The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) recognized the importance of a transparent, easy-to-use online enrollment system. In the Spring of 2011 a public-private partnership was formed between the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and eight national and state health foundations to sponsor the Enroll UX 2014 project. The partnership was led by the California HealthCare Foundation.

The foundations enlisted IDEO, a global design and innovation firm, to lead an extensive consumer research and design process. Eleven states participated in the project as design partners, and a diverse group of other stakeholders and subject matter experts were consulted to inform the design.

The resulting Enroll UX 2014 design represents a new standard for public and private health insurance enrollment, and serves as a reference model for a first-class user experience (UX) design for health insurance exchanges operated by state and federal governments under the Affordable Care Act.

Enroll UX 2014 Background

What will your enrollment experience involve and feel like in 2014?

This Design Reference Prototype demonstrates the key interactions, transitions, flows, and conveys the visual design that make up the Enroll UX 2014 design. The prototype conveys subtleties in movement and interaction that are integral to the kind of dynamic user experience that users have come to expect. Additionally, much of what is shown is difficult to express in the static pages of the companion Design Specifications Manual.

The prototype demonstrates the Enroll UX design’s basic use patterns through a single scenario. The prototype is not by any means production-ready, nor is meant to include complete functionality. Instead, it offers a hands-on, interactive exploration of the Enroll UX 2014 design.

Design Reference Prototype

The Scenario

The prototype is built around a single scenario:

The Hermannson Family is a three-person household with current income below 135% FPL applying for health care coverage. One parent, Gustav Hermannson, is enrolling for his wife Penelope and their daughter Beatrice.

Gustav is a U.S. citizen who works full time at an employer that offers health insurance coverage to employees (but not dependents), so he is not an applicant. The other parent, Penelope, is an immigrant who has been in the country for less than five years, was recently laid off, and is now receiving unemployment compensation. She is eligible for the premium tax credit and cost sharing reductions. Beatrice, their child, is a U.S. citizen and is eligible for Medicaid.

The scenario demonstrates patterns around household income, applying for financial assistance, and application of the premium tax credit.

The Functionality

The prototype’s functionality is limited to key interactions that effectively demonstrate the implementation of design patterns (or effective recurring solutions used to address user interface issues) in real-world usage, and represent site interactions.

For example, certain modal (or pop-up) windows demonstrate how this type of functional element would be used in production. The prototype shows how these modal windows pop open, how each step is represented, how modal windows contain content, and how some buttons and interactive elements function, but not all.

The Content

Most of the content in the prototype is related to the scenario, but some content is represented with placeholder text. For example, most of the forms are pre-filled with content relating to the Hermannsons’ application. However, definitions for terms that might appear in the Help Glossary are shown as placeholder text. All content – including questions in the eligibility application, determination descriptions, insurance plan details, and support content under Learn More – is for illustrative purposes only.

Each health insurance exchange would customize this and all other content according to its particular policy and implementation requirements.

Demonstration of the Design

One of the most important functions of the Design Reference Prototype is to effectively demonstrate the online health enrollment user experience – complete with transitions, flow, and interactions.

The prototype also communicates the visual design in high fidelity, accurately representing the reference design as users would see it on the site.

Getting Started

The prototype is optimized for use with Microsoft Internet Explorer 9+ and Google Chrome 18+. To explore the prototype, you can click the “Apply Now” button on the home page to follow the scenario application process. Alternatively, you can begin by clicking other buttons and links on the home page to simulate other ways a user might approach the site.

Exploring the prototype is a great way to understand key features and interactions of the design.

Welcome to Enroll UX 2014!

Ready?