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About

Holistic user experience with personal data and coaching to help customers past planning inertia and prepare financially and emotionally for reti… Read More
Holistic user experience with personal data and coaching to help customers past planning inertia and prepare financially and emotionally for retirement. As social safety nets dissolve, it's helped millions of everyday Americans develop a realistic plan. Read Less
Published:
Fidelity Investments: myPlan
While I was chartered with “owning the retirement business” for Fidelity, my heart was in it to help average Americans get informed and ready for retirement (I was able to do both). I followed the industry closely and noted that less than 20% of Americans had ever done a retirement-needs calculation and when polled, drastically underestimated how much they’d need. I led a bottom-up effort to change the way we reached our 401(k) participants, pruning 40-clicks of retirement-needs forms and spreadsheets into an instant user experience that combined personal paycheck data and coaching instantly to help customers past planning inertia and prepare financially and emotionally for retirement. When it launched in 2009, a bad year in the US economy, participants rallied and saved an additional 2-5% into their retirement accounts (record breaking), saving and additional $192m into their accounts.

+Patent US 2010/0153298 A1, June 17, 2010.

End-to-End Work Samples:
Project Definition: Half whitepaper / half concept brief, the Design Case
Design Process: Change My Life Design Brief, several iterations later, an End-of-design recap
Design Iteration Sample: Change My Life interactive prototype
User testing: Lengthy report showing results of targeted Focus Groups*
Final Prototype: Interactive Prorotype

* It was the job of the usability specialist to write the Focus Group Findings. I did not write this report, but I was very hands-on in debriefing the sessions, and creation of moderation- andsession-support materials.
Real-time assessment of a 401(k) participant's next step in the savings hierarchy. We had this data on file but never used it to provide this type of easy assistance.
After multiple rounds of user research, we learned that providing a take-home pay calculation and the additional amount of employer contribution per year were the magic numbers. We also learned that putting more than 4 numbers on a page that required computation increased abandon rates by 20%.
A real-time retirement needs calculation was built into this product. It was the first of its kind in the industry for workplace investors.
Positive feedback from one of our users after (finally!) getting the design to the right place. I believe talking to the people who are going to use what you make is an essential and inspiring aspect of product design.
This is iterative design for you. Here's what the original prototype looked like. The team included users in its iterative process and distilled the content into meaningful chunks that removed as much friction from the savings process as possible.
Another early design that allowed users to pick the tone of the coaching. We thought it was a cool idea, but it did not test well enough to keep it in the final build.
This is another failure of sorts, but it shows the process of trying to streamline 40-clicks into a single user experience. We streamlined quite a bit from here and by talking to users, focused on distilling the information into the most meaningful chunks.
An early concept sketch that did not get built (thank heavens), but was instrumental in getting stakeholder buy-in for the project.
Another early concept sketch that did not get built, but was instrumental in getting stakeholder buy-in for the project.