Update Beneficiaries

New York Life


The What

Beneficiary changes are one of the top 5 transactions on New York Life, feedback and analysis revealed that clients had difficulty navigating this transaction.

The Challenge

  • Reduce drop-offs - Increase the capture rate of beneficiary details

  • Reduce customer support call volume 

  • Improve the ease of use for cutomers updating beneficiaries




What did we learn from current Users?


Traffic Data Analysis

  • Nearly 50% of clients failed to reach step 2.

  • Users are exiting the Edit page without fully submitting the change.

  • Out of the clients who reached step 2, 20% go back to step 1.

  • Users felt the right information was displayed but the process itself was confusing.

Usability Testing 

  • In a Benchmark test of 20 users, 18 believed they had successfully submitted a change. In reality, only 7 succeeded.

  • 20% of participants had difficulties that could prevent them from successfully updating their beneficiaries because poorly labeled and positioned elements did not effectively communicate whether they had completed the process.

  • The layout of the manage beneficiary call-to-actions and the non-standard data entry forms caused some confusion and delay.

  • Most skipped the custodian information because it wasn’t required. However, when asked, all thought it was important for NYL to have that information to ensure a smooth policy transition if something were to happen.

Comparative Analysis

  • What are some of the ways competitors model this transaction?

  • Amex, Northwestern Mutual, Vanguard




What are the problems we are trying to solve?



Mayo Clinic, Everyday Health, Family Doctor

Analysis of

  • Structures 

  • Adding Symptoms

  • Narrowing

  • Results


Usability Testing and Analysis

"…would be easier if I could just type in [my symptoms]"

Desktop → See report

  • Most users abandoned the body view in favor of search

  • Most users had trouble with clarifying questions

Mobile → See report

  • Half of all user switched to the symptoms list view after struggling with the body map 

  • Many users struggled to enter a second symptom (mobile)​


Ideation Workshops

What are the problems and opportunities?

  • Define needs states / state of mind

  • Motivate users to enter more data through a results meter

  • Improve the data entry on smaller screen sizes




Key features to focus on.


Nearly 50% of clients failed to reach step 2.

Present a more prominent and visible Search input, with auto-complete

Break out treatment options as its own section

Display a results accuracy meter to encourage more data input

Show data entry in steps with a progress indicator

Mobile touch-friendly body map that leads to category lists




Let's make solutions!


Wireframe Concepts - Low Fidelity

  • Add to cart concept

  • Type ahead functionality

  • Progress gauge


Concept Development

  • Clickable body

  • Color schemes

  • Accuracy meter


MVP Challenge

The development effort to on rebuild and re-map the body map had been underestimated and would jeopardize the launch. A decision was made to move forward with a version that did not rely on the body map.


Protoype + Test

Testing high fidelity designs


High Fidelity Design + Elements

MVP product toward development



Launch and Analyze

In the wild!













Results + Learnings

How is it performing?


✓ Page views increase +1 

✓ Search field usage

✓ Common symptoms

✓ Medical history entry

 ✓Browsing conditions.

A deeper look at the mobile

A decrease in mobile engagement from the previous design led to more user testing. 

→ See the report

Users miss the body map!

Data showed a propensity for Users to switch to lists. But, customer feedback received said that they liked the interaction with the body, it was a good way to start, to indicate "where it hurts".


Some terms are too medical!

Our Medical Advisory Board went about the task of editing the terms to be more consumer friendly.


What next?

How might we ...
experience this as a chatbot?