and/or offline click-to-call are absent or poorly designed and structured. Errors break the form and/or the layout.
      2. Online form and/or offline click-to-call are present and fairly well designed and structured. Form functionality is robust.
      3. Online form and/or offline click-to-call are very well designed and structured. Form adjusts to user needs (multi-step, expanding sections, etc)
        FORM DESIGN: Is the purpose of the form clear? Does the form appear intimidating and complicated? Is the form appropriately sized, or is too much squeezed into too small of a footprint? Are form fields labeled clearly and intelligibly? Are required fields marked appropriately? Are form fields appropriately sized for the text that needs to go into them? Are buttons readily identifiable as such? Does the form gel with the rest of the page design?


        FORM STRUCTURE: Is the sequence of form fields logical, and does it guide the user through the process of filling out the form? Are the appropriate form elements used (i.e., checkboxes vs radio buttons vs drop-downs).

        FORM FUNCTIONALITY: Are form fields large enough to click or tap into? Can form fields be tabbed between sequentially? Are there floating labels to guide the user about intended form field usage, and if so, do these disappear when the field is filled out, and reappear if the field is cleared? Are drop-downs functional and easy to select? Is the appropriate entry pre-selected in the drop-down? Are buttons identifiable as such and easily clickable? Do appropriate form errors display when the user causes a form error? Does the appropriate keyboard appear on mobile when the user selects a field (numerical vs text)? Is there a confirmation when the form has been correctly filled out?
    • Clarity (scored 1-3)
      1. Objectives of the page are unclear and page lacks features to explain funnel process. Conversion is confusing.
      2. Objectives of the page are implied and page sustains movement to the funnel. Conversion is a somewhat cohesive experience.
      3. Objectives of the page are very clear and page drives deliberate action to and through funnel. Conversion is simple and effortless.
    • Exit Links (scored 1-3)
      1. 50+ links on page, fully exposed, likely impacting conversion and interaction metrics negatively.
      2. 6-50 links on page, fully or partially exposed, possibly impacting conversion and interaction metrics somewhat negatively.
      3. 0-5 links on page or, if more, with visibility mitigated through design so as to not interfere with product research or conversion.
    • Features (scored 1-3)
      1. Page lacks any interactive features that aid users in finding the right product and/or offer, or such features are entirely inadequate.
      2. Page contains one or two interactive features that aid users in finding the right product and/or offer, and make the experience somewhat more purposeful.
      3. Page contains several useful interactive features that aid users in finding the right product and/or offer, and make the experience more purposeful.
  • C. CONTENT (scored 1-3 OR as an aggregate score 3-18)
    • Structure (scored 1-3)
      1. Site structure is unintuitive; subpages seem arbitrary and/or poorly aligned with user needs. Page structure is inadequate and presents content poorly.
      2. Site structure is acceptable or nonexistent; subpages align with user needs. Page structure is fair and presents content in a logical order.
      3. Site structure is purposeful; subpages drive user engagement. Page structure is good and presents content in a convincing order that drives conversions.

        SITE STRUCTURE: Do individual subpages correspond to actual user needs of similar weight and importance, or does the selection of subpages seem random or confusing?

        PAGE STRUCTURE: Is content grouped in a way that would make sense to users, and are those groupings placed in a meaningful order that facilitates user research? Is content arranged leading with the most important information? Does high level overview lead to increasing levels of detailed information

    • Messaging (scored 1-3)
      1. Messaging conflicts with the desired response and/or is inconsistent; product benefits and offer details are unconvincing; no sense of urgency is created.
      2. Messaging aligns with the desired response and/or is somewhat consistent; product benefits and offer details are clear; urgency is not stressed.
      3. Messaging supports and drives to the desired response; product benefits and offer details are convincingly presented; a sense of urgency is instilled in users.
    • Research (scored 1-3)
      1. Content does not facilitate research of products and offers; information is muddled; no RTBs; amount of copy is excessive or entirely inadequate.
      2. Content allows for research of products and offers; information is somewhat clear; some RTBs exist; copy may require some editing, or fleshing out.
      3. Content drives engagement and facilitates research of products and offers; information is clear and RTB:s convincing; amount of copy well balanced.
    • CTAs (scored 1-3)
      1. CTAs are inadequate or missing altogether; urgency is not communicated; benefits of and reasons for taking action not clear.
      2. CTAs are adequate but not compelling; urgency somewhat lacking; benefits of and reasons for taking action described but not felt.
      3. CTAs are strong and compelling; urgency is underlined; benefits of and reasons for taking action are emphasized, and drive action.

