Achieving an outstanding UX for your e-commerce platform: the first steps

Vincent Aniol

July 25, 2023


When it comes to enhancing the user experience (UX) of your online store, you might find yourself wondering, “Where do I begin?” Indeed, numerous factors influence the UX, making it challenging to identify the ideal starting point. In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to a method that offers a straightforward and efficient approach to UX assessment: heuristic usability evaluation, which we will refer to as the “UX mini assessment”. Discover why the UX mini assessment serves as a fitting initial step in UX evaluation and explore the benefits it brings to the table. Let’s dive right in!

Photo of three colleagues standing at a standing desk and working on a customer experience strategy.

Optimizing the user experience of your website or app also presents some challenges.

Common pitfalls from a UX perspective

  • Assumptions instead of facts: All too often, decisions are grounded in assumptions and guesses rather than being based on concrete data. Fortunately, the UX mini assessment can help with this by swiftly and effortlessly pinpointing weaknesses within the system. This valuable tool empowers decision-makers to base their choices on facts rather than mere opinions.
  • Focus on the wrong things: It’s easy to get caught up in the allure of beautiful contemporary design. Crucial issues that directly impact user efficiency are sometimes neglected, however. The UX mini assessment helps uncover relevant problems and ensures that we don’t just focus on “superficial” design but address significant usability concerns first.
  • Changing too much at once: Abrupt and extensive design changes can bewilder users and lead to negative outcomes. The UX mini assessment strategically pinpoints weaknesses, promoting a step-by-step, incremental approach to improvement, which avoids the pitfalls of a complete redesign of the website.

The UX mini assessment: Quickly identify where things go wrong!

At the core of our UX mini assessment lies the heuristic usability evaluation, a method pioneered by the renowned usability and user experience expert Jakob Nielsen. This approach revolves around essential “heuristics” that serve as a compass for conducting comprehensive UX analysis and optimization.

Examples of what we examine as part of the UX mini assessment:

  • How does the navigation of your online store work?
  • Is relevant information clear and understandable?
  • Do users reach their goals quickly and efficiently?

Consider a scenario where a customer is looking for a specific product in your store but struggles to locate the search field, or the search yields only confusing results. In cases like this, the UX mini assessment helps to quickly identify problems, so they can be addressed immediately.

UI/UX Design Process

Advantages of the UX mini assessment

One of the primary advantages of the UX mini assessment lies in its simplicity. The method is easy to understand and can be applied without any major challenges. Trained UX experts who are well-versed in assessing heuristics can swiftly carry out the process. In a matter of just a few days, you’ll receive the initial results, allowing you to make immediate improvements to your online store.

For example, let’s say that during the assessment, our experts discover that the product descriptions on your website are excessively lengthy and complicated. By shortening and simplifying these texts, you instantly enhance the comprehensibility for your customers, leading to a superior user experience (UX) – and the best part is, it doesn’t cost much.

Why the UX mini assessment is a great way to get started with UX evaluation

Before you invest in extensive and costly user testing, it makes sense to conduct a UX mini assessment first. The mini assessment does not replace these tests, but it optimally complements them. By leveraging this approach, you can proactively identify and address numerous significant weaknesses that impact the user experience (UX) in advance. Consequently, when you proceed to the user testing, you can make the most of it and avoid squandering valuable resources on avoidable issues.

To give you an example: Let’s consider your aim is to minimize abandoned carts in your online store by optimizing the check-out process. Instead of immediately investing in extensive A/B tests, the UX mini assessment allows you to pinpoint potential hurdles and stumbling blocks within the check-out process upfront. For instance, you may discover that customers find entering their data confusing or that payment methods lack clear communication.

In such instances, targeted adjustments can improve the user experience (UX) and boost conversion rates. Subsequent user tests may then reveal additional target group-specific issues that require attention.

UX mini assesment

Dimensions of the UX mini assessment

The UX mini assessment is based on Jakob Nielsen’s heuristic usability principles and includes the following dimensions:

Usability and navigation

  • Is the website or app easy to navigate?
  • Are menus and navigation elements intuitive and user-friendly?
  • Do users achieve their goals quickly and efficiently?

Information architecture

  • Is the structure of the content clear and easy to understand?
  • Is the information relevant and useful?
  • Is the content well-organized and readily accessible?


  • Do users provide appropriate feedback during interactions?
  • Are users supported through feedback?
  • Is the feedback meaningful and helpful?

Aesthetics and design

  • Is the design appealing and aesthetic?
  • Is the design consistent and cohesive?
  • Does the design support usability?

System status and errors

  • Are users informed about the status of the system?
  • Are error messages communicated in a clear and helpful manner?
  • Is the system resilient and fault-tolerant?

Checking these dimensions as part of the UX mini assessment helps to quickly and easily identify weak points in the system. Subsequently, targeted adjustments can be made to improve the user experience and increase the conversion rate.

Why valantic is the right partner for your UX mini assessment

As an expert in UX and e-commerce, valantic possesses extensive know-how and experience in the realm of UX design and research. Our team of experts is specialized in understanding your unique requirements. Collaborating closely with you, we’ll find the most effective approach to optimize the user experience (UX) in your online store.

More than that, our commitment goes beyond merely identifying UX weak spots: We’ll also help you implement the resulting recommendations. Throughout the entire process – from analysis to implementation – we’ll be by your side, ensuring that your e-commerce system is continually fine-tuned for optimal results.

Would you like to learn more about how we can help you improve the user experience of your e-commerce system to sustainably increase the success of your online store?

valantic-Mitarbeiter der am Stehtisch an seinem Laptop arbeitet

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