Cleanipedia Reimagining & Redesign

Reimagining the internet’s home of cleaning tips with a cross-channel digital strategy.

Case study images for Cleanipedia

The Challenge

With over 2,000,000 visitors every month, Cleanipedia is the internet’s go-to resource for cleaning tips. From home improvement advice to just getting rid of a pesky stain, it aims to be the ultimate source of cleaning info.

A ‘startup-like’ project funded by Unilever, the original site was launched over three years ago.

The age of the site was starting to show, however. The content had gotten bloated, and the design outdated.

I had previously worked with the client offering consultancy. For this larger project, I was approached to work with a full team of talented content strategists, designers and web developers. Together we set out to revolutionise the user experience of Cleanipedia, and provide better value to Unilever.

The Solution

We created a totally new content experience, oriented around ‘mobile first’ thinking.

Visitors would be using the site under stressful circumstances (i.e. trying to get a red wine stain out of a carpet), so we wanted to provide them with much more useful and digestible information.

We also set out to provide rich new features to enhance the experience. These included loads of new functionality on the website and beyond. New features included :

  • The ability to share your own tips & techniques.
  • Set reminders for your cleaning chores, delivered through several different devices.
  • Get shopping lists sent through to your phone.
  • Apply for samples & coupons.
  • Getting personalised content recommendations and product suggestions.

What I did

I helped define user personas, and build out cross-channel journeys

User journeys were considered across a whole ecosystem of touch-points.

We needed to understand the target audience for Cleanipedia, and the circumstances through which they’d come to the site. By understanding our users, we could plan features that fit into their everyday habits and device usage.

When planning user journeys, we didn’t just focus on a single session. We plotted a user’s interaction with Cleanipedia and Unilever over large periods of time, across multiple touch points.

Planning long-term journeys helped us think about how we could gather data from our audience over time, personalising the experience. We mapped KPIs against these user journeys, so that well in advance of starting the design we had these objectives in mind.

I worked with an agile team to create a new content experience

Defining the new content strategy was a team effort. I worked with a cross-functional team of content strategist, copywriters, creatives and developers.

The agile nature of the team meant that we were able to work simultaneously. Whilst I focused on user testing, and information design the team could create new brand assets, content themes & tone-of-voice guidelines.

Working out of a single space allowed us to be more collaborative, and share a single vision of the new Cleanipedia.

We worked as an agile team to plan the new experience.

I developed a modular UX for the new website

Over 80% of Cleanipedia’s traffic comes through mobile devices. This makes sense, as people need quick access to information when a cleaning task pops up. The design for Cleanipedia was totally mobile first. We didn’t even think about other breakpoints until the mobile experience was perfected.

The new article template was designed to be totally modular. This meant that new features and information types could be added and changed easily over time. It also worked well with our agile process, as we could focus on creating specific modules for each sprint.

The user experience was designed at a component level.

I stress-tested the new design with rigorous user testing

User testing was a massive component of this project, and I facilitated several rounds throughout the process. Given the nature of the site, testing in a realistic way was really important. During the sessions, I gave people actual cleaning tasks to do - using prototypes running on a mobile phone.

User testing with real-life cleaning scenarios was crucial.

This gave us a really good insight into the effectiveness of the content experience in real-world scenarios. It allowed us to highlight some important issues, and informed the presentation of cleaning guide content.

Testing at an early stage also gave us important feedback on new features and content teams. This user feedback had a big affect on the strategy going forward.

Screenshots from an early wireframe prototype.

The Results

Feedback from our extensive user testing was really positive. People loved the new experience, and (more importantly) could actually use it solve their stains!

Within a week of the new design going live, we saw the average session time on Cleanipedia jump from 15 seconds to a full minute. Needless to say, the team are super happy with the results.

A rare combination of both a great leader and expert practitioner in UX. Never fussed by the task at hand whether it is a large scale digital transformation or a minor tweak to make an experience exceptional. Chris puts everything in to expertly manage a team that ensures the very best work is produced.

- Mark Bell - Chief Experience Officer at Oliver Group

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