AARP Renew KISS Refresh

AARP Renew K.I.S.S. Refresh


Similar to our approach for the Join experience, we wanted to first get an understanding of the expectations and pain points from existing AARP members who are renewing their membership online within the existing legacy experience. This would give us a baseline understanding of what a user experiences and their expectations and thought process.

Remote User Testing – Baseline

Opportunity: The legacy Renewal experience could be improved
Goals: Identify pain points from real AARP members who are renewing their membership.
Audience: Members aged 50+, desktop and mobile (5 members < 1 year, 15 members for > 1 year)

Test Collateral: Renew experience (control, legacy)
1) .ORG Home Page through Renew flow
Desktop  |  Mobile

Some of the tasks and questions we asked:

  • What are your initial impressions of this page?
  • Please complete the form using fake information.
  • Imagine you’re visiting the website to renew your membership. Please explain how you would do it and your expectations.
  • Are you clear on why we are asking this information?
  • What term did you select and why?
  • What is your normal method of renewing your membership?

Renew Expectations (Control)

Renew Verification (Control)


Learnings from the Renew experience (control, legacy):

  • Renewal process is frustrating users, particularly on Mobile
    – Too many dropdowns selections
    – Users experiencing mis-clicks when enterintg #’s with alpha keyboard
    – Not mobile optimized
  • Users found it frustrating that they would be prompted to ‘Renew’ if their membership was current
    – As Direct Mail reminders start at 6 months prior to expiration, it’s recommended to serve contextual messaging (0-6 months for either Renewing and Extending), and/or change direct mail reminders to 3 months out
  • Users in general aren’t expecting to do a look-up with their Birthday, First and Last, Zip and Country
    – The majority of users are expecting some type of Log in or Sign in page, by entering their Member ID#, or Email & PW
    – As a result, the DOB and name entry causing real friction, with possible impact on perceived security
    – User stated “there may be another person with same name.”
    – DOB in the loo-up is causing friction, and date selection exponentially more difficult on Mobile
    – Users confused why they aren’t just take to their account details (dashboard) to “Sign In”
    – ‘Paid Thru date’ of some kind should appear on confirmation page in some fashion
  • 25% offer confusing users at look up stage
    – Suffers from ad blindness
    – Users are here to log in at this stage and their intent to renew has been established
    – Some users think that’s the only term offered
  • Stepper perceived as navigation
    – Impacts perceived workload
    – Step 4 ‘Confirmation’ is not a step
  • Users report expecting account verification with Member ID#, Name, and expiration dates, etc. (security issue)
  • Too many unnecesary fields for ‘known’ information, that impacts perceived workload, particularly on Mobile
    – Focus should be about simplifying renewal process, remove unnecessary fields
  • Security concerns likely causing users to bounce
    – Users missing the McAfee in the header and question overall security
    – McAfee logo not clearly visible
    – User expected to user CC on file
  • Too many terms requiring math causing cognitive load
    – Consider offering a 1 Year with Auto-renew opt-in at discounted rate
    – Majority of users selecting 1 Yr AR and 5 Yr terms:
Member Term Breakdown
1 Yr with Auto-Renew 6
1 Year only 5
3 Years 3
5 Years 6

Note: It’s interesting to see that similar to what we saw with testing the Join flow, that users favored the 1 Year with auto-renew and the 5 Year term slightly more than the 1 Year and 3 Year options. This would help inform a pivot to remove the multi-year terms in favor of automatic 
renewal option and help reduce cognitive load on the user.

User Insights:

“I expect to be asked to sign in to gain access to my account if I just hit the Renew button, not asked to type in my name and zip code.”
“I want total control over my account…The process makes me feel uncomfortable.”
“It should be required that I log into my account to renew, and I should be able to do this without assistance.”
“My main suggestion is to highlight the security features of the billing step.”

Remote User Testing – Account Look-Up

The baseline study was a great kick-off to understanding our users pain points. It not only shed light on usability issues, term selection, and critical security concerns, it also raised more questions in terms of what information a user expects to enter when they’re signing in to their account.

