This is the story of how a small team significantly improved web conversions by focusing on customer needs.
About the Project
Qumulo is a Seattle-based technology company that makes software for managing large volumes of data.
The Qumulo website was underperforming, and conversion rates were low. How can we improve the website experience and increase conversion rates?
We believe that by architecting our website to align clearly with defined buyer paths, we will increase conversion.
*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.
User research revealed three distinct buyer types, each with their own set of needs, concerns, and questions.
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.
Through this exercise, we identified content gaps, which we prioritized and addressed.
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.
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.
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.