Every brand wants its site to look outstanding and offer a seamless user experience (UX). No matter how functional your website may be, the thing that’s really going to draw users in is its design. People are attracted to website designs that let them easily explore your pages. If your website has a great design, you’ll likely experience a much lower bounce rate and increased session rates.
Of course, certain must-have site features are affected by trends that come and go, so it’s important to be aware of what’s new and what’s no longer effective. If your website isn’t engaging enough people, you may have fallen into an out-of-date design that’s no longer appealing to audiences.
Then again, design goes beyond your website. Great design efforts throughout your digital marketing strategy ensure the best outcome. So, how do brands determine what design features would work for them and where their site may need a little touching up?
One way we do this is through design and brand audits. Conducting an audit helps digital marketing agencies identify weak points and explore how experts can help build a brand. Here is everything you need to know about the importance of design audits and how to conduct one for the best results.
What is a Website Design Audit?
When you conduct a design audit, you’re checking up on your brand by ensuring the business is expressing itself consistently across all platforms or channels. This, of course, includes the website but will also take into account social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
During a design audit, your digital marketing agency and its design team will accumulate and review all branding elements related to your company. It’s imperative to look at everything, not just your company’s website.
Why Should You Conduct a Design Audit?
Don’t be scared by the word “audit.” We know it can be daunting, but they’re extremely beneficial for brands looking for a little boost. If your company is growing and expanding, it’s a sign that you should conduct a design audit to ensure consistent messaging across the internet.
The bottom line: Users don’t like inconsistencies. If your business’s visual style is starting to get lost or feels confusing, your brand positioning will soon follow suit. Plus, if your UX isn’t on point, your conversion rates will drop. All of these things go hand in hand and explain why it’s a good thing to conduct a brand audit.
If things keep changing or your brand lacks cohesion, the audience will likely become irritated or turned off. Additionally, your brand will become harder and harder to recognize, which can cause a big hit to your bottom line.
How to Conduct a Design Audit
Now that you understand the importance of a design audit, let’s explore how your brand can work with a digital marketing agency to conduct one.
Explore Your Visual Branding
Gather all of your design assets, including ads, social media posts, the desktop and mobile versions of your website, letterheads, business cards, T-shirts, webinar slides – everything!
What you want to do at this point is study the collateral for deviations from your brand’s patterns. Are the right logo files being used everywhere? Is the quality of graphics what you expect your brand to present? Is your website optimally functional?
Tone, Voice, and Messaging
Examine the actual content you’re presenting, including written, audio, and visual content. Make sure the tone, voice, and messaging are on point and consistent. Be sure to make notes where you see any deviations. Also, look for any places where your brand has evolved and no longer fits outdated messaging.
Take a Look at Usability and Accessibility
You should also include a heuristic evaluation as part of your process. This will focus on how usable or accessible your site or app is. These are imperative elements for a good user experience. Usability issues will cause a negative perception of your company, even something as seemingly minor as a broken link can cause audiences to run to your competitors. Accessibility issues, such as missing alt tags or low contrast between text and the pages’ backgrounds, can also put a bad taste in users’ mouths.
Consult a Digital Marketing Agency With Expertise in Design
Let us take over! Conducting a design audit yourself can be difficult, and having a design expert’s insight can make all the difference. Our design team knows exactly what to look for and will work to provide solutions that matter. Touch base with us to learn how we can incorporate brand consistency and outstanding user experiences today!