The ugly truth is that nobody wants to use your member portal. There, I said it. The truth hurts.
A visit to your member portal is usually paired with a trip the doctor’s office that may or may not have come with an unappreciated poke or probe. Guilty by association, your member portal has to work really hard to deliver a delightful experience.
So why fight this uphill battle? Because your UI says more than you know about who you are as an organization. If properly designed, a polished member portal can turn annoyed members into lifelong customers.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering user experience and UI design….
Simple, Clean Navigation
You might catch flies with honey, but most people I know prefer a rolled up newspaper. Not the prettiest solution, but it makes quick work of the problem. A simple, clean navigation (while maybe uninspiring) helps your members navigate to where they need to go and complete their task quickly and efficiently. Building an engaging digital experience does not mean getting fancy with navigation. As a general rule of thumb, a member should never need to figure out where to go next. Keep it simple – easy-to-follow navigation tells your members that you are here to help them get on their way.
Progressive disclosure is not a new concept, but it has a clear place in the world of health insurance. Progressive disclosure distributes content into smaller, more digestible pieces – showing just enough to get the user down the right path. For the record, progressive disclosure is not a ‘wizard’ pattern. It is difficult to execute because it demands a firm understanding of primary and secondary member tasks. It’s far easier just to include every conceivable link or option on a page and to let the user find their way. Understand why members come to your portal 80% of the time, and design for that experience first and foremost. Progressive disclosure tells your members that you know why they are here.
Personalized and Dynamic
It you want to design an engaging member experience, build a personalized interface that anticipates the member’s needs. If they have never logged in, why not present them with personalized content that helps them understand the features and functions available to them? If they have a recent claim, why not show that information front and center on the home page? This requires a tactful content management strategy, but also entails a user interface that supports dynamic content and panels that can be displayed and hidden without breaking the overall user interface. Personalization is one of the most impactful things you can do. It tells the member that you are speaking directly to them and that they deserve personalized attention.
No one wants to use your portal, so let’s accept it and move on. We still owe our members a personalized, clean, and guided user experience. A useful, high-quality user interface demonstrates a commitment to customer service and strengthens your brand promise. And when they consider your portal to be a trusted and valuable resource for managing their health and the health of their family, members will come back.
With all that in mind – what does your member portal say about you?
This post is part of Tahoe’s series on digital strategy and secure customer/member portals. Up next, we’ll discuss key features and functions, content strategies, and how to make the portal a more strategic tool in an overall digital strategy. Something else you’d like to learn about? Leave a question or suggestion below!