What should you decide to do once things start to get slightly out of control in your life and you’re not sure if you’re on the right track? Take a seat and evaluate the situation, consider your priorities, and choose the next step to decide to take. In the design field, we refer to this as a design audit.
Today, we’ll explore what a design audit is, the reasons and times you should conduct one, and look at some of the most effective techniques to use when you choose to perform one yourself.
What is a design audit?
The first and most important thing to remember is that the design audit is a thorough review of all design elements used by a brand or business. The process is usually conducted when there’s an occasion to show a comprehensive review of a brand identity design – for example, planning a rebranding new management, glaring inconsistencies, etc. Its purpose is to ensure that the brand’s ideas, experiences, and communications are uniform and consistent throughout all media and channels.
This is why a thorough audit will be able to evaluate the general tone of voice and messages.
We’ll concentrate on the visual aspects of a design audit; however, a thorough audit must comprise all the elements that make up an experience for users.
If guidelines for branding are in place, an audit will determine whether or not each element and the overall image of the brand are on the right track.
Why should you conduct a design audit?
If your brand’s visual style is lost or unclear, branding, positioning, sales, and mindshare follow this downward spiral. In addition, if your UX isn’t uniform, your conversion rates will become low, your support team is constantly receiving the same queries, and your communication architecture will become confused.
Users don’t like inconsistencies. It’s irritating when things are constantly changing or not consistent and, therefore, difficult to spot. Everyone doesn’t want to be confronted with issues that cause them to feel annoyed.
Inconsistencies typically begin as your business expands and hires new designers; however, it doesn’t have a design process. It’s the truth that it doesn’t have to be this way.
An audit of design is similar to a spellchecker for design and branding communication. You’re likely to have looked at an article that could be amazing but was a mess of apparent mistakes in grammar or spelling. It was difficult not to question the writer, editor, or news outlet. It’s a similar user’s experience when they encounter a faulty design element or a broken UX that can cause them to be frustrated when they use an online or digital product.
You should audit your design when you realize several things are going on and designers or teams start wandering in different directions. It’s the perfect moment to begin because the differences aren’t huge enough to be manageable.
Requesting or conducting an audit of design is nothing to be embarrassed about. This doesn’t mean that you’ve made a mistake that needs to be rectified. Instead, it indicates that your company or brand is improving or evolving and that you are committed enough to ensure it stays on the right path.
The audit can be conducted by yourself, but it’s generally recommended to contract it out to an independent third party and receive results that do not have anything related to internal thinking or political opinions. Designers in-house are typically too closely associated with the product to be impartial, and that’s the primary purpose of an audit.
Benefits of a design audit
When you conduct an audit, you’ll discover and remove UX mistakes, build your brand and gain a more excellent knowledge of it.
The limitation and curating of forms and buttons across all platforms may appear insignificant, but these minor tweaks add up. When you have fixed many tiny performance issues and inconsistencies, the user’s experience will dramatically improve, influencing your company’s bottom revenue.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that you can expect:
You’ll notice where some inconsistencies and channels aren’t achieving the quality you want or are not adhering to the brand’s guidelines. An audit of design isn’t only about fixing various aspects but also comprehending its processes and identifying areas where it could be improved to improve your brand’s image in the future.
A brand that resonates with its users
It is essential to consider your research on users and the target personas when conducting an audit of your design, particularly when you’ve gained new knowledge. This way, you’ll be able to enhance your brand’s image and communicate with reliable information instead of relying on assumptions. A brand that can connect with its audience is always more successful than those that don’t.
Every brand tries to attain a solid identity and a firm place on the market. Reviewing and improving the factors that influence it can ensure that your company isn’t squandered because of a crisis in its identity.
Consistent textual and visual communication can make a brand more known, trustworthy, and reliable to its customers. It’s one of the pillars of a successful brand marketing strategy and the primary goal of an audit of design.
Increase your profits
In the final analysis, it’s impossible to ignore income. But does a design audit warrant the effort? Do you see a return on your investment?
You’ll help people understand your product quicker by improving your communications and value-added proposition.
You’ll boost sales by identifying and eliminating UX imperfections in the purchase journey and improving conversion rates.
Therefore, a design audit and the results of the improvements could be done correctly, improving the amount of money you earn.