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UX Strategy + IA: UX strategy and information architecture to support AOL’s transition from an internet service provider (ISP) to a digital media advertising company.



As AOL transitioned from a subscription-based business model to an advertising-based one, Experience by Design (EBD) supported AOL with UX strategy and design consulting services for its customer support portal and a number of its products and digital media platforms and properties.

Projects included:

  • My Account
  • People Connection
  • AIM Network
  • Parental Controls
  • Safety and Security Center

We collaborated with a range of teams from product, engineering, design studio, and usability testing within the organization to flesh out requirements, define roles and responsibilities, identify expected work products and deliverables, and set timelines for each project. We also supported AOL’s customer research team with the creation of personas and the design and planning for a long-term study to segment and baseline the motivations, goals, and needs of their shifting target audiences.

My Account

The My Account team wanted to extend the My Account portal’s available functionality and improve usability so that customers could manage their accounts on their own without contact center support. This was a high-priority project, critical to the success of AOL’s business model the success of AOL’s new business model. 


People Connection

The People Connection team needed help bringing together its flagship community and social products into an updated and unified browser-based UI. The products included Groups, Message Boards, Chat, Photos, and others. We led the information architecture work stream, and collaborated with the Design Studio team on the UI and visual design for the People Connection container and global features such as Search, Profiles, and Help to update the user interface and to unify features and functional behavior across AOL’s flagship community and social products.


AIM Network

The AIM executive and product teams wanted to leverage the AIM brand to:

  • Extend the presence and reach of AIM’s industry-leading chat client and online services to capitalize on shifts in user preference and online behavior.
  • Extend and grow digital advertising revenue streams.

We helped the AIM executive and product teams hone their vision and strategy for a more interconnected and unified experience across AIM's branded communication, community, and social media ecosystem, and supported the UI and interaction design efforts and work streams.


Safety + Security

We supported the UX/UI Lead on the redesign and refactor of the AOL Safety and Security product UI and functionality to:

  • Upgrade the product’s look and feel.
  • Emphasize the product's enhanced antivirus, firewall, and spyware features.
  • Make the product more visible and up-front-and-center using a system tray and other desktop notification modalities.
  • Improve overall usability and performance.


Parental Controls

Together with the Product Manager and the UX/UI Lead on the AOL Parental Controls team, we worked to improve the product’s UI by reorganizing and simplify existing functionality, and incorporate new functionality to make it easier for AOL customers to:

  • Manage their children’s time online and internet usage.
  • Monitor and restrict their children’s “surfing” and “searching” activity.

Explore Our Work

Explore Our Work