A strategy to simplify buying for customers — and to better compete against low-cost alternatives.
View the site VeriSign SSL Certificates
Background VeriSign knew its SSL Certificates site was cluttered and complex. They were creating problems for both themselves and their customers.
  VeriSign was being threatened by low-end competitors who made buying an SSL painless and cheap. It needed to increase sales, renewals, and up-sell opportunities.
  But for customers, the offerings were complex and weren't presented to them in terms of their needs. They couldn't find information about the real benefits they could expect in return for VeriSign's premium prices.
The Project I collaborated with a colleague on this project. My focus was twofold:
Analyze what the competitors were doing
Profile customers and identify their needs
  Interviewed stakeholders. Reviewed research. Distilled our findings. We first interviewed the stakeholders at length to get their perspective on the problems they faced and to get a clear notion of their objectives. We reviewed all the research and statistics they'd assembled, analyzed it, and quizzed them on its deeper meaning for them.
  We distilled our findings into a clear statement of what we wanted to accomplish with the redesign. The stakeholders concurred.
  Analyzed and evaluated the top competitors' Web sites. I did a thorough evaluation of the usability of VeriSign's five top competitors' sites — and I evaluated VeriSign's existing site as well. I walked the stakeholders through each site — to show them what was good, what was bad, and why.
  The comparison highlighted the usability standards that were common on SSL certificate sites. We identified the standards we wanted to conform to — and usability problems that remained to be solved gracefully.
  Created user profiles. Developed use-case scenarios. VeriSign has experience in SSL certificates second to none. From its deep understanding of what customers need — and my analysis of the needs that VeriSign's competitors were targeting — I developed clear, concise profiles of the target customers.
  I identified the need — and questions — each of the target customers would bring to the site. For each of them, I developed a use-case scenario. Each scenario defined the flow that would address the customer's questions — and lead the customer to the SSL certificate that matched his or her needs.
  (Example: persona and scenario, PDF, 75k)
  Developed an information design and a new site structure. Prototyped and tested it. We then developed an information design and a site structure that addressed all the usability issues that the use-case scenarios raised. My colleague then prototyped the design. We validated the design by usability-testing the prototype with real users.