UX Audit of the Mobile App – Proven Way to Solve Usability Problems

UX Audit of the Mobile App – Proven Way to Solve Usability Problems

It seems that everything should work perfectly. New users install the app, and testers don’t report any critical bugs. And yet, the conversion rate drops down. What can you do to achieve better results?

Start with preparing a UX audit of your mobile app.

What will you find out from such an analysis? Check how it should help you solve problems with your product.


  • A UX audit is a valuable tool to improve the performance and user experience of a mobile app. It involves analyzing the app from a UX perspective, focusing on usability and compliance with design best practices. The audit also considers the emotions users feel when interacting with the app.
  • By conducting a UX audit, you can identify elements of the app that negatively impact conversions and discover solutions to these problems. The audit provides data that can inform your product development strategy and helps you avoid errors in the future.
  • There are two scenarios in which you should consider a UX audit. Firstly, if you have an existing app that is technically sound but experiencing issues such as low user engagement or fewer conversions. The audit will help you pinpoint the causes of these problems and provide solutions. Secondly, if you are working on an unreleased app, conducting a UX audit before launch ensures it is user-friendly and increases the chances of a positive reception.
  • Key elements of a UX audit report include basic information about the app and target audience, methodology used, descriptions of observed problems, recommendations for improvements, and information about problem severity and urgency.
  • To ensure a successful UX audit, it is important to gather elementary information about your business goals, product objectives, and data collection practices.

What is a UX audit of the mobile app?

It’s the analysis of the mobile app from the UX perspective. In such a report, the focus is on usability. One of the goals is to verify compliance with UX design good practices. Audits also concentrate on the emotions that users feel when interacting with the app. It all allows us to determine why this product doesn’t get you closer to achieving your goals.

Benefits of the User Experience audit

UX report gives you answers to basic questions regarding your app:

  • Why is user behavior different than expected?
  • What could be changed to improve the user experience?

Thanks to the audit, you should:

  • find out what elements of the app have a negative impact on conversions,
  • get to know the solutions to detected problems,
  • obtain the data that will allow you to create a better product development strategy,
  • realize what errors must be avoided in the future,
  • observe the increase in conversions and user engagement as a result of the implemented changes.

When should you think about this audit?

When you already have the mobile app. You know that technically it works well, but you notice some alarming signals. For example, smaller user engagement, lower average cart value, a bigger number of sessions without conversions, etc.

The report helps you determine what causes such problems and how to solve them. It will also come in handy when you know that many elements need changes, but you’re not sure where to start.

When you work on an app that hasn’t been published yet. It’s best to make sure beforehand that it’s user-friendly. The audit will make that possible. This way, you increase the chances that your product will be welcomed with positive reactions.

Key elements of the UX audit

The structure of the reports can differ in every project, but many of them will include the following elements.

  • Basic info about the app and the target audience.
  • Short description of the methodology used.
  • The descriptions of the observed problems and other elements that require changes.
  • Recommendations for improvements along with the descriptions of the expected results.
  • Info about the importance of the problem – it indicates how alarming the issue is (critical errors, slightly important, or cosmetic) and how soon the changes should be made.
  • Info about the elements that perform well and don’t need any additional work.
  • User journey chart with indicated moments when users feel such emotions as, for example, enthusiasm, joy, frustration, confusion, etc.
  • Suggestions regarding the analytics (e.g., metrics, reporting).

Not every change can be implemented right away. Time isn’t always our friend, and the budget can be limited. That’s why, in our audits, you will find two improvement plans – the full one and the basic one. The first plan covers the implementation of all recommended changes.

The basic version focuses only on critical problems. Its execution requires less time and financial resources. It will get you closer to your goals, but it won’t be as effective as the full plan.

The elementary info needed for the report

If the UX audit is supposed to bring you satisfying results, we need to know what your expectations are. That’s why, at the beginning, we will ask you some questions regarding your business goals, product objectives, and the data you collect.


  • Why do you need this report? What kind of answers would you like to get?
  • Was there ever created a UX report or technical audit? What actions have been undertaken as a result?
  • What business goals must the app help you achieve?
  • Who are your most important competitors?

 App and users

  • What are the app’s main features?
  • What problem does it solve?
  • Who should be the app’s target group? Do you have any user personas?
  • Which user flows are the most important ones?
  • Do you have any initial assumptions concerning the usability issues?

