NICK ALECK

SENIOR USER EXPERIENCE DESIGNER | PHOTOGRAPHER

Over ten years of experience designing usability solutions for brands like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Groupon, Allstate, DePaul University, Sony,  Vitamin Water, Atlantic Records and Northwestern University

Master of Science degree from DePaul University's Human-Computer Interaction program

 

Health Insurance Blog

My team at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) received a request to provide a solution for a content team to publish their own dynamic articles while not having the space seem overly corporate/health care oriented. We have flexibility in the sense that we have very little constraints for what it can't be and the freedom to make it as innovative and unique as we can.

When a user logs onto the site for the first time, they are greeted with a welcome message and an opportunity to choose the types of articles that matter most to them.

Business Partner/Users

The request was submitted to us by the Marketing group within BCBSIL. The particular group within Marketing that we are working with contains individuals who will write content for the proposed site, provide media and act as the overall editor.

The users for this site will be individuals interested in lifestyle oriented articles that happen to have a health care tone to them. Rather than hitting the user over the head with insurance information or health care basics, the articles will strive to be informative about life's obstacles and introduce a way that the BCBSIL brand can help. 

The Account Page allows the user to update their personal information, article preferences, view article recommendations and also view a library of articles that they have rated.

Strategy

As the team lead, I met with my team after our initial meeting with the business partners and talked about our observations about their request, initial reactions and beginning ideas for how we might design a solution. For the first follow-up meeting, I asked them to all bring back examples of other digital experiences that may have innovative features, layouts or any other piece that we may be able to leverage. 

We began a rapid prototyping session in Axure where an initial set of wireframes was put together. Our solution involved bringing in an outside CMS, Wordpress, to allow the team more control over their publishing needs. We paired that with an Adobe mobile app called Spark Post which creates dynamic and visual blog posts  that can be embedded into a CMS. 

Once the wires represented what we felt was the best solution for this project, we presented them first to the director of our department and with his approval, eventually the business partners.

The Article Page was created to have a heavy focus on imagery and a flexible design that can adapt for the type of article being published.

Response

The business partner's were very pleased with the wireframes that we presented. The team explained what we saw the Wordpress/Spark Post workflow being and how it really allows them to be in total control of pushing out articles. Knowing the constraints of our corporate environment, we also had a Plan B solution that took advantage of the existing CMS that BCBSIL uses. The business partners were vocal in their support to utilize Wordpress and we were asked to propose timelines, costs and information about how we can bring Wordpress in.