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Design Audit

Design consistency has the power to influence the experience of users of any digital product. An inconsistently designed product can directly affect user trust and likability negatively. Design Audit for such inconsistent products comes into play here. It is considered as a preventive checkup of a digital product, performed by design experts to identify the deficiencies and the ideal experience.
In this design audit, we are thoroughly examining all elements of the key digital products used in the Northern Alliance region based on their objectives, metrics, and usability standards; then list down the areas of improvement and recommend solutions to improve the overall experience.
The core objective of conducting a design audit is to evaluate the interactions between a digital product and its users. These interactions come in a wide range and majorly influence the user experience or a product.

Tools Reviewed

Design audits played a significant role in the process of solving a larger problem focusing on improving education and reducing the poverty-related attainment gap in Scotland.
These design audits gave us various insights into the users' expectations, their ways of interaction with tools, and in evaluating these tools as per general design standards. As a part of design audit exercise we performed the evaluation for all five tools mentioned below:
  1. 1.
    Insight
  2. 2.
    SIMD
  3. 3.
  4. 5.
    SEEMiS
The audit took into consideration following criteria to comprehensively review each of the tools:
  • Previous Product Requirements : It becomes important to have all the possible details of a product’s background, its scope of use and the objective, since these details eventually help us understand why certain design decisions have been made the way they are. It also helps in writing up viable recommendations.
  • Stakeholder Interviews or User Surveys : As a part of the user research we end up collecting various comments & feedback for a product from the user itself. These comments & feedback can be categorized into likes, dislikes and improvinto ements. We can later segregate the similar findings and combine them into a single statement.
  • Visual Branding Audit : We must inspect and understand different design collateral (ads, social media posts, website- desktop & mobile versions, mobile apps, business cards etc.) that form important touch points for a customer to notice patterns and deviations. Evaluation of this material will help in recognizing inconsistencies in tone and voice that need to be normalized to seem more authentic as a brand.
  • Heuristics Evaluation : Heuristic evaluation is a thorough assessment of a product’s user interface, and its purpose is to detect usability issues that may occur when users interact with a product, and identify ways to resolve them. The heuristic evaluation process is conducted against a predetermined set of usability principles known as heuristics. The process relies on in-depth tests run by several usability experts at a time. Although there are numerous heuristics, the most commonly used criteria in usability inspection were developed by Jacob Nielsen in 1995, known as the Heuristics for User Interface Design.

Methodology

Our methodology for performing a design audit exercise involves analyzing all the design elements used across a digital platform/tool in order to ensure the usability measures branding is consistent across the channel.
Detailed documentation of the Design Audit Methodology can be found here.