Malwarebytes Website Rebuild
Malwarebytes makes a suite of software to help secure the internet. I worked on the website, account management portal, and technician toolset. This is about the website.
How could the Malwarebytes website encourage businesses to use the business product line, explain the product offerings clearly, look legit, and rapidly test new ideas?
I was the design lead, overseen by the Creative Director, Rob Bajohr. My responsibilities were to create all the assets you’ll see in this case study as well as collaborating with engineers, marketers, copy writers, and researchers through the creative process.
Key business results
What didn’t go well
Before and After
Clearly describe product offerings
Modernize and simplify the user experience
Create consistency across entire site
Establish a starting point
When I first started at Malwarebytes, I started working on the website rebuild. As a first step, I created a map of all the pages I could find.
I looked for patterns in the pages and established which areas of the site were controlled by which technologies. Understanding the technical limitations and stakeholders allowed me to figure out what was possible.
In order to build a sustainable and sturdy architecture, I looked at the patterns and behaviors that lead to the site we were trying to redesign. I learned that people often requested new pages because they didn't know of other options and just needed a quick solution. These important lessons lead to a later step: creating a design philosophy.
I interviewed each person that the website affected in order to establish the requirements. With each new discovery, I was able to craft a simpler and simpler architecture. I also surveyed sales and support to see if there were low-hanging fruit the website could help with. For example, a support survey uncovered confusion users were experiencing when accidentally downloading the PC/Windows version on a Mac.
Once we had a final, approved structure, we moved forward.
Since I was the only designer fully dedicated to the website. Many things that are ideal steps in the redesign process had to be cut short due to a tight timeline. One of these steps was persona creation. I used the research done previously to develop quick and un-validated proto-personas.
Map out flows
With personas in hand, I mapped out flows for different personas.
Build a design philosophy
In order to prevent back tracking into patterns that created the site we were trying to improve, we agreed on some core principles:
We use atomic design - each page is made of modules which are made of components. Each module follows a similar pattern of certain components only differing if it serves clarity.
We remain consistent - instead of changing one button on one page, we would change all the buttons. If screenshots are displayed in a grid in one area, they will be displayed in a grid in another area unless the change increased clarity.
We have one objective per module - each module has a single objective and that objective aligns with the page objective. That way, we avoid cramming multiple ideas into one small area.
We have one objective per page - each page has a carefully chosen objective, this objective aligns with a larger marketing and corporate strategy.
This website aligns to a larger strategy - in an effort to create consistency and unity, our website must align with larger messaging. Does what we say on the website compliment what sales says or hinders it? Does this website support the business model?
Using the architecture and requirements gathered during discovery, I created wireframes of all pages with "MVP" modules and components.
Create lo-fi mocks & tested them
Using Notable, I drafted a quick click test to see if our elements made sense.
One of the obstacles we faced during this process was an extremely accelerated timeline. Usability testing and validation are essential to an ideal process but with an accelerated timeline and limited resources, I did as much as I could.
Establish look n' feel
I created a mood board of different pieces of design that I liked and from that figured out what would resonate with our users and embody the Malwarebytes brand.
From there I began to dabble into different looks. Exploring a bunch of different looks helped me gauge what fits with our culture, brand, and user base.
As I explored with the team, I tried to come up with what I wanted users to feel when they visit the site. I also wanted to match the style of the product so there wasn't a gap between what users saw before they entered the product and what user saw after. I researched competitors and brainstormed what we wanted to do and what we didn't want to do.
Where we landed:
We aren't dark and scary
We aren't generic
We are friendly and playful
We are trustworthy
We are a utility
We are honest
Review, review, review, iterate, iterate, iterate
Each week, we reviewed the mocks with stakeholders to make sure I was satisfying the requirements and gathering feedback.
Create a prototype
Using the free version of Invision, I created a very basic prototype. I sent that to stakeholders for review and critique. Until that point, we had reviewed static (often printed) mock-ups. After reviewing the prototype with stakeholders, I continued refinement based on their feedback.
Each module is made up of components. I created and spec'd how each component would be on mobile and desktop.
Add content & refine
In order to save time, we sent in the components before the final design and content were complete. That way, our development team already had a large portion of the coding done by the time we submitted something "final"
We used Invision's liveshare and comment features to merge content and design.
On time. We launched the new site.
Here is what happened, the good and the bad.
1. Consumer PC downloads went up.
2. Consumer Mac downloads stayed about the same.
3. Lead volume dipped (no indication of how yield or quality of leads did). So we launched a new flow that had more emphasis on business.
The ability to quickly adapt when we saw numbers decline was intentional. I built a structure and foundation that can quickly and easily adapt to change.
4. Purchases (consumer and small business combined) stayed the same
This is the roadmap I created for the next phase of the website. I did a lot of the PM work for the website.
This website redesign was a success because:
Usually numbers plummet after a redesign, but for this one the only number that dipped was lead volume and we were able to bring that back up without impacting the other numbers
I established a clear hierarchy with type and imagery
I established consistency through visual language
I removed some complexity out of cyber security by creating a design philosophy conducive to simplicity
I built a system that can be optimized in a sustainable way
Aside from the performance, the most rewarding thing about the redesign was seeing how much the foundation, modularity, and architecture lead to easy changes and tweaks. I intentionally wanted a site that can support sustainable, rapid change and testing. I wanted to create a hierarchy and style that anyone can follow. One of the directors in the marketing department even remarked that changes we made post-launch in a few hours would have taken much much longer to create in the previous site.
As we move forward with this new site, I hope to see our team creating content and imagery that works together. My hope is to generate an arsenal of modules that we can reorder and test to see which order makes the most sense for our users.
The main thing I learned during this journey is how to include a large group of outside stakeholders in the design process. I also did most of the project management at the same time I was doing design.
What I would do differently
Despite weekly reviews of the mocks, I felt that stakeholders were not given ample opportunity to voice their concerns. I would have made more time to explore the ideas that seemed out-of-reach or different than what I was thinking.
These important lessons have taught me how to move forward in a more effective way, in a more open way.