The Clorox Professional web site faced a known problem: the existing site design and architecture did not allow for easy addition of new product lines as the company acquired new partners. It also faced an unknown problem: users (mission-critical infection preventionists, environmental service managers) were not able to find the products and technical specs they needed to fight life-threatening infections and outbreaks in hospitals.

Though a rapid application of user research, we gathered real data to identify where the problems arose. We then built low-fidelity prototypes to explore new options and tools, and then observe users apply these to more easily, quickly, and reliably discover and evaluate the products they needed to keep patients safe.

We recruited actual users (infection preventionists) and observed their behaviors on four tasks at the existing site.

The videos of their faces and on-screen actions revealed (to the client’s surprise) great frustration and confusion with the existing information architecture and navigation. This gave us focus and insight for our next steps, as well as increased buy-in from the client.

Using Silverback to record both live interactions and the user's reactions

Using Silverback to record both live interactions and the user's reactions

The users demonstrated frustration at having to dig deep into "product families" with no cues about what products were how deep in them. They wanted to look for products based on criteria including what it killed, where the product was to be used, and by applicability to their role. None of this was possible on the existing site.

I designed a faceted browsing feature (sketch, Balsamiq) that incorporated the criteria we saw in users’ mental models.

RITE-based usability testing gave us quick and useful feedback from real users. They immediately began their product research with the new feature and located what they needed in much fewer clicks (and with zero task failure).

This feature fulfilled the client’s goal of allowing the site to add new products and categories with less user confusion. In fact, the new feature so impressed the client that they asked us to use it as the basis for additional work: designing their a site and a new iOS app