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UX Strategy + Information Architecture: Helping AOL transition from an internet service provider (ISP) to a digital media business.



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 platform, its security and safety products, and its core social media properties.

Projects included the following:

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

We worked with the Product, Engineering, AOL Studio, and Usability Testing teams to work through requirements, roles and responsibilities, timelines and expected work products and deliverables for each project. We also supported AOL’s Customer Research team with the design and planning of a study to segment and baseline their 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 without relying on the call center. This was a high-priority project that was critical to 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 a unified and engaging browser-based experience. These products included Groups, Message Boards, Chat, Photos, and others. We led the information architecture and design of the People Connection container and global features, such as Search, Profiles, and Help, that would unify AOL’s social products and make them more user-friendly.


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 worked with the AIM design team to help the executive and product teams hone their vision and strategy for a more interconnected and unified experience across the AIM branded communication, community, and social media ecosystem.


Safety + Security

We worked with the Safety and Security team to refactor the product UI and functionality to:

  • Upgrade the product look and feel
  • Make the product more visible and up-front-and-center
  • Emphasize more robust antivirus, firewall, and spyware malware features
  • Improve usability and performance


Parental Controls

Together with the Parental Controls team, we improved the product’s UI, reorganized and simplified existing functionality, and incorporated new functionality 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