Qumulo

This is the story of how a small team significantly improved web conversions by focusing on customer needs.

About the Project

The Company

Qumulo is a Seattle-based technology company that makes software for managing large volumes of data.

The Problem

The Qumulo website was underperforming, and conversion rates were low. How can we improve the website experience and increase conversion rates?

Hypothesis

We believe that by architecting our website to align clearly with defined buyer paths, we will increase conversion.

My Role

Strategist
Designer
Project Lead

Team

Art Director
Copywriter
Developer

Categories

UX Research
Content Strategy
Web Design

Timeline

Sept-Dec
2020

Design Process

Discover

Interviews
Workshops
Focus groups*
Data analysis
Competitive analysis

 

Define

Personas
Empathy maps
User stories
Problem statement
Goals

Ideate

User flows
Card sort
Information architecture
Content mapping

Prototype

Wireframes
Mock ups
Web styles
WordPress prototype

Evaluate

QA
Usability 
Analytics
Performance testing

*Conducted prior to this project 

Understanding the Buyer

To improve the website experience, we needed to first understand our buyers and their goals. Then we can evaluate if our site is providing the answers they need.

I led a rigorous discovery effort that focused on understanding our personas (and groups of buyer types), as well as their distinct needs.

These slides are examples from a presentation to stakeholders with key learnings about the buyer types. Click for a larger view.

Key Learning

User research revealed three distinct buyer types, each with their own set of needs, concerns, and questions.

Summary of the 3 buyer types
Empathy map
Buyer insights

Defining the Critical Buyer Paths

To maximize impact and effort, we focused on defining critical buyer paths. By understanding the minimum, vital information that a buyer needs, we can create purposeful user flows for each audience group. These paths are intentional, directed flows of information and choices designed around important positioning content. 

Slides from a presentation to stakeholders about buyer types. Click for a larger view.

Prioritizing Content

Through this exercise, we identified content gaps, which we prioritized and addressed.

Buyer path
Content for each stage
Key questions to answer

Creating User Flows

Now that we understood the critical buyer paths, we could create user flows from the home page. The user flow lays out the buyer’s movement through the site—from entry point right to the conversion.

Content Strategy

The home page and navigation menu must immediately orient the buyer and provide quick clarity around Qumulo’s product offering. 

Creating the Site Structure

The navigation menu and site structure were designed to support the critical buyer paths. The buyers’ key questions needed to be answered by the content on the home page or easily accessible through the site menu. Even though many users will enter the site on a different page, the home page still functions as an entry point for buyers.

Click for a larger view.

Optimizing the Menu

A well-designed menu will provide lots of quick information and help guide buyers to the content that can answer their questions. The most important things should be emphasized in the menu.

Ideation and Testing

As the lead designer, I followed a process designed to facilitate iteration and validation at each step. I started with a lo-fidelity wireframe, which was essentially a content outline. That informed a mid-fidelity wireframe. The next step was a mock-up in Sketch (later moved to Figma).

Validating in Real Time

We were limited by budget, so validation and usability testing was done via Usability Hub and testing guerilla style utilizing internal resources and partners.

Iteration and Development

Next I defined the specific styles for web. Most of the focus here was on UI elements, like card styles, image treatments, and additional patterns. I did not change the brand’s fonts, as the previous research and analysis showed no need for this change. I also did not change the brand’s color palette, although I did simplify it by focusing on blue and grey tones. This was done intentionally, to better tie the website to the actual product interface. The blue gradient treatment was added after feedback from internal stakeholders.

Key Learning

We found that Qumulo did not need an entirely new visual brand. Rather we could use existing elements with slight refinements—more of a gentle evolution. This made the change less disruptive to our audience.

Launch and Impact

Although the site went through a few revisions between prototype and initial launch, we launched on time in December of 2020.

 In the first quarter after launch, Qumulo saw a significant lift in YoY website conversions and engagement/behavioral metrics.

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More Sessions

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More Conversions

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More Pageviews