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How to conduct a Design Audit?

Duration

A design audit can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the scope and complexity of the project.

Complexity

Beginner

Contributors

UX designer, User researcher, Design manager, Product manager

A design audit is a regular check of different aspects of a UX including visual design, content, usage of components, functionality, etc.


When?

A design audit is typically conducted when an organization wants to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of its current design system.


Getting Started

A design audit is a process of evaluating and analyzing the effectiveness, efficiency, and consistency of a product’s design. The goal of a design audit is to identify areas where the design can be improved, to ensure that it meets user needs and is aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives.

During a design audit, various aspects of the design are examined, such as the layout, typography, color scheme, user interface, user experience, accessibility, and branding. The audit may be conducted by an internal team or by an external consultant with expertise in design. 


Why?

A design audit is needed to solve several problems: 

  • Outdated content

  • Incorrect user flows 

  • Missing/wrong graphics

  • Style guide inconsistency

  • Brand assets used incorrectly

  • Layout distortion

  • Copy errors

  • Wrong component used


How to?

To conduct a design audit, you can follow the below steps:

  1. Define scope and objectives: Determine what aspects of the design you want to evaluate, and what are your goals of the design audit.

  2. Gather relevant design materials: Gather all the design materials like user feedback, design guidelines, and analytics data that are relevant to the audit.

  3. Evaluate design against best practices: Review the design against industry best practices and design principles, and identify any areas where the design deviates from these standards.

  4. Evaluate user experience: Evaluate the user experience of the design, looking for any usability or accessibility issues.

  5. Analyze design consistency: Analyze the design consistency across different parts of the product, looking for any visual or functional inconsistencies.

  6. Evaluate branding: Evaluate the branding of your product, looking for any inconsistencies or areas for improvement.

  7. Document the findings: Document all the audit findings, including any issues or areas for improvement, as well as any best practices that the design is following.

  8. Develop recommendations: Develop recommendations for improving the design, based on the findings of the audit.

  9. Present the findings: Present the findings and recommendations to the design team or stakeholders, and work with them to implement any changes that are necessary.

  10. Follow up: Follow on the implementation of the changes to ensure that they have been properly executed and have resulted in the desired improvements. 



Do’s & Don'ts

Do’s

Don’ts

  1. Approach the audit with an open mind, and be willing to consider multiple perspectives.

  2. Focus on the user experience and how the design can be improved to meet their needs.

  3. Involve stakeholders and design team in the audit process, to ensure buy-in and support for any recommended changes.

  4. Prioritize the issues and areas for improvement that will have the greatest impact on the user experience and the organization’s goals.

  5. Document all the audit findings and recommendations, so that they can be referenced and tracked over time. 

  6. Follow up on the implementation of any recommended changes to ensure that they have been properly executed and have resulted in the desired improvements. 

  1. Don't focus solely on aesthetics, as the design needs to be functional and meet user needs first and foremost.

  2. Don't rely solely on personal opinions or preferences when evaluating the design, as this can lead to biases and subjectivity.

  3. Don't ignore the broader context in which the design is situated, such as the organization's goals, industry trends, and user expectations.

  4. Don't assume that all design issues can be fixed with minor tweaks or changes - some may require more significant overhauls.

  5. Don't be overly critical or negative in the audit findings, as this can demotivate the design team and stakeholders.

  6. Don't forget to communicate the value and benefits of the design audit and any recommended changes, to gain support and buy-in from stakeholders.

 


Templates 


Suggested Tools 

  • GoogleDocs

  • GoogleSlides

  • Office 365


References 


Other Related Best Practices

  • Basics of User Research

  • Usability Testing

  • Surveys

  • Interviews

  • User Journey Mapping


Only for CMS Backend, not seen on UI

Questions

  1. What is a Design Audit?

  2. When to Conduct a Design Audit?

  3. Who does the Design Audit?

  4. What is the benefit of doing a Design Audit?

  5. How much time does it take to do a Design Audit?