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

 

Parent Company Site Redesign

My team at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) had the chance to be involved in a high profile project that involved redesigning our parent company's website. Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) is the group behind BCBSIL and they wanted to revitalize their current site. The content remains the same but we have an opportunity to restructure the navigation and provide an updated look. 

My first task was to inventory all of the pages on the HCSC site and review whether or not they were all necessary, if the organization made sense or if we had opportunities to improve upon the site organization.

Business Partner/Users

The request was submitted to us by the digital team of HCSC. A portion of their annual performance goals was tied to this project, so we were tied to a tight turnaround on this. 

The wireframe for the new Home page for HCSC. More emphasis was given to images to make it more visually appealing, the layout was configured to be responsive and multiple articles are featured.

Strategy

The first thing I got started doing on this project was an inventory of every page. From my initial assessment, it seemed that there was a fair mix of pages that were either way too wordy or those that didn't really have enough content to justify its own page. I used Sketch to layout all of the pages on one art board and then progress to a second art board which included my suggestion for a new organization model. Once that was complete, I met with the HCSC team to offer my reasoning behind certain adjustments and see if it made sense with them. Largely everything was well received, with a few minor edits that the HCSC group suggested once they realized we can really do anything with the site's organization.

Although my team was given pretty loose reigns on this project, one of the key goals was to make sure the site design was responsive. With that knowledge, we started with a mobile first design strategy once the site's organization was finalized.  During the inventory of the site pages, my team realized that there were five different page types - the Home page, Landing page, Content page, Search Results page and News Article page. It simplified the wireframe process once these were established, so that my focus could be entirely devoted to those main layouts. 

The final design for the HCSC home page.

Response

My team had an open dialogue with the HCSC team during our design process. We checked in with them periodically, assuring that we were on the same page with their intent. The team was pleased with the overall design and excited to have it implemented. Some of the changes we made to the existing site was limiting the news archive to the articles which were developed in HTML instead of ones published in a PDF, organizing media relations into a page called Newsroom, transitioning video files from being hosted internally to being posted on YouTube for increased visibility and ease in embedding onto the site and of course, making it responsive.

Where We Are Now

The design has been approved and the site is currently in development. The current launch of the new site is set for Q1 of 2017.