A significant number of users were confused by the legacy method to look-up their account (requiring their DOB, First and Last Name, Zip Code and Country). Many users expected a look-up of some kind, but weren’t expecting to be asked this kind of information, rather they expected to be asked for their Membership #, or Email and Password. However, one of the business constraints was that not all members have provided an email and password as it wasn’t always necessary in the sign up process, so another method must be used. The Email and PW sign-in would be a future implementation.

As the account look-up is arguably the most critical step in the renewal process, it’s essential for us to understand our users preferences. So we needed to dig deeper to gain more user insights. Our approach was to isolate the look-up step on is own. For the sake of testing, we created multiple variations of both a ‘single’ look-up and ‘multi’ (step down) look-up methods, each with different input requirements to test.

Opportunity: Improve the member look-up / sign-in
Goals: Identify what customers like and dislike about various single and multi-method ‘look-up’ methods
Audience: Members aged 50+, desktop only

Test Collateral:
Single look-up and Multi look-up (step down) methods


‘Single’ look-up methods


‘Multi’ (step down) look-up methods

Some of the tasks and questions we asked:

  • You’ve just clicked the Renew button on the home page, and are brought to a page with form fields requesting this information. What kind of personal information do you expect to be asked for?
  • How comfortable are you with providing this information?
  • Is this the type of information you expected to be asked for?
  • What is your preferred method of locating your account?
  • Would you be comfortable using a social media account to log-in, and if so which platform?

Single look-up

Multi look-up


Learnings on the user Look-up methods:

  • Single Look-up: Method 4 (Email/Password) won as the preferred look-up method, with 42% of the users selecting it as their preferred single look-up option
  • Method 3 (Member #/Zipcode) was second most-preferred method with 32% of users. Users generally believed that email and password is the simplest and fastest method, and best meets their expectations
    – Contrarily, some users reported that they would prefer not to have to remember passwords
  • Multi Look-up: Method 4 (Member Number + Zip, Name + DOB + Zip, and Name + Address) won as the preferred look-up method, with 37% of the users selecting it as their preferred multi look-up option
    – Users generally believed it was the most clear and straightforward with its instruction
    – For the most part, users thought that it was clear that only one of the “find me” forms needed to be filled out; however, 16% of users found it confusing
    – There was also some confusion regarding the process of Renewing their membership without having an account in the “Continue As a Guest” option
    – Many friction areas might be solved by testing verbiage and layout
  • Method 3 (Email + PW, New account with Email + PW, and Guest checkout) was the second most-preferred method with 32% of user preference
  • The Membership ID# look-up was probably the most polarizing
    – While some user preferred this method, others suggested they may not have their card or there could be greater propensity for typos
  • For the multi-method, users liked the flexibility to “Continue as a Guest” option
Social Media Log-in Preference
Yes, Facebook 7
Yes, Facebook or Twitter 1
No 12

Suggested Pivots for Single and Multi look-up options:

  • Future implementation of the preferred methods (Email/PW and Member Number/Zip Code)
    – Include a “Forgot Password” and “Recover Password” links (email flow)
  • If DOB is used, consider testing portions of birth date (i.e. mm/yyyy)
  • For the Create an Account option, consider testing new verbiage that clarifies creating an online account vs. a membership account
    – Include field to verify password (required)
  • For Multi look-up methods, include more distinction between forms (users liked how there was verbiage saying “choose one of the three methods below” present on Method 4)
    – Include ‘Or’ when more than 1 option is available
  • Add more clarity to explain why and when to ‘Continue As a Guest’
    – Edit and provide additional verbiage
    – Consider tool tip to address confusion regarding “Registration”

Design Pivots:

Following our baseline and sign-in/look-up tests, we wanted to make some pivots to the flow and the design with a K.I.S.S. approach in mind. The Control experience from the first test uses a term selection and the users account information in step 2, and then Billing in step 3. For the K.I.S.S. approach, we wanted to simplify by combining these 2 steps. We also changed the fields for account information into on-page content that the user would have an option of editing. Rolling it up in this way would help with perceived security and not as ‘work’ to the user. Here is an early user flow that we had in mind:

AARP Renew KISS flow

Renew KISS user flow

For the look-up, we wanted to implement the Email/PW or Member ID#/Zip as users expected, but it would be some time before this functionality could be supported. So as a temporary solution we removed the DOB fields that were causing a lot of friction and replaced it with the street address field that would help with security concerns.

