In our introductory article to UX audit for ecommerce businesses, we explored its significance, benefits, and the essential steps to perform one successfully. However, the process can still seem overwhelming and difficult to grasp in its entirety by stakeholders. That is why in this article, we’re created the ultimate UX audit checklist in order to make the process more accessible. Our comprehensive guide, which includes recommended tools and best practices, will help you formulate a strategic approach to enhance your ecommerce website’s overall user experience.
Ecommerce UX Audit Checklist Categories
It is important to carefully plan your ecommerce UX audit, as this makes the execution the easiest part of the process. The key is to categorize your UX audit into primary areas, helping you focus on key aspects that impact the ecommerce user journey. We would recommend first evaluating the areas that impact the entire website, then reviewing the specific pages of your site to determine if they fulfil the purpose intended.
UX Audit Checklist Part 1: Areas Impacting the Entire Website
UX Audit Checklist Part 2: Ecommerce Page Usability and Functionality
- Home Page
- Category Page / Product Listing Page
- Product Page
- Landing Page
- Cart Page
- Checkout Page
- Account Page
Now, let’s go through the checklist for each of the areas mentioned above.
- Ensure plain, clear, and simple language.
- Consistently use language and tone understood by your target audience.
- Keep content useful, up-to-date, and avoid excessive or unnecessary text that does not contribute to the user’s understanding of the content or task at hand.
- Use descriptive titles and headings.
- Make content scannable with short paragraphs, descriptive headings, lists, and images.
- Maintain adequate contrast between text and background.
- Utilize color and weight to emphasize words and sentences.
- Incorporate visual content (such as infographics or charts) for complex concepts.
- Avoid cryptic abbreviations and explain acronyms when used.
- Audio or video doesn’t start automatically, unless the user expects it.
- Users can control the speed of an audio / video (Stop, Start, Pause, etc.).
- Use terms that are familiar to your users.
- Describe value in labels whenever possible (e.g. “Free Trial”).
- Maintain consistency in language across label types (tone, tense, word count, etc.).
- Keep labels visually distinct from content and data.
- Ensure page titles, breadcrumbs, and form labels are clear and match navigation paths.
- Support common devices, browsers, and screen resolutions. The Valido App can help you test the visual presentation and functionality of your ecommerce across the most popular devices in the market.
- Avoid horizontal scrolling.
- Maintain consistent page layouts.
- Arrange information to match user expectations.
- Use pop-up windows judiciously.
- Avoid distracting (blinking or flashing) animations.
- Enable user control over layout and text size.
- Provide support based on user expertise (e.g. shortcuts to forms for expert users, wizards for new users).
- Ensure consistent visual styles.
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Navigation / Search
- Clearly indicate the user’s location in the website through page titling and breadcrumbs.
- Indicate how the user got to his location and where he can go.
- Maintain consistent navigation location and styling.
- Use clear and understandable navigation labels.
- Address common user goals in navigation structure (e.g. provide shipping or payment details).
- Offer flexible navigation options such as search, menu browsing, filter by most recent, etc.
- Use friendly and descriptive URLs.
- Implement your site’s search functionality effectively.
- Ensure search is available on every page.
- Label calls to action (CTAs) clearly.
- Use verbs for actions (e.g. Save, Register, Add, Submit).
- Ensure interactive elements are familiar to users.
- Provide user control over interactive content.
- Maintain consistency in UI responsiveness (e.g. buttons behave consistently to user actions in terms of visual display and functionality).
- Prioritize frequently used features.
- Avoid destructive default actions (e.g. don’t make “Delete” the default option).
- Support standard browser functions such as Back, Forward, Copy, Paste.
- There are no broken links.
- The UI responds to a user’s actions or requests visually (onscreen message).
- Users can easily undo, go back and change or cancel actions — or are given the chance to confirm an action before committing (e.g. before placing an order).
- Confirmation is required when an action is destructive (Delete) or when it is difficult or impossible to undo.
- Inform users about the status when performing tasks.
- The UI provides feedback to let the user know his/her request is being processed (especially when there is a possible delay).
- Error messages are visually distinct from labels/data and appear in an appropriate location.
- Error messages are concise, written in easy to understand language and describe what’s occurred and what action is necessary.
- Common user errors (e.g. missing fields, invalid formats, invalid selections) have been taken into consideration and where possible prevented or suggestions provided.
- Users are able to easily recover from errors (i.e. not have to start again).
- Include only necessary questions in forms.
- Avoid lengthy drop-down menus when possible (the user should be able to input text which is validated at the back-end).
- Divide complex processes into manageable steps.
- Clearly indicate required and optional fields.
- Use common terms for field labels (e.g. Name, Address).
- Provide guidance and examples for specific formats (e.g. password that requires character minimum and must contain a symbol).
- Help and instructions and provided when necessary.
- Follow expected data selection conventions (e.g. radio buttons when only one choice can be made, check box when multiple selections can be made)
- Display form field error messages next to the related input field.
- Form field error messages include suggestions for correcting the error.
- Form submission is confirmed in a visually distinct manner.
