Spamhaus Blocklist Tester

Creating an intuitive user experience to support maximising use of a technical tool.

Creating an intuitive user experience to support maximising use of a technical tool.


Spamhaus Technology provides best-in-class IP and domain reputation datasets. These datasets protect email systems and networks, as well as enable users to investigate incidents quicker. Make it Clear (MiC) has been working with Spamhaus for the past two years providing UX and Digital as well as Campaign and Marketing support.

The challenge

The Blocklist Tester (BLT) allows users to test if their email server is correctly configured to use Spamhaus’ DNSBLS. The BLT has an excellent technical back-end which offers a valuable tool for users; however, as with many technical and non-technical services alike, it was vital to distill this into an intuitive user process. Spamhaus approached Make it Clear to bring the BLT to life by designing an accessible, easy to use experience which was fit for purpose. 

Our approach

To gain a clear understanding of the possible interactions and actions users can complete, we first mapped the current task flows. From this we were able to make informed recommendations on improving the BLT user experience. Leveraging the Spamhaus team’s product expertise, we worked together to iterate and refine a new task flow, which enabled us to define and prioritise the wireframes required. 


Developing wireframes is a critical stage in the digital design process, creating a clear structure, intuitive functionality and ultimately ensuring the usability of the design. After designing and refining the wireframes we then applied the UI styling, bringing them to life prior to usability testing with prospective BLT users. We always recommend our clients take a research-led iterative approach, which includes usability testing prior to development. This allows us to capture vital feedback which is easier to iterate and implement as well as ensure a best-in-class customer experience is achieved from launch.


Following analysis of the research sessions, we outlined actionable recommendations that were then discussed with the Spamhaus team. The interface design was then iterated to align with user behaviours and feedback. Finally we created a style sheet to support development roll-out. We worked with the Spamhaus team and external development agency Bluefuse, to create a smooth transition into the development process and ensure the front-end design matched the design specifications.

Business impact 

The new Blocklist Tester enables users to easily understand how to use the tool and effectively complete core actions. Supporting Spamhaus to continue to be the industry go-to and leader for all things IP and domain reputation. Having recently launched, we look forward to receiving feedback in due course. 


Check out the Blocklist Tester here.

Read more on UX and digital

Take a look at our blog post to see more on why usability testing should be embedded early in your product development. 


Check out our redesign of the Spamhaus Technology website.

Get in touch with us

We’d love to talk to you about how Make it Clear can support your organisation. Book a call here.