Dec 7, 2020, Design

Practical guide to classify errors in UX Audit

Dorota Grzesiczek UX designer

UX Audit is a quick and effective way to verify the usability of a product. It gives an opportunity to look at it from a different perspective, and thus obtain objective evaluation and valuable recommendations. However, sometimes clients can be overwhelmed when receiving an extensive document full of indicated errors and fixing proposals. How can we help them get through the report and make it more handy?

Most desirable output

Usability audit is all about checking the correctness of the interactions between the product and the user as well as analysis of the provided experiences. But what is its most desirable output? Valuable and viable recommendations. 

Basically, clients need to know the answers to the following questions:

  1. What should they do to make their products better and thus increase users’ satisfaction?
  2. Which areas of the product are the weakest and require most work?
  3. Which corrections should be introduced in the first place?

Data overflow

There is a risk that the clients will feel overwhelmed by the amount of data in UX audit, reading descriptions of dozens of errors and recommendations. What they mostly need is some kind of a guideline which will help them understand what is the main problem area and what has the highest priority. 

What can be helpful to prepare a valuable report, easy for interpretation? Classification of identified problems in two dimensions – category and priority.

Proper errors classification helps:

  1. Group the errors and make the report neater.
  2. Identify the main problem area and indicate the direction of product redefinement.
  3. Prepare a to-do list for design and development changes.

Let’s classify!

You checked all the most important user paths, did the heuristic evaluation, identified all the errors or pain points, and then listed them. Here comes the classification part.


First, classify the usability errors by category. We prefer to divide them in four groups:  

  • technical – system errors (e.g. element does not work properly)
  • functional – errors related to functionality of the product (e.g. a component works in the way that is not intuitive for a user, lack of button, lack of information about process status)
  • visual – errors related to visual part of the interface (e.g. element’s color is inadequate to its state or purpose, illegibility of the content)
  • conceptual – complex errors that require reconstruction of the part of the product structure (e.g. lack of a key function, illogical or too complicated user path)


Parallelly, classify the same errors according to the degree of impact on the users’ experience:

  • critical – have a significant impact on the user experience – may result in resignation from further use of the product; require immediate fix
  • important – moderately influencing the user experience; need to be fixed, but are not a priority
  • minor –  they are noticeable, but do not have a significant effect on the product functioning; they have the lowest priority


Make a matrix of the problems classified by category and priority. Take a look at the example below:

PROBLEMSCritical   ImportantMinorTOTAL

Then, according to problems classification, try to interpret the data and draw some conclusions: 

  1. Most problems (eleven) are related to the functional part of the product. Two of them are critical and four classified as important. It means something went wrong with the process of designing the user flows and functionalities. The client should pay more attention to the UX design process.
  2. Five errors are related to the visual part of the interface. They are mostly minor, so there is nothing to worry about.
  3. Two of the problems are conceptual – critical and important priority. Again – something probably went wrong during the UX design process and the client most likely needs to focus on this part.
  4. There is only one technical issue, so it seems that from the technical side the product works well.

Specifying the most problematic areas and marking the issues from most to least significant makes them much easier for putting into to-do list.


Well prepared usability audit helps the client knowingly go through the main user paths in the product and prepare a roadmap for improvements and changes delivery. 

As you see, conducting an UX audit requires knowledge of good practices in digital product design, recognition of use patterns as well as skill to properly classify errors. 

It is worth outsourcing usability audit to experienced designers who are familiar with the methodology. Moreover, practiced designers will also help you look at the product from a different perspective, verify assumptions, and indicate the direction of product redefinement.