        CTA ADEQUACY: Do CTAs reflect actual user needs, do they describe consequences and benefits of actions, are they specific rather than generic, and are they persuasive and emphasize urgency?

    • Diversity (scored 1-3)
      1. Content lacks diversity; mostly text, possibly supported by a few images. Pages quickly become monotonous.
      2. Content demonstrates some diversity; mostly text and images but with a few other content categories (video, testimonials, social proof, infographics, etc).
      3. Content is rich and varied; many different forms of content drive engagement and highlight different aspects of the brand. the products and the offers.
    • Segmentation (scored 1-3)
      1. No visible sign of content being tailored to different audience segments.
      2. Some light tailoring of content to align with multiple audience segments; content for multiple segments may exist side-by-side.
      3. Well segmented user experience with separate pages and/or separate sections devoted entirely to and tailored for specific audience segments.
  • D. PERFORMANCE (scored 1-3 OR as an aggregate score 3-18)
    • Conversion (scored 1-3)
      1. Conversion complicated and/or tedious; only possible on select pages; limited conversion options (i.e., form or phone only); limited call center hours.
      2. Conversion manageable, requiring reasonable effort; more than one con-version point; more than one conversion option (i.e., form and phone).
      3. Conversion simple and quick; persistent across pages; several conversion options (i.e., form, phone , chat, etc); generous service availability.
    • Post-Conversion Activity (scored 1-3)
      1. No confirmation of next steps; no Thank You page; no follow-up emails or call-backs; poor continuity of consumer experience.
      2. Next steps outlined; Thank You message exists; follow-up emails or call-backs may exist but are not executed well; fair consumer experience continuity.
      3. Next steps well defined; good Thank You page; prompt and courteous follow-up emails and call-backs ; strong consumer experience continuity.
    • Search Engine Marketing (scored 1-3)
      1. No use of site links; poor search ad copy, questionable or no keyword bidding.
      2. Some site links; adequate search ad copy, average keyword bidding.
      3. Good use of site links; strong and compelling search ad copy, competitive keyword bidding.
    • Targeting (scored 1-3)
      1. Unsophisticated or no targeting; no or poor experience alignment with audience/keywords/geo/ other; no messaging variability by segment.
      2. Somewhat sophisticated targeting; experience aligned with audience/keywords/geo/other; some messaging variability by segment.
      3. Sophisticated targeting; experience optimized for audience/keywords/geo/ other; messaging varies by segment; consumer modeling in place.
    • Channel Optimization (scored 1-3)
      1. Natural Search site only.
      2. Natural Search site + Paid Search site.
      3. Natural Search site + Paid Search site + DR optimized.
    • Direct Response Best Practices (scored 1-3)
      1. Site not optimized to Direct Response best practices; path to conversion unclear; CTAs weak; webform poor or nonexistent; no contact number.
      2. Site aligned with DR best practices; path to conversion clear; CTAs fair; form adequately structured and placed; contact number poorly visible.
      3. Site is driving DR best practices; path to conversion clear and compelling; CTAs strong; form well structured and placed; contact number highlighted.
  • E. TECHNOLOGY (scored 1-3 OR as an aggregate score 3-18)
    • Front-End Functionality (scored 1-3)
      1. Interactive functionality (Javascript/jQuery) is unreliable and of questionable purpose; functionality performs poorly and may throw browser errors.
      2. Interactive functionality is workable and mostly serves a purpose; functionality performs as expected and errors are rare.
      3. Interactive functionality is sophisticated and purposeful; functionality performs well without errors, and adds value to the page.
    • Cross-Browser Compatibility (scored 1-3)
      1. Pages render inconsistently and functionality performs differently across browsers. Some browsers may be entirely unsupported.
      2. Pages render somewhat consistently across browsers and functionality performs as expected, with slight variations.
      3. Pages render elegantly in a consistent manner, and functionality is yielding intended results regardless of browser.
    • Load Time (scored 1-3)
      1. Pages load slowly (5+ sec) and reload unnecessarily.
      2. Pages load within an acceptable timeframe (3-5 sec) and only reload when absolutely necessary.
      3. Pages load fast (3 sec or less) and components are implemented to load as needed, without the need to reload the entire page.
    • Cross-Device Operability (scored 1-3)
      1. Same experience is served for different devices, with different bandwidth constraints and viewports.
      2. Different experiences are served for different devices, although these are not optimized for the device type, or for bandwidth constraints.
      3. Different, device-optimized experiences are served for different devices and  page loads are balanced based on bandwidth.
    • Front-End Development Best Practices (scored 1-3)
      1. Development best practices are violated; efficacy is poor; code is convoluted and/or not commented; code does not validate to any applicable standards.
      2. Some development best practices are observed; efficacy is fair; structure is acceptable; code follows some or most standards but is not ideal.
      3. Development best practices are followed; efficacy is observed; code is light and easily readable; code is in line with and validates to current standards.
    • Technical Execution (scored 1-3)
      1. Quality of technical execution is lacking; errors are frequent; would require complete rework.
      2. Quality of technical execution is fair; errors are few, some rework would be recommended.
      3. Quality of technical execution is good; no errors are apparent; minor touch-ups may be desirable
  • F. LAYOUT (scored 1-3 OR as an aggregate score 3-18)
    • Scannability (scored 1-3)
      1. Visual structure is poor; page is difficult to scan for cues; typography and/or visual elements do not facilitate scanning.
      2. Visual structure is acceptable; page can be scanned for cues; typography and/or visual elements aid in identifying pieces of content.
      3. Visual structure is good; page is easily scannable for cues; typography and/or visual elements provide ample clarity on how to digest the content.

