Virgin Mobile USA Site Redesign

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement I have omitted any confidential information.


Virgin Mobile USA, a subsidiary of Sprint, is a national pre-paid cellular brand based in Kansas City, MO. The Virgin brand is known worldwide for being bold, daring and unique, and providing exceptional customer experiences, exceptlified by founder Richard Branson. But the Virgin Mobile USA brand was suffering from low recognition here in the States, and was among the least popular pre-paid cellular options, not very Virgin like at all. The company asked ‘What would Richard do?’ in a situation like this. Easy, something audacious. They needed a re-brand and revitalize the offereings to compete with the bigger post-paid brands like Verizon and T-Mobile for new customers. The goal: make pre-paid sexy and fun.

My Role

I worked with the Technical Product Manager, Business Analyst and Customer Experience team to develop use cases and scenarios to better define the end-to-end product goals and user flows, integrating user interviews, usability testing, card sorting, and customer survey results into design iterations. With the our Front End Developers and AEM developers, I designed a scalable, responsive component-based UI system. I authored and maintained UX documentation and UI designs including: user personas, product requirements, user stories, information architecture models to simplify the navigation system, user journeys, task flows, hi-fidelity design comps, annotated wireframes,design specifications documents, and clickable prototypes.

The Problems

The legacy site worked well but the visual design was dated, limiting the customer reach; the back-end systems didn’t allow any changes or updates to be made without IT involvement, restricting the marketing and content teams ability to pivot messaging quickly in fast moving industry and inhibited the ability to run A/B tests efficiently. Migrating platforms during a brand relaunch severely impacted the release timeframe, which meant that hard decisions had to be made in prioritizing what legacy content was still relevant, and what customer segments we wanted to support but enabled us to develop a complex personalization strategy that treated each customer persona to a unique and intuitive experience.

The Solutions

Refreshed Visuals and Component-based Design System
After the Brand and Marketing Directors settled on the brand typeface, colors, and photography styles, I quickly identified and designed the main components needed for the bulk of the site providing the overall site experience strategy and information architecture.
[component wireframes]

[style guide]

[page template stack]

[site map]

Socializing the changes with twice weekly company wide design reviews, we able to get everyone’s feedback and buy-in on the radical changes that we being made. By opening the door to the design process, all teams felt a sense of ownership of the site. The was a small learning curve to familiarize everyone with the new content update workflow, but everyone was excited to be able to make content changes using the CMS without having to open twenty-seven support tickets with IT. Simplified components made it even easier.

Out with (some of) the old, in with the new
Addressing the sheer volume of legacy content was a huge undertaking without an existing IA model or content audit to work from. While much of the new site content would be created or provided by the Marketing and CX teams, we had to work very closely with our legal team to ensure that all regulated legacy content was kept and made easily available for existing customers.

[new legal footer]

[revamped legal pages]

Mo’ personas, mo’ flows
To better live our Virgin brand values, we developed a personalization strategy for our five main personas, taking into account they’re customer type, account status, service plan, device type, order history, location, and payment method resulting in roughly 30 unique user and task flows. I identified all touch points in the customer journey where personalization would be value added and not just sticking a customers name on screen everywhere because we could.


[personalization task flow for beyond talk]

[user flows credit home?]

[activation flow]

The Outcome

In a very, very short 18 months, we were able to pull together a complete brand re-launch (with Sir Richard Branson in attendance), a full site redesign, migration of all unauthenticated content and services to a new CMS system, and a full redesign and partial migration of authenticated services including device activations (with the initial release completed in only 6 weeks!!). We also designed and launched a brand new members benefits program and mini-site, and added many user stories to the backlog for future personalized experiences as the user base grows.

[final pages]