UX redesign of Galway Lawn Tennis Club website to process club membership signups and payments through a single digital hub.
Re-organisation of business process flows to optimise and automate internal processes and migrate offline users to use the website as the central hub for news, tournaments, coaching signups, court bookings and managing and paying their annual memberships.
Galway Lawn Tennis Club is an historic multi-sports private club that has been in operation for over 100 years.
The Club approached me because they were unhappy with their current website, a standard “brochure-style” website. They initially wanted to modernise the visual design of their site, but after my initial consultation, they decided to have me optimise their business processes around Membership signups by creating a digital hub where users can signup, renew and pay for their memberships via a new online platform.
The completed website, of which I was in charge of the full UX design and Web development, resulted in the migration of hundreds of offline customers to the digital platform and the automatic processing of hundreds of online membership orders each year, resulting in a huge reduction in manual processing and increase to business efficiency.
GATHERING BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS
The Club had been doing a lot of manual work when processing Membership applications, renewals and monthly installment payments.
I conducted interviews with various stakeholders: the Club Rackets Manager, the Club Accounts Manager, General Manager, Heads of each Sport department and members of the Reception and Admin teams. From these interviews, I gathered together the various processes that were being followed by the different teams to process membership applications and renewals.
The teams relied greatly on manual processing for Membership applications: hand-written receipts, Google Spreadsheets, taking card and cash payments at Reception only.
Also, it became clear that simple tasks, like the processing of a new member, involved duplication of data entry – to process a new member, a member of the Reception team had to input the same data four times or more into different systems.
The Club allows some Membership options to be paid as monthly installments for 3 to 6 months. This had been managed by the Reception and Admin teams by taking a physical cash or card payment, then entering the details of the installment payment into a spreadsheet and then manually monitoring it each week to see if any payments were due. If a payment was due, they would have to manually contact the customer by telephone or email and ask them to come in to pay their next payment.
Members and non-members who wished to sign up for a coaching programme or coaching sessions were required to ask at Reception in person or to contact the Head Coach personally to apply.
Reception would keep a spreadsheet of applicants, and the Head Coach would track who has signed up with them in their own manner.
Communication to customers and non-members about upcoming coaching programmes were limited to print brochures, posters and Social Media.
Because the club hosts three different racket sports (Tennis, Badminton and Squash), there is no single tournament management system. Some of the tennis tournaments are registered and tracked with Tennis Ireland, others with Badminton Ireland, some locally within the club, some in other clubs around Ireland, etc.
So, the Club weren’t looking for a digital solution to collect all tournament info together, as it wasn’t feasible to explore this for them at this time.
But the overall problem that was coming out the interviews seemed to be the way in which tournaments were being registered. Non-members would register over the phone, or by calling in person to Reception. Members would generally contact the sport Head Coach themselves personally, or over the phone to book a place.
The Club wanted to create a “digital hub”, where it’s members would go to book tournaments, manage their memberships, book a court, find out the latest news and learn about and book coaching sesssions.
My task was to collate all the information and requirements from the different departments, stakeholders and users and design a digital solution that would greatly reduce their manual processes and automate a lot of repetitive tasks, while attracting current and new customers to sign up and pay for their memberships through the website.
USER FLOWS & PROCESS MAPS
After gathering a full understanding of the current manual processes the Club was following for it’s membership applications, I designed an optimised process map for how this could be improved on, using my digital solution.
The new process involves the user signing up, selecting their membership type and paying for their membership online. I gained a full understanding of the multiple options provided to the user when selecting a membership:
New Member or Renewing Member?
Is the user a new member/member who has not held a membership in the last 3 years? Or are they a current member/member in the last 3 years, who are renewing their membership?
GLTC offer discounted rates for some variations for New Members, so we immediately need to differentiate between the two membership types.
The Club offers different price points for many variations. To avoid the user becoming confused by these many options, I organised the options into hierarchies, under 4 clear membership types:
Under each Membership Type, the user can select the option that suits them best. This can involve whether they live more than 80km from the Club, in which case they can take advanctage of a discount.
Or different pricing for different age groups of Junior members, etc.
The Club offers monthly installment payment options for some Memberships Types. These payment types needed to be incorporated into the design solution.
The new process is largely automated. The user completes an online form, selects their membership type and pays all through the website. The details of their membership form are stored in their customer account for reference if needed. A notification is sent to GLTC Admin of the new customer. There are no further steps to take if the customer has selected a monthly installment payment option, as this (and all further payments) are all fully automated now. Payment goes directly into the Club’s Stripe account, the user receives an email receipt and confirmation and an automated “Welcome to GTLC” email goes out to them, instructing them on their next steps.
Whereas this was all done manually through many steps in the past, now the only tasks remaining for the GLTC Admin and Accounts teams are to copy and paste the data from the Membership Form into their internal Key Fob system, and when the customer comes in to collect their key fob on their first visit, the Admin Team mark the order as “Complete” on the website back-end. There is some internal accounting paperwork that needs to be completed each quarter and this can now be done very easily with all information and data available through a series of easy to access reports on the website.
The front-end user process map proved to be a little complex due to the vast number of options available to the customer.
I used clearly-defined hierarchies and sub-menus within pages to create a clear understanding of the correct path for the user to take, and ensured that this was done in the least amount of steps possible.
From studying user requirements and real-world user testing, we discovered the need to include options at the “Cart” stage of the process to go back and add a second or third membership to the same transaction (see below).
USER STORIES & SCENARIOS
User stories were developed from the initial understanding of the different users who would access the website, and sample user journeys were identified.
Some examples of users stories developed for GLTC:
USER TESTING AND DESIGN SOLUTIONS
The new website incorporated all of the features that the client required. The site was given a fresh, modern visual redesign. I integrated Tournaments, Coaching, Court Booking into the site within the limitations that were present in the project.
The site became a central hub for news about the club, information about upcoming tournaments and coaching programmes. But the biggest addition was the automation of the processing of membership applications that can now be signed up for and paid directly through the website.
The two membership types “New Membership” and “Membership Renewal” were colour-coded: Green for New and Maroon for Renewals, keeping with the GLTC colour template. The colours follow through to all sub-sections of both membership types (all of the “New” sub-types and options were coloured green, all of the “Renewal” sub-types and options were coloured maroon) to ensure that the user understood which type they were looking at options for and did not feel lost in the navigation. We found that it worked resoundingly well.
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.
By conducting user testing on the live environment, we were 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 a huge increase in productivity due to automated and optimised processes.