For the Checkout page, we wanted to include more of a dashboard treatment where the user is presented their Account Details to help with messaging ‘scent’ and added security. We also included a list of Benefits as additional incentive to complete the flow. From there we designed 2 prototypes with the Account Details and Benefits in different locations, in step 1 and 2, and user tested to see which users preferred.

Opportunity: Improve the member Renewal cart with a K.I.S.S. flow (Look-up, Checkout and Confirmation)

Goals: Identify customers preference between 2 K.I.S.S. cart variations
Audience: Members aged 50+, desktop only

Test Prototypes:

V 1

Variation 1

V 2

Variation 2


  • 60% of users preferred V 1
  • Single-Year renewal won as the preferred renewal option, with 53% of the users selecting it as their preference
 Look Up – step 1
  • Users reported they preferred the look up to be isolated on it’s own without any distractions
  • Many users reported they expected to see a UN / PW sign in, a consistent theme

Checkout – step 2, users also preferred V1

  • Some users didn’t realize the AR was checked, and felt the price after the first year wasn’t clear
    – Revise to use radio buttons for greater clarity and more obvious opt-in selection
    – Revise price treatment for added transparency
  • Users reported that the Account Details were buried

Confirmation page

  • Users did not notice the “Discover AARP” at the bottom
    – Greater visibility should create better engagement and hopefully, better retention
    – Members are more likely to Renew in the future if they start using their benefits within the first few weeks

Design Pivots / Refresh:

Look Up – step 1

  • Revised headline for more actionable, natural language
    – “Let’s find your account”
    – Edited CTA from “Continue to Renewal Information” to simply “Search”
    – Removed unnecessary sales image and AR copy to isolate the look-up

Checkout – step 2

  • Added error messaging with expiration call out
    – Users expiring in 3-6 months will get served “Renew” error verbiage, suppressed otherwise
  • Moved Account Details up on the page
    – Fields are not necessary and are perceived workload
    – Users are expecting a scent from step 1 where they’ve signed in
    – Should also help with perceived security, that the user is in the right place and it’s their account
  • Changed offer headline from “Continue to access…” to something simpler like “Special Offer”
  • Replaced Checkbox for the auto-renew opt-in with Radio Buttons for added clarity
    – Options 1 Yr AR and 1 Yr, one time
  • Added clearer messaging for Auto-Renew incentive
    – Added 2nd member FREE
    – Renews at $16 a year
    – Add tool tip pop-up with key Benefits as added incentives
    – Receive less mail / email reminders (members receive up to 13 DM reminders)
  • Rolled up Billing address fields into preselected checkbox Div
  • Designed new lightbox exit pop-up for a second chance opt-in
  • Revised main CTA from “Confirmation” to “Place Order”

Confirmation page

  • Added Member ID # call out
  • Added order summary to continue dashboard, security theme
  • Added Discover section into Receipt section for more ‘included products’ feel, and prioritized by perceived value
    – Should help with retention as users more inclined to renew if they begin using benefits and discounts
    – 1. Discounts, Movie Tickets 2. AARP Now app 3. Member Benefits Guide 4. Travel
  • Edited Print functionality to reflect user intent
    – ‘Print Page’ and ‘Print Card’

Next steps, apply Renew K.I.S.S. to Mobile






AARP Renew KISS Redesign

  • User Experience

93% of Renewal orders elected to subscribe to Auto-Renew, a much larger percentage over previous designs.

FUNCTION: Art Direction + Design
DISCIPLINE: Strategy + User Experience + User Testing
INDUSTRY: Cyber Security, Events, News