In order to grow and retain business, the client needed to make it easier for people to manage all aspects of their employee healthcare. The existing application was lacking and inefficient. There were outdated technical systems that were creating barriers as well as an unappealing design that was not consistent with their brand. Exact pain points needed to be identified and their nuances teased out in order to succeed in the redesign.
Consultations with SMEs revealed some manual, error-prone processes that were causing issues. Competitive analysis informed features and capabilities that were missing in order to be first class. User interviews discovered there was little confidence in the application’s ability to help users complete tasks and accomplish their goals. The existing application was essentially becoming obsolete.
The new employee portal offered users and potential new clients a single location with more self-service tools and an improved user experience. Introducing automated record processing was big a win for all, reducing errors and inefficiencies. Lastly, the updated visual and interaction designs with reflection of the brand brought the application to a competitive level. Users could now accomplish their goals with greater ease and speed.
Initial research for this project was conducted by both the client and my team before I joined. Some of the research included interviews with users and SMEs, analysis of other similar applications, and current state analysis. I used this documentation to get an understanding of the ecosystem and the users.
User interviews uncovered the following major themes:
- Enrollment processing was time intensive for employers and membership support staff
- Data re-entry time delays occurred often and frustrated employers and support staff
- Backend data flow into downstream systems was a manual process
- Manual data re-entry into other systems produced many errors and inconsistencies
- Inability to view a full roster list caused distrust in the system. Users could not verify accurate information, status, or successful inputs
During the planning phases of the project, I used research findings to inform design decisions. I synthesized user profile information into personas that guided me in my design process.
Other tools and methodologies used to plan and begin preliminary design were the following:
- Worked closely with technical team during concept phases to ensure feasibility
- Used journey mapping to understand and illustrate current and proposed future state processes relating to subscriber management
- Collaborated with the team to map out user flows, working out interaction complexities and establishing foundational design
- Rendered sketches and low fidelity wireframes to ideate and convey concepts and interactions
- Consulted with the client’s internal designers as needed for feedback to ensure brand alignment
After working on portions of interactions in lower fidelity, I applied visual design polish consistent with the brand. As the only designer on the project at this point, I managed the design portion of the project independently, reaching across teams and keeping with the overall timeline.
Some of the greatest achievements of the redesign were the following:
- Automated record processing increased efficiency and resolved issues in user experience, saving resources for the client
- Providing access to all-up roster lists allowed full visibility, increased accuracy and boosted confidence in the system
- Moving navigation from a vertical a tree-control pattern to horizontal bar improved wayfinding and access to information
- The new dashboard offered a personalized and visually appealing starting place to begin a session
In order to ensure fast fails and more successful products, I ascribe to the notion that testing should happen early and often. Unfortunately, the nature of some projects do not always allow for ideal approaches. The client had a process in place for user acceptance through feedback. I was glad to be able to initiate a usability test while the project was nearing development completion, but the analysis and suggestions for improvement could only be collected and passed to the client to carry forward in their future management of the application.
I spearheaded user testing efforts by securing participants and creating necessary assets, including a test plan, consent forms, moderator script, participant document and questionnaire. Next, I trained a colleague to moderate the tests because…I had to go have a baby! The moderator did an excellent job taking over, capturing areas of improvement and translating findings into a digestible document.