A site redesigned to really help — not just allow — users to buy.
View the site No longer accessible. (VeriSign Payment Services was purchased by eBay.)
Compare the VeriSign Payment Services home page before and after the redesign.
To see the complete design, contact me for a demo of the prototype.
Background VeriSign Payment Services processed roughly a third of all e-commerce traffic in the United States — tens of billions of dollars a year. Yet they had paid little serious attention to their Web site in quite a while. The site had grown by accretion and had evolved into a tangled, frustrating experience for users.
There were three basic problems:
The site lacked any kind of consumer appeal.
Small business owners — the site’s primary audience — were asked to make a buy
decision before they understood what suited them best.
Solution providers and enterprise customers had no clear path to the information
they wanted.
The Project Interviewed stakeholders. Analyzed market research. Identified top issues.
The project had many stakeholders with differing goals for the site. I began by analyzing the VeriSign’s internal market research and satisfaction surveys to identify the salient usability issues. I then interviewed all the stakeholders to understand firsthand what their business goals were.
  From those interviews I distilled into three succinct pages the "big picture":
The top ten issues we wanted to focus on
The audiences we were addressing
The offerings
The positioning and messaging
The design goals
  We continued to revisit and refine "the big picture" throughout the project to make sure we stayed on track.
  Developed an online survey. Created personas and scenarios. Interviewing real customers wasn’t possible at the start of the project, so I scripted a survey that VeriSign posted online. I also interviewed key stakeholders in detail about who their users were and precisely what they came to the site to do.
  From the survey results and the interviews I was able to create four personas — profiles of four archetypal users — and a scenario for each.
  (Excerpt: small business owner persona, PDF, 75k)
  Conducted a competitive analysis. I analyzed competitors' Web sites to give VeriSign an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the experience their competitors offered users.
  Created wireframes. Built and user-tested a prototype. I then built a series of working prototypes — each one refining the user experience — until we arrived at the approach that would best serve the users' needs and achieve VeriSign's business goals. We tested the prototype with a group of typical users to see if they could complete the scenarios we'd defined earlier.
  Created a design that structured content, not just the navigation path. I refined the final design based on the feedback from the usability test.
  One key feature of the information design was that it structured the content on each page — not just the navigation path among the pages. I created a comprehensive set of page templates — each of which standardized the location and treatment of the content that the site needed to accommodate. I organized the page templates into coherent sets — for example, product page templates were accompanied by a comparison chart template.
  The structured pages and the comparison charts made it easy for small business owners to make a decision about which service best suited their needs — which was the primary goal of the redesign.
  Developed a wireframe guide. Created architecture diagram. I documented the design in a 120 page wireframe guide.
  (Excerpt: product page, PDF, 1.2MB)
  The guide:
Provided the specs for building each page.
Labeled and defined each content element.
Defined the rules behind the information design so that it was easy to accommodate
new information in the architecture.
  I also provided a detailed architecture diagram (PDF, 75k).
  To make content development easier, I created a complete page inventory and mapped each page to the page template the content needed to follow.