How Design Improves the User Experience for Gravie’s Members

February 15, 2016

At Gravie, simply selling health benefits to employers and their employees isn’t our end goal. Our end goal is to make a difference in the health and happiness of Gravie members. Our approach to designing the Gravie experience allows us to connect with our members in meaningful ways, and help them find insurance solutions aligned with their needs and budgets.

That mindset plays out in how Gravie approaches our user experience and design, all built on three pillars to delight Gravie members:

  1. User-centricity
  2. Research
  3. Collaboration

User-centricity: Who is the Gravie user?

Gravie’s web platform and advisors serve a wide and diverse range of people. At first glance that can seem overwhelming when designing a user experience. Who do we target? What do we say? Our solution was to create member personas based on learnings from advisors about how people typically approach insurance. We have members who are totally indifferent, members who are talented bargain shoppers, and even super-researchers that explore every single detail..

By converting these broad groups into “people,” our personas significantly inform our work. These personas have unique attributes, profiles, use cases and names. So our work in improving the user experience means we’re looking at things from the point of view of “Heather” or “Bill,” among others. These personas help us take a step back and shape the total Gravie user experience against member expectations.

Gravie is committed to creating an experience that actually makes dealing with insurance functional, usable, and delightful. Our personas help us to remain true to our user-centric philosophy.

Research: Can we back up our design decisions with real data?

While we know our advisors have the best anecdotes and empathetic understading of our users, we know it’s important to back up our guesses with real data. Finding ways to measure our learning helps us back up what our gut is telling us (and sometimes user behavior surprises us). Our analytics helps us understand “who’s out there” and how we can make smart decisions to serve current and prospective Gravie members.

Research is pivotal. Without it, we couldn’t continue to innovate. Beyond industry metrics, we look to benchmarking tools like A/B testing and usability testing to obtain ongoing, unbiased feedback about what works and doesn’t work in the Gravie user experience. We can see and build on successes, and acknowledge and fix improvement points in real time.

Collaboration: Which voices are heard?

Collaboration means everyone has a real stake in making things better and is encouraged to speak up. Our desire for transparency sparked some internal changes. We transformed our workspace to include white boards and easy access for drop-in conversations, established “open hours” for feedback, and even upped our Gravie-wide use of messaging software to encourage voices from outside of the product team to weigh in. Every idea is valid for consideration and possible implementation so long as it metes out with research, user-centricity, and Gravie leadership goals.

Design and the user experience grow within collaboration, as do trust and excitement. It makes us the best we can be for our members – and ourselves.

Becoming a more design-focused organization allows us to create a holistic, but focused, user experience. We think you’ll see this work shine in our recent case studies. Want to know more? Email us at, call us at 844.540.8701, or tweet us at @gogravie.

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