        VISUAL STRUCTURE: Are columns and sections defined in a way that creates visual cohesion where needed, and visual separation where needed, in order for users to assimilate the content? Is the scale of the content well adapted to the available space, or does the content create visual noise that is hard to penetrate? ? Are the most granular levels of content arranged into larger groups in a manner that facilitates consumption of content? Does the visual structure help guide the eye through the page towards the desired actions, or does the visual structure create “roadblocks”?

    • Use of Space (scored 1-3)
      1. Page real-estate is utilized poorly; important content is given insufficient space whereas gratuitous elements take up unnecessary space.
      2. Page real-estate is utilized acceptably; important content is given sufficient space whereas gratuitous elements are few and use limited space.
      3. Page real-estate is utilized very well; important content is given a maximized amount of space and the page mostly lacks gratuitous elements.
    • Placement (scored 1-3)
      1. Placement of content and functional elements is poor; no clear paths of interaction; page hierarchy is weak; a majority of content requires scrolling.
      2. Placement of content and functional elements is fair; user paths are recognizable; page hierarchy is acceptable; limited content below the fold.
      3. Placement of content and functional elements is good; user paths are strong page hierarchy is clear; all vital content is arranged at the top.

        PATHS OF INTERACTION: Are actionable elements placed together with content in a progressive order, in an either horizontal or vertical “path”, where content creates interest and drives towards increasing levels of decisiveness, so that interaction follows naturally from the consumption of content?

    • Separation of Content (scored 1-3)
      1. Content is mixed together with poor integrity and unclear visible demarcation; page grid is undefined or violated; page elements contrast poorly.
      2. Content integrity is preserved and visible demarcation is fair; adherence to page grid is fair; page elements are relatively easy to separate.
      3. Content integrity is good with strong visible demarcation; page grid is applied consistently; page elements contrast well.
    • Whitespace (scored 1-3)
      1. Lack of, or poorly/unevenly applied whitespace, creating a cluttered impression, or visual emphasis where it is not desired.
      2. Adequate amounts of whitespace, creating a fair visual structure with purposeful visual emphasis in some cases.
      3. Well balanced amounts of whitespace, creating a clear visual structure with breathing room and purposeful visual emphasis that guides the eye.
    • Viewport Adaptation (scored 1-3)
      1. Poor utilization of available viewport size; content and design applied without responsive considerations; identical page layout served for all viewports.
      2. Fair utilization of available viewport size; content and design applied with some responsive considerations; separate mobile experience.
      3. Good utilization of available viewport size; content and design applied with full responsive alignment; mobile and desktop dynamically served with same code.

        UTILIZATION OF VIEWPORT SIZE: Do the content and design elements scale and re-organize to fit the available screen real-estate, or do they appear to be inappropriately sized, or shoe-horned in?

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