A usability audit is an analysis of the usability of the product interface by a usability expert. In the process of the usability audit, the specialist evaluates the interface based on the description of the target audience of the interface users and their aims for the product (scenarios of product usability). The usability audit shows how well the product corresponds to user expectations and outlines the problems of the interface.
A usability audit is a more subjective method than the usability test. The expert does not disseminate a questionnaire to real users but makes predictions based on his or her own knowledge and experience of what problems the users may possibly encounter during their work with the system interface.
This service would be most beneficial when the time frames for conducting the test are very short, the budget is limited, or when it is difficult to find the target audience for conducting the usability test.
An expert evaluation of a tourist portal’s mobile interface regarding a big city in a country of 150 million (a current non-profit project) was conducted upon the request of the city IT Department. The application was created within the frames of the city information portal development strategy and was aimed at a wide audience: both the citizens and the city’s guests.
Because of that, it was very important to the client that the interface was ergonomic and attractive for the users. Deviations from these requirements could lead to a loss of application users and additional financial costs for reworking the design and the application’s structure. A usability audit of the mobile tourist portal project was carried out in order to minimize those risks. A number of defects and mobile application standard deviations were discovered within the frames of the project.
The defects considerably lowered the convenience and speed of interacting with the application. For instance, the application had a complex navigation system and lacked graphical data.
The recommendations on interface redesign that brought it into conformity with mobile application design requirements were based on the results of the usability audit. This allowed us to greatly improve the application ergonomics and to raise satisfaction with the application in general.