Design leadership // Product design // Product management

Building Gusto Benefits


For my first year-and-change at Gusto, I worked on our employer- and employee-facing benefits experiences. For most of that time, I was the only designer on the team, which meant I wore a lot of hats: running research, doing the IC design work, quarterly planning, and more. Below is a selection of product work from that time.

2017 – 2018

  • Principal product designer

  • Design lead

  • User researcher

  • Product manager

Employee medical enrollment

One of the many tricky things about building an insurance product is the volume and complexity of information behind each choice you facilitate. Information density and hierarchy were constant product and design challenges. How much information is "enough" to enable employees to make confident healthcare decisions for themselves and their families?

Since medical insurance is the cornerstone of personal healthcare, users seek clarity. So we summarize the most important data and use a human voice to add detail where necessary. We also thoroughly explain costs, as research showed us that cost is the main consideration when choosing a plan.

Employee life insurance enrollment

When critical mass of companies couldn't switch to Gusto because we didn't support life insurance, it became a strategic priority.

Through user research, we realized we had an opportunity to build a meaningfully better life insurance experience than anything else out there.

We heard from people who vaguely knew they should have life insurance, but didn't actually know how it worked. We heard from people who'd sought out life insurance before, but backed out because they felt like they were being taken advantage of by a "scheme-y used car salesman." Yikes. So we set out to make enrollment as transparent, reassuring, and seamless as possible.

Employee enrollment summary

It's often a long time between when you choose your benefits and when your coverage starts. Naturally, people get curious. Sometimes, they get concerned. Why haven't I gotten my medical card yet? Did I mess something up?

More often than not, everything's fine. But for a while there was no way to know that within Gusto. So nearly 30% of support tickets were requests for information or status updates post-enrollment.

Clearly, there was an opportunity to communicate more clearly and bring users' peace of mind. That's what this dashboard does. And soon after we built it, we cut related tickets in half.

Employer new benefits shopping experience

As an employer, choosing benefits for your team can be incredibly confusing and time-consuming. It's hard to know what's available and even harder to know what's right for your company.

We put a lot of thought and effort into making a better benefits shopping experience that's as employer-friendly as possible. It all starts with helping business owners understand medical plan tiers and choosing the right one for their team.

Employer benefits dashboard

Let's say a new employee joins and wants to know which medical plan is most popular. Or maybe an existing employee hasn't received their insurance card and asks why.

The information an employer needed in these situations was woefully sparse or completely missing. So they'd call in to our care team, who would provide that information. Unnecessary burden? I think so.

The new benefits dashboard centralizes all of a company's benefits information in an organized and informative interface, putting the knowledge in their hands and taking the burden off care's shoulders.

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