Spamhaus IP and Domain Checker

Creating clarity in a stressful process.

With over two decades of experience, Spamhaus is the leader in IP and domain reputation. Their datasets protect users and networks from malicious online activities, alongside providing increased visibility across security-related events. Make it Clear (MiC) have been working alongside Spamhaus for the past two years providing UX and Digital as well as Campaign and Marketing support.

The challenge

Spamhaus provides an online tool which allows anyone to check if an IP or domain is listed on one of Spamhaus’ DNS blocklists. Being listed on a blocklist can be a stressful experience for some users, which ranges from highly skilled engineers to non-technical everyday internet users. Spamhaus identified a need to better support the broad user base and opportunity to update the decade old tool, to reduce friction and step users through the removal process. The aim, to create a new look checker which increases simplicity and clarity of the process to make it more accessible, and ultimately improve the user experience.


Our approach

Co-discovery workshop

Using personas based on previous research for Spamhaus, we first identified who the blocklist removal process was most relevant to. During the workshop with the Spamhaus team user journeys for the chosen personas were mapped and then prioritised. Through the workshop the process vision was also established: the need for simplicity, clarity and for the platform to be approachable, removing tensions and educating the user. 



Based on the key user journeys developed in the workshop, a set of wireframe prototypes  were created and iterated on. Wireframes are a critical part of the design process and help establish screen content, structure and navigation. At MiC, we produce detailed wireframes which are then hosted on the prototyping platform InVision, this allows client teams to preview and comment on the prototype. 


Interface design

Creating the design structure is crucial in bringing the wireframes to life. Aligned with Spamhaus brand guidelines, initial concepts were created and iterated with the Spamhaus team, this included responsive mobile states. Following this, specifications were created for the development team, this included all page templates and associated mobile versions as well as a supporting style guide. 


Usability testing 

At MiC, we see usability testing as a critical part of the process to ensure user centric design. Prior to testing, the success criteria was agreed upon with Spamhaus and each task was rated against this. From the testing, a number of optimisation opportunities were highlighted, these were implemented and tested ahead of the launch to ensure the best user experience possible.


Business impact

The new look IP and domain checker enables easy lookup and provides users reassurance as well as clear easy to follow instructions.


As the IP and domain checker has recently gone live, we look forward to results being shared in due course. 


“This project needed to take the technology out of technology, i.e., take a complex process and simplify it for the end-user, making it an intuitive journey. Make It Clear not only had to consider our range of end-users and their needs, but they also needed to unravel the internal intricacies of our different datasets. Their ability to question, listen and assimilate information ensured the development of a design fit for purpose, which has been well received by its users.” – Sarah Miller, Head of Marketing, Spamhaus.


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