In 2023, I led the creative team for a brand-new product at Jellyvision: ALEX Medicare, an interactive guide that helps retirees learn how Medicare works and empowers them to find a plan that best fits their needs.
This launch was important for a few reasons. It's one of Jellyvision's most successful product launches ever: ALEX Benefits Counselor has helped millions of employees pick their employer-provided insurance, and entering the Medicare market could untangle a similarly massive amount of confusion. But it also represents a shift in how Jellyvision builds products — one that I was able to help facilitate with new tools that help us build effective educational experiences at scale.
In my years of building educational experiences — especially at Jellyvision — I've learned that video is an incredibly effective tool for breaking down complex topics. But interactive media experiences are frequently plagued by poor production values and confusing usability issues. (Who among us hasn't had their patience tested by a contrived e-learning training course in a tiny iframe?)
Once I joined the Medicare project, I created a series of design components and patterns that seamlessly blend video and interactive elements together. I prototyped a custom solution that uses a React-based single-page application to drive a series of video and non-video moments, which can be branched together to create an interactive, personalized path. These moments would be seamed together with short "bridge" audio to ease the user out of video moments and back into web-based ones, and allow easy navigation between them. A successful usability test validated these patterns, and enabled our developers to build them at scale in tandem with a content management system.
Then, over the course of a few months, I helped the creative team design a Medicare experience that ably breaks down the program into digestible topics: Original Medicare, additions like Medicare Advantage and Medigap, when to enroll, and a comparison between the different kinds of plan offerings. The team I managed was multi-disciplinary — not just application designers, but also writers, artists, motion designers, and sound designers who craft ALEX's narrative material. Through demographic research, we landed on a blend of warm voiceover, clear animation, and focused interactivity. Ongoing usability testing with retirement-age users helped us uncover edge cases and tie up loose ends in the design and writing.
After three months of development, ALEX Medicare launched with a wildly positive market response. A substantial volume of employees have gone through the experience already, receiving guidance from ALEX on how to navigate the Medicare maze and leaving positive remarks on its helpfulness. And we're already thinking about what comes next.
|Jared Bohlken||Motion design|
|Mark Cruz||Art and illustration|
|Nate Parkes, Tony Werner||UX writing|
|Joe Skager||UI design|
|Melanie Tercha||Interaction design|