In the absence of evidence-based information, we look to the wisdom of the experts of the matter.
Also known as a cognitive walkthrough or a heuristic analysis, a Usability Audit is the method of having an experienced UX professional analyze the product for all possible potential pitfalls and problems, based on their understanding of the product, the business requirements, and the user needs.
The user centered design process is never successful without observing actual users using the product. However, in situations where it is impossible to find users to test with, an experienced UX professional may be able to identify potential problems with the product before launch, and recommend improvements. Usability Audits are no substitute for actual testing, but it does shed immense insight into where there is room for improvement in the product.
Heuristics are not specific usability guidelines, they are things I always keep in mind when evaluating a product, namely:
- Visibility of System Status
- User control and freedom
- Consistency and Standards
- Error prevention
- Recognition rather than recall
- Ease of use
- Error event communication, diagnosis and recovery
- Help and Documentation
To know about how I conduct my Usability Audit, you can check out my Usability audit for ONTRAPORT’s onboarding process.