Context

Illumina is the world’s leader in genomics and next-generation sequencing. Not long after a significant investment in Adobe Experience Cloud, it became clear that their personalization strategy was not delivering the expected ROI. I was brought in to equip the digital experience team with knowledge, processes, and an updated component library that could deliver personalization at scale.

Challenge

As the main point of entry to their website, Illumina’s homepage was the cornerstone of their personalization strategy. But it had been designed with a small number of customers in mind. Emerging business units were eager to get into the game, but existing processes and UI patterns couldn’t support their needs. As a result, an increasing number of visitors were not getting an experience that matched their specific contexts, interests, and needs. This was undermining the organization’s ability to drive user value and meet rising growth goals.

Approach

Early stakeholder interviews highlighted gaps in priorities and project goals. So, I kicked things off with a collaborative workshop that combined design thinking, co-creation, and prioritization activities. This provided a space to talk openly and honestly about project goals, get diverse opinions, and identify risks and constraints. By inviting them to actively take part in the design process, stakeholders walked away with a shared understanding of the vision and experience strategy.

The information gathered from the collaborative workshop was distilled into a comprehensive work plan, including business requirements and details about how the homepage experience might adapt to various audience segments, such as “New to Genomics” and “Reproductive Health.”

Other areas of the site were already leveraging a well-structured and modular front-end framework. Working closely with engineering and visual design, we identified patterns that could be repurposed or meaningfully extended for the homepage. Not only did these efforts unlock efficiencies, but they also supported greater consistency across the site. The resulting component library serves as a powerful, flexible tool for the content personalization team and beyond.

Usability studies were conducted throughout the design phase to ensure everything was on the right track. These studies were combined with brief, open-ended interviews focused on understanding how participants search and browse for genomics research and products online. Early and frequent user research revealed insights that otherwise wouldn't have been found until after launch.

Outcomes

Since launching the new homepage, Illumina has tracked improvements in the following areas:

  • Immediate increase in MoM order conversion rate and average order value
  • 3× higher engagement on the homepage for different B2B personas
  • Operational efficiency allows for greater focus on UX best practices and content creation
  • Personalization at scale: monthly updates across 10+ distinct audience segments