Sensing the impending wave of baby boomer retirees – and their collective purchasing power – AOL set out to launch a new venture in the winter of 2011 called Life Uncomplicated. This experience aimed to fill the void between more staid voices like AARP and blogs and media channels aimed at a younger crowd.
Getting the tone right was the hardest part. We had to acknowledge that users were simultaneously smart and savvy enough to reject AARP but beyond appropriate for media channels aimed at mid-liferes. Luckily Marlo Thomas was a major contributor to this venture and helped establish the brand voice with her video and written blogs.
We began with secondary research and analogous trendscraping to define the opportunity space to explore. Then we conducted a brand & identity workshop that aligned our stakeholders to whitespace in the market. Doing so helped us establish the visual tone and functionality recommendations appropriate for the soon-to-be boomer retiree.
Throughout our alignment sessions and design workshops, our stakeholders gravitated towards textile patterns and light tones for an audience make-up that was more than half women. Therefore we designed a template system that referenced and varied the amount of patterns found throughout the experience.
The project was eventually killed due to the AOL Huffington Post merger.