UX analysis is a combination of guidelines and tactics to enhance a digital product’s ease of use and user flow in its entirety. A practical UX analysis can result in an actionable list of enhancements and tweaks that will show quantifiable progress to the product’s user experience once implemented. These may be higher user engagement, retention, and conversion rate improvements.
Identical to the many facets of a great UX design process, the key to an effective UX analysis is empathy. Empathy with users, their desires, wants, and the perspective of how they use a product (desktop machines at work or on-the-go mobile devices), their perceptions and expectations of the product, and so on.
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A user flow is the representation of a user’s needs and expectations as they use a product.
Although detailed user research forms the base of the design process in the initial stage, relating to users’ needs should be an ongoing process. The ideal way to gain and maintain empathy is in engaging with users optimally, whether it’s through managing customer support as a founder, user testing, or frequently engaging with users in alternative ways. This becomes particularly important when attempting to develop the usability of a digital product well beyond the initial takeoff. Increasing your sales and subscribers simultaneously is a game you need to be good at, and this is possible through Tada’s full-screen pop-ups, which are a foolproof way to increase and maintain them.
Naturally, a UX analysis is triggered when a product gets negative feedback from users. Some examples of adverse feedback are suboptimal data in the user analytics, bad reviews on the app store, negative results from a usability analysis, or poor performance from user testing. These might point to hitches existing within the user flow, and carrying out a UX analysis can reveal possible solutions.
UX analysis ought to be routine, especially after a big product release or update. This ensures that the entire user flow is not affected negatively.
Here are 10 simple steps for the ultimate user flow and UX test.
Preparation and Choosing a Success Metric
The first step is to study the user segments in a flow to evaluate, characteristically comparing the two common sections of returning users and new users. List out each section’s preconceptions, unique goals, and use cases. This step needs to be backed by other user research, like a previous usability study or observing data analytics results. Choose a success metric to analyze. Leverage every user analytics data available, usually from Google Analytics or MixPanel. Assess the conversion rates from one step to the other. Observe the obvious drop-offs or “bounce” from one screen to the other.
Whether it is a higher click-through on ads or lower form abandonment, make a note of the desired outcome through the present analytics data. Drop-off/conversion rates can be written between every screenshot to understand the most significant opportunities for enhancement in the user flow. This metric can help the design team authenticate any hypotheses articulated through the UX analysis procedure.
Prioritize Primary Use Cases
Give more importance to common use cases over edge cases. One way to apply this is to understand which user segments are more valuable for the whole performance, like user retention or overall revenue. An alternate way is to explain which user segment would entail the least effort resulting in the most progressive impact on the product’s complete performance.
Reflect on where the variation occurs in the user flow funnel and which change can have the highest growing impact on the product’s general health.
“Walk” the User Flow
Go through the user flow with each segment by producing a brand new account only if the segment is a new user. Ideally, it should be on a different/new device. In few cases, this is best done by going through the whole user flow after deleting the cache in the browser or deleting the app from the phone and reinstalling it. Record every step with a screenshot, although it might look quite subtle, for example, when an app encourages a user to permit notifications.
Display the screenshots like they are shown in the user flow on a Sketch Artboard or the equivalent, and make sure you include all the subtle steps, or at least print them out and consecutively tape them on a wall. The latter option is recommended as it lets the team look at it more holistically through a fresh set of eyes. The most significant thing to do is lay out the flow from a new user’s perspective and a returning user’s outlook.
UX Analysis and Studying User Expectations
Here is the fun part: picking apart the user flow considering each segment while also viewing it holistically. The key to performing this successfully is to question everything! Try to understand what the user sees and what they expect. Does every screen and step demonstrate what it is supposed to? Is the onboarding experience supportive? Is it clear to the user what is being asked of them to achieve their goal?
Sometimes, what an engineer or a designer perceives as obvious could be confusing or might go unnoticed by an average user. For supreme usability, menus, buttons, icons, etc., should influence common visual cues and metaphors that users are familiar with. Match the elements on the screen to places in the data showing significant spikes to confirm the UI clarity.
Appraise Usability Heuristics
In a heuristic evaluation, consider the basic shortcut. A heuristic evaluation is a compilation of design rules of thumb that rely on best practices, conventions, and standards to increase a product’s overall usability. These design principles include error prevention, i.e., minimizing slips or mistakes users could make. The goal is to keep all the usability heuristics in mind and ensure that the fundamental ones were considered.
Evaluate the Number of Steps in User Flows
Calculate the number of interaction steps it usually takes to accomplish each goal formerly defined for every segment; each hover, tap, and swipe needs to be counted as a step. Study how the complexity of the task and the number of steps affect a user. Everything needs to be questioned.
Assess the App Structure
Study the features in the app and how simple it is to switch from one feature to the other. This is especially important for few user segments and their goals. For instance, whatever users engage in the app could live in two or more divisions, even if switching between the two is irregular.
Take a note of how data objects, like items in a cart, notifications, and system preferences, are handled in various areas of the product. Are users spending quite a lot of time in one sector of an app and missing out on the significant notifications from the other? Are users losing the cart items when they press the “back” button and then deserting their cart in annoyance? Leveraging a customer journey could help align data analytics discoveries across multiple touchpoints in a product.
Measuring Success to Improve the Data
A UX analysis should be capable of revealing problem areas that need to be reconsidered to impact future design updates. The accomplishment of these updates can be gauged by comparing changes in user data and running consequent UX analysis.
Study the success metric the team analyzes and come up with a hypothesis on how to better it. The number of steps a user takes to finish a task often matches their satisfaction and the quality of the experience.
Centered on this hypothesis, the designer should redesign the signup process for fewer steps. Also, compare the number of steps present in the original flow to the reviewed and revised user flow. The team can then authenticate the hypothesis by evaluating any change in conversion rates with the fresher flow.
Simplify the Design
A great way to gauge success is to observe whether more elements were removed than added, like the entire screen or texts. A much simpler interface is generally easier and clearer to understand and utilize.
Adjust the Data Tracking
The final goal of UX analysis is to ascertain opportunities that could make quantifiable improvements to the product. As the design is updated, it is crucial to reassess user interaction occasions being tracked in the team’s data analytics tool, like conversions and clicks. When suitable, add new events to the tool to properly measure overall user retention differences and conversion once the changes are live.
The whole purpose of re-tackling a product’s user flow through the UX analysis is to improve that product measurably. This has to be done on a routine basis, especially after big releases, to avoid waking up one day to a cluttered and hard-to-use product.
Studying the product’s user flow and overall UX allows designers to discover pain points and frustrations, to walk a mile in the users’ shoes, and discover opportunities to improve the product’s overall user experience.