Clearhead + UserTesting
Clearhead, acquired by Accenture in 2017, is a digital optimization company that helps brands optimize their business outcomes through continuous testing and personalization.
Clearhead, the digital optimization company, prides itself on leveraging real data, not just opinion, in its work. Working with Fortune 500 clients such as CVS, Adidas, Express, and other leading organizations, the stakes are high to develop digital experiences that serve both the customer and the bottom line. In all projects ranging from A/B tests to digital campaigns to full website redesigns, the Clearhead team needs to ensure they’re solving real problems with impactful and innovative solutions, not simply maintaining the status quo or copying the client’s competitors.
While Clearhead has always had access to many analytics tools to identify digital optimization opportunities for their clients, quantitative data alone wasn’t enough to build a complete picture of the online customer experience and why some experiments were more successful than others. Brendan Moore, Senior Product Optimization Director at Clearhead, said, “When we only focused on quantitative data, it was only showing us what was happening. So we were able to say, ‘Yes, this has been a win for us,’ or, ‘No, that didn’t work.’ But we weren’t able to say why. Particularly with losing tests, you need the qualitative insight to determine what went wrong so that you can learn from your failure and pivot to a successful solution. Without knowing why a test failed, you haven’t really learned anything.”
The Clearhead team found they needed qualitative insights—thoughts and opinions from real consumers—to round out the bigger picture. To get those insights, they began running tests with UserTesting throughout development on all of their website redesign projects.
Through a combination of UserTesting and web analytics, Clearhead works to pinpoint and prioritize issues with a client’s site before embarking on a major redesign, leveraging its Problem Solution Mapping methodology. The objective is to not only find areas of opportunity for improvement but also prioritize changes based on their level of impact. As Moore states, “Being able to find problems using data, and then prioritize them, gets rid of gut feelings. For example, ‘our site doesn’t look cool’ isn’t a real problem. We look to the data for the biggest problems our customers have instead of leaning on opinion.”
Once the top problems have been identified, the Clearhead team forms a hypothesis on how to improve the site. They iteratively develop and test a series of prototypes, starting with low-fidelity wireframes and moving on to higher fidelity prototypes. Throughout the process, each design decision is guided by human insights directly from the client’s target market. Moore says that this method of iterative design and testing takes a lot of the risk out of a redesign because the team can validate problems and solutions before investing in fully developing them.
When the solution is developed, they A/B test it on the live site with a gradual rollout to ensure success before implementing the winning solution. One of the agency’s recent wins was a redesign for Vitamix, a blender retailer. Vitamix was looking for a more effective way to help customers sort, filter, and choose from their extensive line of products. To explore the problem, Clearhead ran a study with UserTesting. Their research revealed that Vitamix customers didn’t just need to sort through the blenders; they struggled to differentiate between so many similar products, and they needed to be guided through the product selection process.
Moore explained, “The product differences were so subtle that people were just getting hung up on the choice. Using UserTesting to better understand the problem, we were able to come up with a more innovative solution.” Using their iterative design and testing process, Clearhead developed a brief, user-friendly wizard called the Blender Recommender that led Vitamix customers to the right blender without presenting them with an overwhelming number of choices.
With UserTesting, Clearhead is able to deliver effective, data-driven solutions that move the needle for their clients.
In the case of Vitamix, the solution Clearhead developed with UserTesting resulted in a 47% increase in order conversion for the Blender Recommender with an 88% completion rate.
Moore credits his projects’ success to a steady stream of analytics and user feedback. “It’s insanely powerful when you combine quantitative data with UserTesting insights.” Constant feedback from their clients’ target market has become part of Clearhead’s DNA, and UserTesting is now a key component of every website redesign project. As Moore says, “We wouldn’t be able to do what we do at the same pace and rigor without UserTesting.”
"It’s insanely powerful when you combine quantitative data with UserTesting insights."