Cecilia Huster, User Experience Designer

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Making it Presentable: Social Security tool for Financial Advisors

My first project at Financial Engines was to create a Social Security tool for our phone advisors. Our advisors often got questions about Social Security, but could only answer in generalities. What customers really wanted was to know how Social Security fit into their retirement income. Social Security legislation is quite complex, so this project was hefty in scope.

The tool made it possible for advisors to show customers their optimal Social Security strategy, as well as strategies that were personalized to their specific circumstances. This was also the first tool that was designed for screen sharing.

Improving advisor effectiveness through user research

Before this, the usability bar of tools built for the advisors was less than impressive. Although this tool is far from delightful, because testing included screen-sharing with real customers, we were able to justify a lot of improvements over other advisor tools. As a result, the tool increased NPS for Social Security calls from 0 to +30.

This is the first page of one of the many prototypes I built for this project. I built it using Omnigraffle with some additional hand-coded HTML.

I conducted most user research myself and got to know the financial advisors and their context quite well. A lot of the formal and informal research later fed into my design principles for advisor-led experiences.

Social Security wireframe, 2013

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