Galway Lawn Tennis Club is a state-of-the-art racket and social club situated on three acres of ground in the scenic heartland of Salthill, overlooking Galway Bay. Over 100 years old, members of all ages and levels have enjoyed learning and playing Tennis, Squash and Badminton.
I was approached by the management of the club to redesign their current website from scratch. They were unhappy with their current website and wanted to start again from the beginning to create a digital hub that would automate a lot of manual work processes, specifically around the management of club membership.
The project involved a re-organisation of business process flows to optimise and automate internal processes and to migrate offline users to use the website as the central hub for news, tournaments, coaching signups, court bookings and managing and paying for their annual memberships. The success of the uptake of the customer migration depended on the positive user experience.
I worked on the entire product design as the sole designer from research to conception, visualisation and development.
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Usability Testing and Design Solutions
Due to timeframe limitations, we were unable to perform usability testing on prototypes prior to going live. Instead, we compromised on iterative live user testing. From live User Testing, we gained valuable feedback that we used to improve upon the original design solution:
“I stopped after the initial membership signup form, because I didn’t realise there was another step afterwards.”
The initial design had the user going through multiple steps to fill out a membership application form, select a membership type, set up an account and then proceed to pay for their membership. This was proving to confuse users who thought the process was finished after the initial membership form was submitted. The problem seemed to be stemming from the fact that the “Submit” button felt final. Even after we added a progress bar, many users still stopped at this point.
The solution involved reducing the number of steps greatly, combining the membership selection page with the membership application form and changing the action button to the phrase “Next”, rather than “Submit”, bringing them to a Checkout page where they could set up/sign into their account and pay on the same page, avoiding any further confusion.
“I wanted to sign up for myself and my kid. I found it difficult to add a second or third membership to my transaction.”
Sometimes a parent would want to sign up for themselves and then sign up one of their children at the same time. Or just sign up two of their children. Either way, individual memberships work out to be better value for these situations than the combined family membership option.
So this meant that users were finding it difficult to process more than one application in the same transaction. Instead they were becoming frustrated because they were being forced to go through the whole process again.
The solution was to add two clear buttons, “Add a New Membership to your order” and “Add a Membership Renewal to your order”, both colour-coded the same as on the initial membership selction page. Selecting one of these buttons brings the user back to the previous stage of the process to add a new membership for a second or third person. Keeping the same colour-coding helps the user understand where they are going in the overall navigation of the membership application process.
“I didn’t realise that I couldn’t renew my membership if I had not held a membership in the last 3 years.”
The phrasing of “New Membership” vs “Membership Renewal” confused certain customers.
If a member has lapsed their membership for over 3 years, they can apply for a new membership, which applies significant discounts to their payment.
If they have been a member in the last 3 years, they cannot sign up as a new member. They must renew their membership and cannot avail of the discount.
To limit the confusion on this, we simply used clear, visible tooltip labelling on both buttons to explain in plain wording, which button to select based on your circumstance.
“I did not sign up for monthly installment payments because I thought it was indicating prices per month for a full year, not for just 6 months in total.”
Users reported that they were deciding to not sign up for the monthly installment options, because they were misunderstanding the duration of the installment options.
The monthly installment payments are for a maximum duration of 6 months, 3 in some cases. We added a highlighted note that appears when the user selects one of these options. The sudden appearance of the note draws the user’s attention to it’s content and they understand how the installment options work and decide to proceed.
Galway Lawn Tennis Club went from having a basic brochure website to having a central digital hub that is utilised by hundreds of customers and staff members of the GTLC to analyse and process membership applications, tournaments and coaching programmes.
The ease-of-use of the website helped to make the migration of offline customers to the digital platform a smooth and easy one. For customers who were resistant to technology, a kiosk at the Reception desk displaying the website provided the customer with no excuse but to embrace the move to the digital landscape.
By studying the manual processes and business requirements that the Club were following and from many interviews with various stakeholders, I created an optimised, largely automated process for membership applications through the website.
If the timeframe had allowed it, I would have liked to have been able to design prototypes and conduct usability testing prior to development to identify pain points. But by conducting user testing on the live environment, we were still able to improve on the digital solution and optimise the membership application and renewal process online further and attract more customers to embrace signing up and paying online.
The result was a migration of over 600 initial customers to the digital environment and an increase of 75% in productivity due to automated and optimised processes.