As the only Designer in the technical department, I was brought on to design the interface for the Federal Reserve Bank's Social Security enrollment portal. Our department at Xerox Services handled the financial disbursements for most government benefit payment programs like Unemployment Insurance, SNAP, Child Support, etc. In my time there I designed other benefit program websites as well as their mobile apps, focusing on improving the Cardholder experience. In addition, I was tasked to strategically shift Cardholder behavior from relying on high-cost customer service channels (like the call center) to relying on low-cost channels (like the websites and mobile apps), and create incentives to increase profitable point-of-sale transactions.
Aug. 2011 – Apr. 2016
• Information Architect
• User Experience Designer
• User Interface Designer
• Campaign Manager
• Multiple departments (Development, Security, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Business Analysis, Program Management, Implementation Management, Compliance, Fraud, Finance, Data & Analytics)
• Multiple vendors
• Customer Service call centers
• User research
• User experience guidelines
• Mobile app design
• Gap analysis
• New feature proposals
• ROI predictions
• Visual flow diagrams
• Site maps
• 508 compliance guidelines
• Portal usage analysis
• Marketing strategies
• Digital promotional graphics
• Branding guidelines
• Troubleshooting guidelines
• Business process flows
• Architectural diagrams
• Org charts
• Visual call center analysis
• Campaign management
• Cost-saving initiatives
• Revenue-generating initiatives
• Adobe Illustrator
• Adobe InDesign
• Adobe Photoshop
• Adobe Acrobat
• Google Analytics
• HTML & CSS knowledge
• Microsoft Office Suite
As you might imagine, cardholders did not have a great experience using websites to check their balance and transaction history; making it easier to call customer service. This behavior was proving to be costly; not only were call center costs increasing, but we were seeing a shift in people choosing direct deposit over using their card.
The websites were not built in a content management system (CMS), so there was a 2-week bottleneck wait to change anything or even gather stats. User experience tools at the time like UserZoom Qualtrics were out of budget, so UI testing was restricted.
When I started, we didn't have a clear picture of who a typical Cardholder was (no personas, user journeys, or user research had been done), or access to call center stats, so we knew close to nothing about the end user, their needs, or how to meet them.
My first step was to create personas to get a better understanding not only of our cardholders, but the different types of programs we served and the qualifications for each. This effort helped bring a lot of insight into the decisions we made going forward.
Next step was proposing the implementation of a CMS so we no longer had to waste resources and time submitting a ticket and waiting for access or changes. In the meantime I created site maps for each site so we were aligned with changes going forward.
I secured the implementation of Google Analytics on our websites and apps to get an understanding of how our cardholders use them, and visualized the analytics to show not only the volume of usage, but how many people access the websites from particular browsers and mobile devices, as well as the exit points on the mobile app.
This information helped prioritize optimizing the sites for other browsers, as well as producing mobile apps to help serve our cardholders better.
Long before we were able to implement the CMS, I got the chance to redesign the EPPICard logo and minimally redesign the EPPICard and EBT websites. The design was restricted to analyzing the code, providing new images and guidelines for the Dev team to make the easy but impactful changes that not only improved the brand strength, but also the user experience.
Looking forward to the opportunity to completely rebuild the websites, I helped bring multiple departments together to understand the business needs across various departments in order to ensure the sites meet both end user as well as the business needs. In addition I built test plans and created metrics guidelines in preparation for the new sites. I also produced a gap analysis to help clarify the different offerings across each touchpoint to understand where we could fill those gaps to enhance the level of customer support, especially in the low-cost touchpoints like the websites.
Digging into the raw call center stats, I was able to visualize the findings to reveal that the call types were not used properly (over 50% of calls were being logged as “General Inquiry”, which told us nothing), and highlight the lack of sub call types and the valuable information this insight could provide.
When it came to new feature or product launches like the mobile app, I produced troubleshooting guides for the call centers to ensure they fully understood the features and how to help cardholders with any issues they encountered.
In addition, I designed escalation flow charts to help all departments involved be very clear of the process.
Speaking of new features, I came up with the initiative to provide a Balance After Transaction alert, which sends the Cardholder a text within seconds after a transaction with transaction information as well as the available balance. So instead of logging onto the website, mobile app, or calling customer service, they would simply refer to the last text message to get their available balance. A win for Xerox because it would reduce calls into the call center, and a win for improved customer experience.
In addition, we had conversions which migrated entire programs onto a new platform, requiring cardholders to receive new cards, a new website, and in some cases a new customer service phone number. In order to minimize Cardholder confusion and a spike in call center volume, I conducted a weekly meeting with all departments in charge of various touchpoints to make sure we had all points covered with clear messaging. Indeed, call volume ended up not being nearly as high as expected.