Brisbane City Council - Digital Strategy and Innovation

The Brisbane App - UX Audit

Actionable recommendations to resolve crucial flaws in
Brisbane's city discovery & guide creation App


The Brisbane app, powered by Brisbane City Council, is a one-stop destination for things to see and do in Brisbane.

Built for residents, visitors and local businesses, the Brisbane app encourages users to uncover local lifestyle businesses, places, events, and experiences. Explore, and create unique guides for the perfect Brisbane day (or night) out.

Despite the app's widespread popularity, its current state presents several challenges that have a detrimental effect on the overall user experience and user retention rates. These issues encompass buried features, a deficient user onboarding process, unwieldy user flows for various tasks, and a notable absence of progress indicators to alleviate user anxiety by providing a clear sense of task completion.

UX Audit
Design Strategy


The Brisbane App presents several significant UX and UI-related challenges, resulting in disruptions to the overall user experience.


  • I was entrusted with performing an extensive UX Audit of the application, which entailed a thorough screen-by-screen analysis. Leveraging my expertise, I employed design heuristics, best practices, and common design patterns to identify and isolate these critical flaws.
  • The final result of this effort was the development of an extensive report that not only identified critical issues but also provided specific, actionable recommendations.

  • This report also includes a clear roadmap, which serves as a step-by-step guide for improving the overall user experience and design of the Brisbane App.

Role & Responsibilities

As the Principal Consultant for this project, I facilitated interviews and kick-off meetings with multiple stakeholders, seeking their unique insights and contextual understanding. Drawing upon my 18 years of industry experience, I subsequently performed an comprehensive UX Audit, analyzing each screen of the App. I employed design heuristics, best practices, and common design patterns to pinpoint and isolate critical design flaws. The findings and insights from this audit were then synthesized into a comprehensive report. This report featured actionable recommendations, complete with wireframes proposing solutions and illustrative examples. Additionally, I included supplementary insights and suggestions aimed at further enhancing the product's overall design and user experience.

Scope & Constraints


  • Conducting a Thorough Audit of The Brisbane App - Our primary focus was on conducting a rigorous audit of The Brisbane App to identify and isolate critical flaws within the product.
  • Creating a Comprehensive Report - My objective was to produce an all-encompassing report, incorporating actionable recommendations, wireframes, and illustrative examples to provide clear solutions.

  • Wrap-Up Meeting - A final wrap-up meeting was scheduled to discuss the findings of the audit, review the report, and deliberate on the subsequent steps for improvement.


  • The project was bound by a tight four-week timeline, necessitating efficient planning and execution to meet project objectives.


When conducting a UX Audit, the process involves these key steps, with the level of depth and time allocated tailored to project scope and budget.

A visual overview of my UX Audit process

1. Understand the product and business challenges
In this initial phase, the primary goal is to thoroughly understand your product, its business context, and the defined audit focus area and scope. I achieve this through a combination of a pre-meeting questionnaire and a kickoff meeting, enabling me to gather essential insights, identify user experience challenges, and pinpoint potential enhancements. This process ensures that my strategies align with the project's unique context and objectives.

2. Understand the target audience
Gain insights into the specific demographics, behaviors, needs, and preferences of the target audience to ensure that the user experience is tailored to their expectations and requirements.

3. Evaluate analytics and interpret performance data
This may involve user feedback, conducting surveys, interviews, and usability testing, and collect relevant quantitative data to assess the current user experience.

4. Collect UX Audit findings
Conducting a screen-by-screen analysis and applying established usability principles or guidelines to pinpoint design violations, inconsistencies, and usability problems.

5. Compile a UX Audit report
Crafting an easily digestible audit report that describes issues and assesses their severity, while also presenting solutions and recommendations. The report is enriched with illustrated wireframes and comparative examples from other products, enhancing the depth and clarity of the assessment.

6. Reviewing Audit Findings, Recommendations, and Next Steps with Stakeholders
A meeting with stakeholders to comprehensively review the audit findings, recommendations, and the roadmap for future actions. By actively involving your team, we ensure that the insights gained are collectively understood and that everyone is on the same page regarding the user experience improvements.

The Brisbane App - Audit breakdown

The current state of the App brought forth several challenges that had a notable impact on the overall user experience and user retention rates.

My client had specific objectives in mind for this Audit:

Clearing User Roadblocks
Identify and address the obstacles faced by the main user groups – businesses, residents, and visitors, with the ultimate goal of enhancing overall user satisfaction.

Streamlining Feature Accessibility
Improve the discoverability and usability of the App's features, considering that many valuable functionalities were tucked away, making them hard for users to find.

Enhancing User Productivity
Discover the reasons behind the 30-minute duration it takes for users to create their own city guide and explore ways to make this process more intuitive and time-effective.

Enhancing Data Accuracy Feedback for Users
In response to numerous user complaints about inaccurate data, such as closed locations or missing favorite cafes, I was asked to streamline the process for reporting such issues.

The screenshots from the UX Audit below offer a glimpse into the audit's presentation, providing an illustrative look at how I addressed the previously mentioned issues.

Additional thoughts

In addition to addressing the initial client request, I also identified a range of issues and suggested enhancements to further improve the app's overall user experience and satisfaction.

This included:

Onboarding Quiz for Personalisation
Implement a brief onboarding quiz to identify user types and preferences, allowing for a more customized user experience. Users can choose to skip this step and adjust preferences in their account settings later.

Recognising User Contributions
Crediting users for their contributions is vital for apps relying on user-generated content. It aligns with the Hook Model, motivating users intrinsically. Learn more about the Hook Model here

Universal "Create" Button
Introduce a Universal Floating Action Button, enabling users to create Plans, Guides, and Events seamlessly from any screen. This enhances accessibility and convenience, driving increased engagement, user contributions, and retention.

Gamification for Engagement
Consider adding gamification elements, such as badges and points, to boost user engagement and contributions.

Content Ambassadors
Collaborate with well-known individuals in Brisbane to create listings and guides, highlighting them in blogs and vlogs to encourage user-generated content.

Key Takeaways

The Brisbane App's UX Audit has yielded a report pinpointing critical product shortcomings.
Moreover, it has furnished the team with tangible recommendations and actionable steps to substantially elevate the product.

A UX Audit not only provides expert insights but also offers the following advantages:

Unbiased Expert Evaluation
A fresh perspective from an independent UX expert helps identify issues that might be overlooked.

Strategic Recommendations
The audit provides actionable strategies to improve the product's user experience.

Enhanced Product Direction
The clear guidance from the audit not only helps your team move forward purposefully but also saves valuable time, money, and resources by preventing aimless detours.

Thinking about a UX Audit for your product or service?
Reach out now to learn more!

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