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Mimecast usability testing

The Client.

An international company specialising in cloud-based email management for Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office 365.

Mimecast offer security, archiving and continuity services to protect business mail.

The Challenge.

Mimecast required usability testing to help them identify any problematic areas of their existing website ahead of a planned new website development project.

The company wanted to maximise its lead generation potential and had begun updating its website in terms of both content, and site navigation. Mimecast needed to ensure that any forthcoming updates to the site matched its product development path whilst remaining intuitive and user friendly for all users.

As an international company, Mimecast had already collated feedback from sales and marketing personnel across its core territories (UK, North America and South Africa) and had collated detailed data regarding likes/dislikes from employees, partners and customers.

The client was looking to further develop this feedback to gauge an impartial review of the current website as well as the intended new design. 

The Brief.

Mimecast’s proposed new website had four key objectives:

  • Communicate their core values
  • Enhance lead generation prospects
  • Optimise SEO to improve visibility within search engines
  • Evolve their brand style

Our usability testing therefore needed to ensure that the existing website and proposed new site, were achieving the client’s primary objectives.

As a result, our brief was to gain impartial feedback on the current website which would allow them to validate their internal recommendations. We also needed to determine if the new proposed site design had met their recommendations and were effectively meeting their key objectives.

The Process.

Based upon our extensive usability testing experience, we proposed that we ran a usability study with 13 participants.

It was important that our participants were a mix of their current customer base as well as their desired target audience to ensure that we had a broad mix of opinions and feedback. As an international client, we also needed to ensure that participants were from a mix of territories to allow us to account for any cultural/geographical differences.

It was a challenge to secure the right mix of people, but thanks to working with both the client and an external recruitment agency we were able to secure the following people:

  • Four existing Mimecast customers within the UK
  • Two existing Mimecast customers within South Africa
  • Two existing Mimecast customers within the USA
  • Five potential customer prospects including high-level IT Directors/Managers working within large organisations.

I found the session that I observed really enlightening, and we learned a lot from them.

The Solution.

As the brief was very specific, we were able to focus our usability testing on the key areas as determined by the client.

We designed the list of tasks required for the usability test which was approved by the client. We also invited the client to observe some of the user testing so that they could see the results first-hand for themselves.

Our UK based testing were run over two days in a dedicated usability lab in London – we allowed 90 minutes for each test, and users were provided with an incentive as a thank you for taking part. All users were required to sign a waiver which allowed the session to be recorded, and for their details to be used within our final report.

Our overseas testing was carried out over an additional three working days.

After we had completed the testing, we provided the client with a comprehensive written report. Totalling 117 pages, the report set out a clear list of recommendations which provided Mimecast with a clear focus for the new website design, enabling them to fully achieve their stated objectives.

We also provided the client with all recordings and raw data, providing them with transparency and a detailed understanding of not only what we did, but why. 

The Timescale.

The project was completed within four weeks – this timeframe included initial research, recruitment, test design, further testing and report production.

The Immediate Results.

The client was extremely pleased with report, stating that it was “useful, actionable and insightful.”

As a result of the report, the client was able to see an immediate benefit as they had a strong insight into how users viewed their website and had the data to confirm whether the new website design would meet their audiences’ requirements and expectations.

The Longer-Term Benefits.

After the new website was launched, we ran a second round of testing which showed that most of our recommendations achieved the desired outcome. This confirmed that the new website was easier to use and engage with.

From a longer-term perspective, Mimecast will experience increased website engagement which should lead to more business leads and a greater retention of existing clients.

The Testimonial.

“I found the session that I observed really enlightening, and we learned a lot from them.” 

Donna Pittaway, Group Customer Strategy Director, Mimecast