Data and research

  • Do you use any analytical tools (e.g., Google Analytics for Firebase)? Are there any reports based on the data collected this way?
  • How do you measure conversions? Do you have any KPIs?
  • Have you ever conducted usability testing, user interviews, or user surveys?
  • Does the customer service or sales department collect any information regarding the issues raised by users?

Data analysis

The author of the audit gets familiar with the reports provided by the client and looks into the available analytics tools. Based on this data, it’s easier to determine what causes certain problems and what parts of the app require more attention. It’s a good base to formulate hypotheses that will be then verified during the app’s analysis.

Qualitative and quantitative data

Quantitative data tells us what people do in the app. You collect such information, for example, with analytics tools.

Qualitative data allows us to better understand user behavior and the emotions that using the app evokes. In order to obtain such information, you need to talk to the actual users – observe how they interact with the product, and try to get to know them better.

Quantitative data: 78% of users abandon the cart when choosing the delivery method.
Qualitative data: A user taps the cart icon several times because they believe more delivery options should appear. When this doesn’t happen, they get back to the main view, looking for information about the delivery. It brings no results, so the user leaves the app.

Obtaining qualitative data takes more effort, so we often rely mostly on quantitative data. As a result of the audit, we sometimes recommend conducting qualitative UX research, for example, usability tests or user interviews, to make sure we correctly understand people’s way of thinking.

Competitor analysis

The more we know about your industry standards, the better. That’s why we’d like to get a closer look at the competitors’ apps. If your company doesn’t have any reports about them, we can prepare the competitor analysis for you. It would help us understand what makes your product different from the alternatives and what users expect from such products. In any case, we’d like you to prepare a list of benchmarks worth our attention.

Other sources of info

Persona profile – it tells us more about your target users: their motivations, goals, and problems. We need to know the people that you try to reach with digital products so we can look at the software with their perspective in mind.

The app’s style guide – shows us what are the assumptions and principles regarding the app’s aesthetics. When auditing the app, such information helps us determine whether the consistency has been maintained.

Industry reports – they enable us to get familiar with the environment you operate in.

How do we check the app?

Cognitive walkthrough

User experience audit is usually based on the cognitive walkthrough. What does this mean? One person takes up the user’s role and performs tasks needed to achieve a goal in the app. In the case of eCommerce apps, this could be searching for products, adding them to the cart, going through the shopping path, etc. Based on the cognitive walkthrough, it’s possible to determine what problems cause the app’s poor performance.

It shows us, for example, to what extent people understand how some elements in the app work. Do they see all the available options? When do they feel confused? Do they know they’re getting closer to their goal? This method allows us to notice the moments when the user experience isn’t as positive as expected. As a result of this activity, we sometimes prepare a chart that shows what emotions accompany users at each stage when they use the app.

Heuristic analysis

When creating the report and going through the cognitive walkthrough scenarios, we also focus on Jakob Nielsen’s usability heuristics. These are the main principles used in UX design. Heuristic evaluation helps us see whether the app meets the basic requirements regarding usability. They have a huge impact on the way people interact with the app.

Control list

In the case of certain industries, we also rely on the audit checklist created especially for one type of app (e.g., eCommerce). Such control lists allow us to spot usability issues faster.

Examples of the app elements checked in the audit

What exactly do we inspect? It all depends on what the app is for. In every UX audit, different elements are important. Nevertheless, we usually analyze:

  • Navigation
  • Information architecture
  • Feature’s performance and their level of complexity
  • The clarity in the way of content presentation
  • Compliance with requirements for Material Design (Android) and Human Interface Guidelines (iOS)
  • Cohesion – regarding the Tone of Voice and aesthetics

Why is it best to outsource UX audit?

Last, but not least, we need to make it clear why the UX designer who worked on your app shouldn’t be the one who audits it. If you want reliable findings, the author of the UX audit report cannot be the person who’s taken part in this app’s development. It should be someone who doesn’t know why some things were implemented in a certain way. The distance from the project is crucial.

It must also be a specialist with vast knowledge of UX and UI design. It’s vital to know the standards that make the apps functional and user-friendly.


Hopefully, this article will help you make the right decision regarding your mobile app. It’s better to be safe than sorry. That’s the reason why we often recommend UX audits to make sure that the product meets the usability standards. If needed, we also conduct code audits as well. Drop us a line if you’d like to know more about our approach to this task.

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Justyna Zielonka

Content Marketing Manager

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