A screenshot of the finalized design used by the developers for reference.
Play with Manage Your Prime Membership
Main points of interest is the information architecture as well as the flow of ending a membership.
Live On Amazon.com
If you have an Amazon Prime account, check out my live design on Amazon.com. You can access this page from “Your Account” as well.
If you’re an Amazon Prime customer you’ll eventually need to visit this page to deal with payment information, view renewal dates, or *gasp!* cancel your membership. If you tried to do this prior to summer 2013, the page would look something like this (depending on your Plan type, in this case an Amazon Prime Student membership).
After nearly six months of design work and development, below is a screen capture of the latest live version. During the design process it went through numerous internal reviews, a CXBR (Customer Experience Bar Raiser) where an Amazonian from a different department gives feedback, a “Robbie review” (Robbie Schwietzer former VP of Amazon and the Prime team), and an A/B test where I could observe real customers interacting with my prototype.
Any business running the subscription model dreads losing their loyal customers. Some try to make it purposely difficult to cancel forcing you to jump through annoying hoops. Most bombard you with advertising, “last chance” deals, junk mail, spam, and anything else to keep a hold on your wallet. It’s an interesting conundrum for the business-customer relationship, and a space where customer trust and satisfaction can be severely impacted. As a UX designer there’s a possibility to be put into a compromising position where creating the best possible experience takes a back seat to customer retention. Fortunately, Amazon wholeheartedly rejects this concept, believing that “what’s good for the customer is good for Amazon.” This creates a fantastic foundation for me to design the best possible user interface, even if it makes ending your Prime membership a breeze.
Identifying My Design Goals
My redesign obviously needed to retain the functionality of the old pages, so my task could be simplified down to just “rearranging” the information that was already there. I thought I could do better than that, even evolving the page into an asset for Amazon and a pleasure for the customer. Here’s how I planned to do that:
These images demonstrate exactly what I don’t want. Information is scattered throughout the page with no clear hierarchy, headers are different sizes and colors, boxes of information contain boxes within boxes within boxes (demonstrated in the second photo). This makes it difficult to quickly locate the information you’re looking for. My plan was to remedy this by organizing the information into two distinct categories emphasized by consistent color use and type hierarchy.
Educating Prime users
If someone was considering cancelling their Prime account, there’s absolutely nothing on the old page that would entice them to change their mind. To me this seemed like a huge oversight, especially considering that many people were only aware of two-day shipping and not their other benefits like Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and Prime Instant Video, benefits they’re paying for and could be actively using. Would a customer potentially change their mind and stick with Amazon Prime if they were made aware of these perks? I think so.
Planning for the future
Last but not least I wanted the new design to be flexible enough for the future. Amazon is constantly responding to the needs of their users by making changes and improvements. The new “Manage Your Prime Membership” page needed to be sustainable in this respect so that it wouldn’t need to be completely reworked down the line.
Simplifying the cancellation flow
Just like the rest of the old page, cancelling or renewing a membership was a bad experience. This led to many complaints and unhappy customers simply because of poor visual communication and information architecture. We initially had two options: “renew automatically” and “cancel membership,” which were essentially the same thing, just viewed with two different perspectives. “Cancel membership” is pretty clear. You’ll immediately terminate your Prime account and you’ll receive a refund if applicable. “Renew automatically” is a little different though. Another way to interpret this phrase is to say, “in the future do you want to pay for another year of Prime, or do you want to cancel your membership?” So, the only real difference between cancelling and renewing is an issue of time. Now or later. The final intent is the same, so we decided to flip it on its head and present the user with their intent, to end their membership, and then afterwards let them decide if they want to end their membership now, or if they want to end their membership later. Here’s an example of the final product:
We hoped that being as humanistic and clear as possible coupled with constant affirmation would ease this process for Amazon customers and give them confidence in their actions. After the new “Manage Your Prime Membership” redesign launched it had an immediate positive effect, increasing retention in Free Trial members. Many members start their Prime subscription with a month long free trial because, hey, it’s free and the shipping sounds nice. When those 30 days were up they’d ax their account without a second thought. Based on initial results this was happening less, possibly because free trial members were reminded of Prime’s value. What resonates with me was that improving customer experience, even if it more easily enables actions negative to business, can do just the opposite, supporting the mantra that “what’s good for our customers is good for us.” In this case it was organizing data and educating customers, not tricking or confusing them. We feel that Prime is a great deal completely worth your money, and by informing users of what Prime is, simply what you’re already paying for, would change customer’s minds before clicking that cancel button.