- Users are not automatically taken anywhere else in the site after submitting a form, except to a confirmation page.
- Information is visually organized and presented in order of importance to the user.
- Reflect user information priority in visual hierarchy (e.g. name > price > description > additional features)
- Clearly direct users to the first or next required action.
- Use CTAs as primary visual content elements.
- Group functionally and contextually related items together.
- Utilize negative space to help the user scan, identify grouped/ related content and separate unrelated items.
- Maintain consistency in visual presentation – similar types of information should be presented in similar, consistent ways.
- Use a consistent color scheme throughout your website.
- Ensure that colors are not over-saturated and fatigue the eye.
- Contrast should be used as the primary mechanism for establishing visual priority/hierarchy.
- No more than two distinct font families should be used.
- Font size and weight is used to differentiate between content types (e.g. Headings, subheadings, paragraphs).
- Font styles, sizes and weights are used consistently throughout every screen.
- Provide alt attributes for all non-text elements, except if they are for decorative purposes.
- Use captions and transcriptions for audio and video.
- Avoid relying on color alone for conveying information.
- Ensure content readability without style sheets.
- The site can be navigated with a keyboard, without using a mouse or trackpad.
- Preserve browser keyboard shortcuts.
- Ensure clickable elements are easily accessible (e.g. user can select a check box by clicking the text as well as the check box).
- Support keyboard operation for all controls.
- Coordinate keyboard-based navigation with screen reader keystroke assignments.
Our article on accessibility not only covers these checks in detail, but also provides practical steps to improve your ecommerce site’s accessibility.
The home page is often the first point of contact for visitors and plays a pivotal role in setting the tone for their entire journey on your ecommerce website. To effectively audit the home page UX, consider these critical areas:
- Branding – Ensure that you are displaying your key brand messages on this page.
- Navigation menu – Make sure that you are providing enough ways for users to find the products they are looking for.
- Hero section – The loading of the Hero banner / section is usually one of the most critical factors of a website’s performance. To learn how to optimize it, read this article.
- Include testimonials or customer reviews if available / possible.
Category Page / Product Listing Page
Category pages help users navigate and explore various product options. Focus on the following:
- Filters and sorting options: Are they available on the category page? Do they help narrow choices down effectively?
- Product cards: Are product names, descriptions, prices, and images clear and informative?
- Check if CTAs are strategically placed on product cards. Users should find it convenient to take action, such as adding items to the cart.
The product page is where the final purchasing decision is often made. Pay attention to elements such as:
- Product Title: Ensure it’s clear, descriptive, and matches user expectations.
- Product Images: Verify high-quality visuals that showcase the product, and provide 360 degree and zoom in/out viewing options if possible / relevant.
- Product Videos: Assess if they enhance product understanding.
- Product Descriptions: Check for informative and concise content.
- Product Reviews and Ratings: Evaluate their quality and relevance.
- Product Variants: If applicable, assess options and ease of selection.
- Cross-Sell Blocks: Review their relevance and placement.
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Landing pages serve a different purpose than product pages and require unique UX considerations. When auditing landing pages, keep these best practices in mind:
- Exclude a navigation bar.
- Focus on a single goal.
- Keep it straightforward.
- Include customer reviews.
- Maintain visual consistency with your website theme.
Focus on potential design flaws on the cart page to prevent potential cart abandonment. Key areas to consider include:
- Notify customers when the item is added to the cart.
- Customize the cart page design.
- Use attractive and bold CTAs.
- Add upselling and cross-selling options where possible.
A poorly optimized checkout page can lead to cart abandonment. Ensure a smooth and convenient UX during checkout by evaluating areas in the checkout such as:
- Ensure all instructions are explicit and easy to follow.
- Streamline form fields and make data entry efficient.
- Provide transparency in pricing as much as possible to avoid surprises.
- Simplify steps in the checkout process and minimize user effort.
- Privacy Concerns: Address data security and reassure users about their information.
When conducting an audit of the Account Page for improved User Experience (UX), focus on:
- User-Friendly Layout: Ensure the layout is intuitive, and users can easily find account-related actions.
- Clear Navigation: Provide straightforward links or buttons for account settings, orders, and profile management.
- Data Security: Assure users of data privacy and security measures.
- Personalization: Offer options for users to customize their account settings and preferences.
Key Takeaways For a Successful UX Audit
In this article, we’ve covered various aspects of conducting a UX audit for your ecommerce website. Each of these aspects holds significance and can significantly impact not only your users’ experience, but also your sales growth and business scalability.
This comprehensive UX audit checklist can help you kickstart a systematic approach to improve your ecommerce website’s user experience. Nevertheless, it is also important to consider that there are other important audit areas such as performance, security, and benchmarking which also contribute to the overall success of an online store.
Valido’s Enterprise Audit service enables stakeholders and online business owners to achieve maximum value for their ecommerce by connecting strategy, technology, and transformation to keep up with evolving market demands.
If you have any doubts or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to provide you with the solutions you need for a successful UX audit.
Digital UX, writing about the latest ecommerce trends.