About Aaron’s


Lease-to-own furniture, appliances and electronics retailer 



Increase conversion by enhancing the online leasing experience 

My Role 


UX Lead—Uncover UX opportunities and pitfalls, paying close attention to the online leasing experience. Make customers feel more confident signing a contract online for a big-ticket item.



+6% increase in conversion. (More users entering funnel and churn reduction at References step of lease application.)


Analytics Analysis

Setting benchmarks and learning how users interact with the site

Reviewed traffic, click-map and page-timing reports, honing in on abandonment and rage clicks within sales funnel

Observed recorded site sessions (via FullStory) to establish root causes of friction


Heuristic & Competitive Audits

Conducted UX diagnostic of Aaron’s desktop and mobile site to uncover usability issues, which I indexed by severity and frequency

Mapped solutions to each issue in a backlog of incremental design changes, starting with quick wins

Conducted same evaluations of competitor websites


Original Homepage

Poor content taxonomy conceals breadth of offerings and fails to inform users they can lease online

Homepage should communicate what the site is, what you can do on the site and why you should be on the site 

No messaging to let users know they can lease online  

Narrow path scopes promote shallow parent categories

Redundant CTAs compete for attention and regurgitate links from universal navigation

Most prominent CTAs generate fewest clicks (7%) 

Content from high-traffic pages is minimal or absent (e.g., How to Own It Online)


New Homepage

Reimagined content hierarchy addresses misgivings upfront

Leverages findings from competitive research to articulate Aaron’s value proposition and make users feel more confident leasing-to-own online

Introduced comparison table to (Leasing Online vs. In-Store) to inform users everything on the site can be leased online

Made it easier to access most popular content by including language from How to Own It Online page

Added Shop by Brand and other inspirational paths to help users make better scope selections

Refreshed visual design, while adhering to off-limits UI elements


Original Lease

At first glance, 3-step flow seems simple, since most fields were deferred to (excruciatingly long) final step 

Flow follows ‘clicks-are- bad’ logic. But, cognitive load of form-field wall is worse than interaction cost of several mindless clicks.

Dual-column layout interrupts vertical momentum of moving down the form


Dissecting the Flow

Interrogated every form field to find opportunities for optimization  


New Lease Flow

Restructured to reduce complexity and optimize for mobile

Used progressive disclosure to create a linear flow comprised of bite-size steps to help users move quickly & assuredly through the application 


Putting first things first

Qualifying applicants upfront

Qualifying applicants for credit approval upfront allows 15 fields to be removed from remainder of lease for instantly approved applicants

These applicants now receive a congratulatory message, to motivate them to forge ahead through the most grueling steps (which I purposefully deferred)

Saving the worst for last


Deferred most grueling part of  application (Personal References) to the end, since highly motivated users are often more willing to tolerate higher interaction costs

Managing expectations

Added a new step to set expectations upfront about what checkout process entails and what info users will need

Trade off: potentially increasing early abandonment for an increase in overall competion rate

Putting Price/Availability Upfront          

Folded monthly payment amount, # of payments, cash price and total cost of ownership into first step, so biggest purchase-decision indicators are presented upfront.


Making it easy to supply inputs

Since 2/3 of applications are accessed on mobile devices, optimizing the mobile experience was crucial

Numeric keyboard prompted as appropriate

Input methods (e.g., drop-down menu) match field (e.g., income range)

Increased size of touch targets  

Implemented single-column layout

Added padding between fields and labels

Added persistent progress bar to reduce uncertainty and give users a sense of their progression



Changes released incrementally, so each can be validated (or invalidated) via A/B testing.

Deferring References increased conversion by 6% 

Aaron’s has since rebranded & re-platformed, though several core elements of my design and messaging remain (e.g., homepage messaging, lease flow)