Purpose: Redesign a Medicaid member portal used by over 30 regional health plans.
My Role: I co-led the wireframe creation process, and then created the first round of polished visual designs and ran user testing sessions.
Timeline: My main involvement in this project lasted six months; the portal is still under development as of Q1 2021.
Context: This work was done while I was an employee of Centene Corporation, a healthcare company that owns health plans — Medicaid, Medicare and Individual Plans — throughout the U.S.
Prior to the Redesign
Some views of the Medicaid Member Portal (Superior Health branded) before the redesign process began:
Business drivers and goals for the redesign included:
- Reducing calls to the Customer Support center. Centene employs tens of thousands of call center reps, and many calls relate to member issues that could be managed via self-service: ID card ordering, claims information, etc.
- Modernize the code by moving from legacy code in a Bootstrap 2 framework to a Material Design-inspired React.js interface.
- Resolve accessibility issues, which included fixing the HTML hierarchy for screen readers and fixing color contrast issues.
- Improve general mobile-friendliness of the tool by optimizing the interface for that form factor and making better use of precious screen real estate.
The research phase for this project took many forms, including:
- Meetings with external research/design agencies
- In-person discussions with current members
- Multiple unmoderated user testing sessions, completed via UserZoom, several of which I designed and analyzed. Test types included heat map click tests, open and closed card sorts to test/confirm navigation, and prototype testing (via Invision) of a planned account settings interface.
As mentioned in other posts, my tool of choice for wireframing has been Balsamiq for some time. In many ways, it’s the ideal tool for quick wireframes and prototyping, because its ease of use encourages “blue sky” thinking. In my experience, moving to polished design comps too quickly tends to kill innovation; it also leads to discussions about issues such as color palettes or drop shadows when the focus should be on interaction flow.
Design & Development
With user testing and stakeholder review of the wireframes complete, I moved on to refining the visual design. I was also in the process of transitioning the design work to another member of my team so I could focus on the Find a Provider redesign. Key parts of this transition:
- Creating Sketch files, stored in Abstract, that could be used as building blocks for the remaining final design files: typography, icons, color palettes, sample form elements, etc.
- Meeting with the development team to check the progress of the initial code rollout, clarifying design direction, and fielding requests for images or other design assets.
- Conferring with the new design lead, discussing how to apply & extend the design across the rest of the site.
As of this writing (early February 2021) the Medicaid Member Portal redesign is still in progress. The login pages have been updated (such as the Superior Health portal login page) as have many interior pages. I’m keeping in touch with the lead designer, and I’m looking forward to seeing how my initial design concepts have been elaborated across the site, and hearing feedback from Medicaid members about the results.