Working in the association world for the past few years, I have spent a lot of time redesigning better user experience (UX) for member based associations. How can UX drive member retention? What key aspects of these sites should be targeted to limiting the frustration of existing members, while considering the turnover of potential new members?
A great place to start is through seamless member applications. By limiting the number of clicks it takes a user to complete these applications, as well as tracking its completion through steps or progress bars, users will be more likely to complete and submit them. This can be achieved through the design and functionality of the member application. A multi step application can help limit confusion while users are filling out their information.
Try to avoid using tabbed accordion content. Many membership based applications can be extensive, and users are asked to provide detailed information about their backgrounds in order to be accepted. Hiding and displaying content fields can be frustrating to users who are spending a decent amount of time filling out the application. Include a verification page that is easily editable prior to the application submission.
Another area to consider targeting is membership renewal. A complaint I have seen multiple times is difficulty renewing membership, and where to renew it. When it’s time for your members to renew, include linked reminders throughout the site. Not only does this act as a reminder, but it helps direct the user exactly to where they can renew quickly.
A great way to simplify the dues renewal page can be to pre-populate the members information. Users can update their information if needed or verify and confirm the renewal in a quick, one-step process.