I was the sole designer working on adding this feature as an advanced alternative to Justworks' existing contributions tool. I also facilitated user testing on this project.
When an employer selects health plans for employees, they are given the opportunity to contribute financially toward the monthly premiums. Being in the health insurance space, there are a few complex rules around what can and cannot be done as part of a contribution scheme, and to control for this, Justworks had implemented a contribution tool that allowed for little flexibility as a trade off for it being less likely that someone would be able to submit a noncompliant contribution scheme.
However, what we were finding is that around 50% of our companies were calling CS to request what we are calling "custom contributions." This means that the companies wanted to individually submit contributions for each tier (employee, employee + spouse, etc) within each healthcare plan. We needed to find a solution for these companies, both to give them more agency over their contribution schemes and to reduce the call volume to CS about this issue.
I wanted to know more about why employers wanted such granular control over the contribution scheme, and how what their mental model of contributions was. Were they thinking about the grouping it in terms of tiers or health plan? Did they want to contribute by percentage of premium cost or flat dollar amount? Did they understand the basic rules around contribution schemes?
To get started, I spoke to a few of our CS team members to get started, and listened to what was mainly discussed when employer admins would call in about this issue. They sent me a few of the custom schemes admins had sent them, so I could have a look at how they were being set up from the employer side. I learned a few things about the end state of these schemes, but not the why and how.
I wasn’t able to get users in to test for a couple weeks, and I decided that in addition to asking questions, I wanted to have a prototype for them to look at and comment on. So in the interim, I got started on some sketches and wireframes of how that might function.
I showed these ideas to my product manager, engineering team, and the rest of the design team, and they were a great jumping off point for discussion and feedback. They were looking very overwhelming and complex, and we wanted to pare down on the amount of things on screen. Then, from the way the percentages and minimums work, I realized I was making the user do math that we should be doing on our end, so I simplified that aspect of the design as well.
When the time came for user testing, I had made a prototype based on all the feedback I received. I learned that the motivation around such granular control was largely around switching from other platforms to Justworks, and wanting to match the existing contribution schemes. Employer admins differed on their preference of percentage / flat dollar amount usage, so we decided to keep the toggle between the two options. The prototype I put in front of users for testing was similar to where the final design ended up.
At the time of this post, the design has just gone live, and we are waiting to hear if the volume of calls to CS around this issue has decreased. Over 250 companies have successfully submitted custom contributions using this feature.