Health Insurance Mobile App
Part 1 - Establishing a clear vision using an innovation framework
The Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan (ASEBP) provides employee benefits and programs primarily to the K-12 education sector in Alberta. To enable users on the go, the first version of ASEBP’s mobile app was launched in 2012. It was designed to support multiple platforms using a hybrid development approach.
Four years later, ASEBP recognized that the app was delivering diminished value to their customers and hindering the future that ASEBP envisioned. Recognition of technical limitations coincided with sweeping business changes: it was the perfect time to re-imagine their app for the next decade.
In order to establish a clear vision for what the new app could be, ASEBP partnered with DevFacto to run an ideation workshop. Ideation is an efficient and highly effective way for organizations to experiment with ideas and uncover an ideal solution by combining creative solutions with technical possibility. Experimentation is cheap when ideas are designed on whiteboards; fixing mistakes in code is much more difficult.
Ideation uses design thinking to speed towards the best possible concept. Different operational groups collaborate, prioritize and build consensus on concepts that serve the best interests of the end-user while also advocating for themselves. DevFacto’s ideation process uses activities that collect and dismiss ideas without long, drawn out meetings. As a result, investing in ideation more than pays off over the course of the project.
- Ideation participants build empathy for other business units
- Consensus is built without boring requirements meetings
- Iterate and optimize a solution without costly consequences
- Communicate visually to have meaningful conversations
What did the ideation process look like for ASEBP?
1. Defining a mission
First, DevFacto and ASEBP defined a mission for this ideation process: “to design a mobile app that supports covered members’ health through simple, effective benefits services.” ASEBP invited a diverse group from across the company to take part in the ideation process, leveraging their unique perspectives toward achieving this goal.
2. Defining success
Next, the group collectively defined what success would look like, described by these guiding principles:
- Present a well-designed and uncluttered interface
- Provide at-a-glance information
- Solve specific mobile-appropriate scenarios without trying to be a solution to all problems; and
- Keep the user informed about important benefit/plan related events.
Based on these definitions, the group explored wild new ideas and pushed the boundaries to discover new ways the app could work. As ideas collided, some were let go while others remained. The group continued exploring the best ideas, considering the implications and uncovering hidden complexities.
Once the group agreed on the best ideas, comprehensive prototypes were built and continuously improved and refined. Further iterations moved the group quickly through the decision-making process, building consensus without bogging down in details.
Thanks to ideation, the ASEBP mobile app solution was clearly defined which paved the way for a smooth implementation process. A team of developers from both ASEBP and DevFacto was formed to produce the app. The My ASEBP app has been very positively received and usage has increased almost 400%.
- Documented possible features as over 150 user stories
- Outlined three phases of development by considering the relative importance of features
- Clearly articulated the cost and value of each phase
- Reconsidered existing features to make the new app simpler, more powerful and much faster to use
- Added numerous new features while still decreasing the total number of screens by 25%
- Applied new ideas broadly across ASEBP, improving business processes, other software systems and ASEBP’s overall customer experience