Digital Seniors

Hypothesis and goals for this study
Over the last few months, we noticed there were a higher number of digital subscription cancellations than we would like. Since the reason for cancelling was flagged as technincal we suspected that the majority of people cancelling were seniors. We wanted to find out if that was really true, and if it was, what pain points could be addressed to prevent further cancellations.

We also wanted to reach a deeper understanding of this valuable and traditionally news-engaged cohort, and how they interact with technology. 

Secondary objectives
Collaborate with colleagues in different departments and meet OKR and research goals

Teams consulted: Digital Product (Design + PMs), Editorial, Marketing, Call Centre
Research Team: Digital Product and the Market Research Team
Methodology: Survey, interviews 
Participants: 6 Seniors aged 67-85 via Zoom interviews, 1500 Survey responses received out of the 2K+ sent to Star Advisor panelists.

Process:
1. Gather research questions from the above consulted groups
2. Gather observations via Call Centre anonymous survey
3. Organize all questions, distill, simplify
4. Create survey questions
5. Collaborate with Research to build Star Advisers survey
6. Customer interviews with 6 subscribers
7. Distill findings

A few of the survey findings:
(a big thing we focused on in the survey was understanding sign-in issues. We see a lot of complaints about this and wanted to understand it better)

  • 1/2 think it is a hassle to sign in
  • 2/3 agree they don’t like to sign in so often
  • 20% overall sometimes have trouble signing in

Quotes from some Interviews:

  • On signing in: “It irritates me to the point that I don’t want to do it.”
  • Understanding the difference between mobile web and the app: “I don’t see any added value in the app”
  • On article swiping:  “No one told us that”  (discoverability principle does not work for this group)

HMW make use of these findings

  • Create tutorials (article, step by step or video, making use of the YouTube Channel)
  • Email release notes (collaborate with Marketing)
  • Clearly communicate updates 

Resulting Changes: We are committed to doing much better at communicating. We have added Tool Tips indicating what is new in the App for each release and have a medium site with how-to articles. We are constantly working on bug fixes and UI improvements as the product evolves.