Totally Protected p.1

Share one subscription with all your devices

To comply with my NDA, I have omitted and obfuscated all confidential information. The information below is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of Intel.



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My Role

As the product name implies, McAfee Total Protection helps users secure just about everything (all the devices they own) with a single subscription. But when we looked at the numbers, we found the majority of our customers limited themselves to one device.

I worked closely with product management and engineering to learn why, and strategize solutions to remedy any and all issues we found.

Customer Insights

The research team and I uncovered a multitude of user pain points though heuristic analysis, usability testing and journey mapping.

User Champion

I helped product management reframe business centric requirements into stories that solved user problems, and in turn hit business goals.

Design & Project Lead

I coordinated a cross-functional design team delivering concepts, prototypes, mockups and final comps.


I designed multiple concepts to cast a vision and identified messaging as the first step in addressing our users’ needs.

Product Strategy

I shared our design strategy with stakeholders and executives throughout the project lifecycle.

Design Efficacy

I worked closely with engineering to ensure solutions were grounded in reality and built as-designed.

The Challenge

Two product managers and a marketing rep walked into my cube… (not the start of a joke)

We need to make it easier for users to protect more than one device with a single subscription.

Three Amigos

Can you design something?

Three Amigos

Sure thing, but why?


Customers who protect 2 (or more) devices are significantly more likely to renew their subscription.

Three Amigos

The correlation made complete sense. However, I didn’t know if users were more likely to renew, because they were attached to the product, or because the product was attached to them. What I did know is that many paying customers owned more than one device and were leaving value on the table. I set out to learn why.

Mapping the Journey

Under the tutelage and guidance of Christian Rohrer, our research team and I set out to learn all we could about our users. For this specific requirement we mapped every flow that lead users to download and install the product on a PC, Mac, smartphone and tablet, and appraised the experience using what we called “the golf score” (a methodology that proved to be outstanding in evaluating our 20 year old product).

In short, the golf score counted the number of steps required to complete a task and rated each step (1, 2 or 3) as a measure of its complexity. Green was the color we were looking for, and the lower the score the better.

You can see from the results that there’s a disheartening amount of red and yellow, and far too many steps when compared to contemporary app download processes. Additionally, we validated our analysis with real users who were tasked with protecting several devices in our usability lab. Spoiler alert: 8 out of 10 participants were unable to complete the task.

Add Device Usability Score


Christian P. Rohrer, James Wendt, Jeff Sauro, Frederick Boyle, and Sara Cole. 2016. Practical Usability Rating by Experts (PURE): A Pragmatic Approach for Scoring Product Usability. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 786-795. DOI:

Reframing Business Requirements

Getting users to protect a second device and renew their security software is not a strategy, it’s a byproduct of delivering a great first device experience. In light of our findings, we needed to focus the business requirements around the needs of our users.

What’s the user’s story and what are their needs?

Make it faster

Protecting device #1 could take up to an hour. It was fatiguing. When everything was setup, users had errands to run and TV shows to binge.

Tell me again

Users would forget they could protect more than one device after purchase and installation.

Say it’s free

Protecting the next device was free, but some users thought it cost extra.

Not. Another. Password.

Users needed their password to protect the next device, but they couldn’t remember it.

Echo the feature

Users had to visit McAfee’s online account management tool to protect their next device, but they couldn’t find it.

Reduce the steps

The process of protecting the next device was 17 steps = too many opportunities to make a mistake and drop off.

Going Lean

As I grew connected to our users, I became increasingly unhappy they weren’t receiving the experience they were entitled to. I wanted to flip the script, boil the ocean, and hit all the problems we identified with a single stone …and then some.

What can we do with one scrum team?


Scale down and keep the dream alive.

Big Boss

Every six weeks I set off with my cross functional team to review dozens of concepts, discuss technical feasibility and recap user testing to determine which solutions would be most impactful given our constraints.

Validating our learning

With each release we tested our assumptions. Without setting key performance indicators, we’d never know if we solved the problem (or not). Lucky for me, my product manager was seasoned and understood telemetry implementation.

Are users protecting more devices today than yesterday?

Big Boss

Absolutely! Check the graph below and see our success.


% Increase in Multi-device usage

Multi-device usage was historically flat. With our established a baseline we witnessed incremental increases with each release. After six releases, users were 2x more likely to protect more than one device.

R1 – Low Hanging Fruit

“Low hanging fruit” is what they called it, and I was tasked to design a minimal effort silver bullet solution. At the time I didn’t quite grasp why so much was expected with so little invested to do it right. What I eventually learned is that my team didn’t truly know what “right” was until it was proven. Being that only hindsight is 20/20, we were given one scrum team to test our hypothesis and prove ourselves.

H1: If we email users with download links to install McAfee security, they will do it.

This may seem obvious, but no such email was in production. So we designed it, tested it in the usability lab, built it and released it to the world.

Keycard v.1

The keycard email was inspired by the physical cards users received when they purchased our product in a big box store. Upon e-purchase or registration, we sent users an email to unlock everything they were entitled to.

The keycard email was a great reminder to install security on another device and reduced the friction of doing so, because it carried an auth-token to the product download page and allowed users to get what they needed without a password.

R2 – Make it simpler

Keycard v.1 had a number of technical constraints that limited the effectiveness of what my team designed:

  1. The download links were 1-time use. This threw a wrench in our multi-device plan, because many users opened the email to install the product on their first device.
  2. A McAfee security subscription comes with a bundle of products, which resulted in too many download buttons and long selection times.
  3. Emails aren’t smart, so we were unable to detect the device and hide ineligible products.

H2: If we reduced the download buttons, more users would click through.

H3: If the download buttons were reusable, more users would install the product on a 2nd device.

The only way to test both hypotheses was to direct users to a landing page that managed anti-piracy by email token, detected their device and limited download options relevant to it.

Keycard v.2

To the chagrin of a few stakeholders I added a step between the email and download page. This was heavily debated. The bottom line is that I reduced the literal and perceived complexity of the email action by adding a step – progressive disclosure.