Test driving your new online experience

May 20, 2016

You’re not cluttered with piles of information right in front of you. It’s three items at a time, and the three items always pertain to my situation. It’s so simple, it really is.

– Ken

Ken Collins was one of more than 2,500 members, both working and retired, who volunteered as ‘beta users’ to test drive the changes we made to our members’ online experience. He and the other volunteers used the new website over the past year and offered their feedback on how we can make it even more personal and simple.

Some of the improvements we made include:

  • more links to information you consider relevant and important;
  • hints and messages to help you sign in; and
  • compatibility with all types of mobile devices.

With a handful of years left before he retires as Executive Director of the Qualifications Evaluation Council of Ontario, Ken’s favourite feature was the pension calculator. “Any time you can sign in and get an accurate estimation of where you plan to be in six months, five years, or for the newbies, 20, 25 years down the road, it’s just a remarkable tool to have.”

While he knows what his salary is today, the tool allows him to project what his salary will be as he moves through his career. Ken can then use these projections to calculate the impact on his pension if he works a little longer or decides to retire sooner. “If I have my mortgage paid, can I live off of this much? What will I have to do to supplement my income? Will I even have to supplement my income?”

Being able to drum up retirement scenarios on his smartphone was an added perk, Ken added.

“Everything is accessible right there on the screen with a tap. And it makes it easy. If you have a quick question and you want it answered, there it is right there.”

And when he does retire, he’ll have all of the details about his pension, from cost-of-living increases to Canada Pension Plan adjustments at his fingertips.

Ken added that his 88-year old mother, a retired teacher, explored the new online experience and was able to navigate it with ease.

“You’re not cluttered with piles of information right in front of you. It’s three items at a time, and the three items always pertain to my situation. It’s so simple, it really is,” Ken said.

The new experience is self-serve, he continued. “I can get the information that I need at my own pace, on my schedule. Unless someone has a very unique situation, almost every life experience can be found on the website. It’s all there.”

Three Facts About Ken

  1. Before becoming a teacher in Sudbury in the late 1980s, he worked as a journalist.
  2. He has four kids, who live all over North America. And “the grandkids are starting to appear.”
  3. When he retires he plans on spending time on his mining property in Northern Ontario, “doing amateur geology.”