Amplify by PenChecks

Retirement Distribution Processing Platform

Amplify is a B2B platform for retirement plan sponsors and third-party administrators to manage distributions. 

The problem

This project involved a rebuild and redesign of multiple products. The goal was to create scaleable, efficient products that are easier to navigate and provided greater transparency to users. Another objective was to transition the company to more of a self-serve model than a higher-touch service. This would have a positive impact on business goals and increase efficiency in clients' workflows.

My role

I owned and executed all aspects of the product design, while collaborating with our team of 4 developers and 1 QA person. I established and continue to maintain the design system, and was the sole designer on the project.

I continuously worked closely with the internal subject matter experts in this complex and highly regulated domain.

Research

to gain an understanding of pain points with the legacy system, wha needs existed, and to acquire domain knowledge, I listened to and observed 1-2 people from each internal team. 

 

I also interviewed current clients, learning how they do their jobs, what their main goals are and empathizing with their frustrations and needs that weren't being met with the system they were using at the time and had been using for 7+ years.

Users

The users of the system are PenChecks' clients. They are either a third-party administrator (TPA) or a plan sponsor (PS). 

 

Some clients prefer closer contact and assistance, while the bulk of users interviewed preferred to be more self-sufficient.

The main needs I found were efficiency and transparency on the process, and hierarchy of data. 

The perfect amount of communication in the distribution process is key, as clients are generally very busy and have limited bandwidth.

Constraints

This project was required to launch before the busy end of year season for clients. This meant the products had to be launched 10 months after my start date. The short timeline was the main constraint.

In the finance and retirement industry there are many regulations and rules that have to be worked around, as well as security concerns dealing with personally identifiable information and other people's money. All of these things remained at top of mind throughout the entire project - and I often collaborated with the compliance & privacy departments throughout the project.

Flows

Based on the input and observation from stakeholders, task flows were created followed by low-fidelity concepts. 

This flow shows part of the process, the initiation of the order. *Flow not shown in its entirety

The yellow post-its identify needs of the user and areas of opportunity.

Client Flow.png
Wireframes

I chose to consolidate the service types offered from the current nine, down to five. This provides clients with a clearer picture of what they're getting with each service type and simplifies their decision making, without removing any capabilities.

Client wireframe create order-01.png
Results

The decision to reconfigure the order types was well-received and provides a cleaner flow for clients. We were able to successfully onboard about 11k existing clients into the new system within the first 90 days. Efficiency of processing orders has increased about 15% 90 days post-launch.

Retrospective

Since we had a consolidated timeline for this project, a lot of input came from internal stakeholders. If I redid this project with a longer timeline, I would spend more time with clients since using the internal staff as a proxy to the client only got me so far. For example, features such as reporting seemed minimal to internal stakeholders, but we later learned the reports feature was much more important to the client and it needed to be much more robust.