ALEX Benefits Counselor

Creative lead and interaction design for a tool that helps people with their benefits and finances

  • Led a product-wide design refresh
  • Created a more engaging experience for employees choosing their benefits
  • Successfully passed A/B and usability testing
  • Embraced constraints in legacy tech stack

In 2022, I oversaw a refresh of the design for Jellyvision's flagship product: ALEX Benefits Counselor, which helps millions of employees choose their health insurance, save for retirement, and understand their employer benefits. As the creative lead for the product, I worked with a talented team of artists and designers to overhaul the writing, art, sound, and interaction design throughout the experience.

ALEX takes the form of an interactive conversation, where an engaging, approachable host asks you questions and helps you find your best benefits. While an effective tool, its tone was sometimes juvenile, and many of the educational sequences could do a much better job of explaining important but hard-to-follow benefits information. Internally, our team also faced a unique hurdle: legacy proprietary tooling that made it difficult to assess creative work in a real environment.

In this example, ALEX uses the employee's medical care estimates to help them figure out how much money to contribute to a health savings account. There are many elements at play here — UX design, writing, voiceover, art, media production, sound design — and my job was to direct the creative team so ALEX would feel helpful, focused, and cohesive.

My role as creative lead was to:

  • Help the team design and produce an engaging, helpful experience.
  • Find a way to work around, and even embrace, our technical constraints.
  • Validate our choices with users and customers.

First, I led a complete audit of all of the creative in the product, organizing team discussions on the moments in the experience needed reworking, and which didn't. We came up with a list of improvements we could make based on our tooling constraints, and negotiated this list with developers to make sure our goals were feasible in a tight deadline.

Then we got to work, poring over the product's dense content and complex logic in all nine of its educational modules. I led reviews of in-progress creative, providing guidance on scripting and media production. I also worked with our research team to run a number of usability tests of in-progress designs. When needed, I even got in the thick of it, producing some of the product's audio-video sequences, and designing internal creative tools so we could more efficiently work in ALEX's proprietary tech stack.

Screenshot of ALEX Preview mockup tool

To facilitate faster development, I developed an internal tool in React that made it easy to quickly mock up new moments. This tool automatically anticipated the creative limitations of our authoring stack — making it near impossible to produce infeasible designs — and was faster, cheaper, and easier to onboard writers than prototyping tools like Figma.

Screenshot of ALEX Design System website

Following the refresh, I contributed to a redesign of our internal design system. In addition to overhauling the content structure and penning new sections, I moved the stack over from Zeroheight to a custom WP Engine instance that uses our actual design system.

After six months of work, reception to the refresh was unanimously positive. It garnered glowing responses from ALEX's customers, and passed our internal A/B and usability testing metrics — the proof we needed that we produced an ALEX that gives people peace of mind about important benefits decisions.


Jared BohlkenMotion design
Rachel Eberhart, Kelsey Morse-Brown, Jason SnowDevelopment
Elliott Hornsby, Nate ParkesUX writing
Tim JacquesUI design
Brad OexemanArt direction, animation
Melanie TerchaInteraction design