The 10 minute mobile audit that uncovers surprising insights into your user experience

Jennifer Armstrong / November 2017

Mobile consumers play to win: they expect to get what they need in a dash to carry out whatever task they have in that moment. Not clearing a path to the finish line might at best bump them temporarily out the funnel, and at worse deflect them someplace else entirely: 61% of consumers who visit a mobile unfriendly site are likely to go a competitor*. This quick mobile audit exercise from the Google Digital Academy helps you fix any gaps in your mobile experience, so you help people stay on-task and get things done.

It’s surprisingly easy to have blind spots when it comes to your mobile experience, even though as a marketer you know it inside out. The Google Digital Academy’s Advanced Research & Development Lead, Julian Kramer, takes us through this common challenge.

‘When we work with clients we often see that they’re experts on their web experiences, but in practice what’s running isn’t optimally geared to serving their consumers’ needs. Unexpected friction in the form of poorly organised information, frustrating sign-up processes and complicated, multi-step journeys can all hinder conversion.

That’s why we built this health check exercise. It’s something we run all the time in consultative workshops with our customers, and you can use it too in order to identify any and all moments here your users are getting lost or stuck. The results and data you collect will then steer your streamlining efforts.’’

"Poorly organised information, frustrating sign-up processes and complicated, multi-step journeys can all hinder conversion"

– Julian Kramer, Advanced Research & Development Lead, Google Digital Academy

Three steps to success:

This 3-step mobile audit exercise is designed to put your team squarely in the consumer mindset. It takes only 10 minutes to complete and can give you a sense of how things are really working so you can take action. It works as an individual or group activity, and there are 3 different scenarios to work through as you go:

  • Scenario 1: Try to find more information about a particular product category and specific product
  • Scenario 2: Try to purchase the product
  • Scenario 3: Try to speak to sales support

So here are the 3 exercise steps. Note down your findings:

1. Search for your product category or related terms to answer this set of questions (4 mins)

Don’t be tempted to jump straight to your brand keywords: you want to speak the same language as your customers, so use the search terms they would. If they didn’t know what your product is called, what would they search for? If you need some ideas, head to Google Trends so you can mirror real-world searches. If your own product doesn’t show up, stick with it and follow the results and information you get.

Here are a couple of questions you can ask yourself along this journey:

  • How many taps did you count to get to the information you wanted?
  • Were you redirected properly to a mobile-optimised site?
  • Once you landed, was it clear where to go next?
  • If there are offline stores, does it tell you the location of the nearest one?
  • Did you get all the information you needed in order to make a purchase?
  • How easy was it to get deeper questions answered?
  • How long does it take get to the purchase, and how easy is check-out?
  • How easy was it to enter information? At what stage were you required to provide it?
  • What’s holding you back or frustrating about this experience?

2. Now branch out to large-scale consumer apps (3 mins)

Repeat the exercise with mainstream apps and platforms that attract large numbers of users such as Maps, Play Store or your favourite social network. Jot down your findings.

3. Cross over to your website (3 mins)

What’s the usability like? Are there clear calls to action to keep you on-task? What are the hurdles? Write down anything that comes up.

10 minutes are up! Next, you either want to collate your findings or bring everyone together to collectively share them. Once you have your data in place and know what you need to do to remedy where you’re falling short, it’s time to make a now-next-long plan to prioritise the action items. Give speed and ease the edge: start with what you could fix quickly, who you’d need to engage to do it and any other considerations to factor in, such as budget.

Big ticket improvements or tests might require additional resources. Look for stats to back your pitch, or consider running one of these mobile audit sessions with potential C-level supporters.

Consumers are just as goal-orientated as the brands they look to in order to accomplish them. Use this quick-fire exercise to check in regularly and ensure firsthand if your mobile experience remains fit for purpose.

As consumer decision-making gets more complex, automation helps to simplify