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Social Security Administration

Client Name.  Social Security Adminstration

Role - UX Designer

Project - Web-app design

Project time - March 2022- Present

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Background

The United States Social Security Administration is an independent agency of the U.S. federal government that administers Social Security, a social insurance program consisting of retirement, disability and survivor benefits. Wikipedia

mySSA

mySocial Security is the personalized, interactive and secure online gateway for customers providing immediate electronic acess to social security information and services.

Disclimnar

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study. All information in this case study is my own including the UX team and does not necessarily reflect the views of Social Security Administration.

My Role

I am one of the UX designers worked on a variety of projects at SSA in a sub division in my SSA where users create their account to perform any thing on SSA web app. Starting from March, 2022 collaborated with other designers.

In addition, I worked alongside a Researcher, Prototyper, Content Strategist and Product Managers and Project Owners.

Since i joined the design team i was able to learn about the design system at SSA and how to implement it to my design. I am part of an ambitious project to redesign the mySSA Wage report design experience for the largest governmental agency.

Recreating The myWage Report at the SSA

The problem

Social Security is constantly updating the design to full-fill the needs of the users in order to achieve the goal the agency conducts research and implement it to the design. To understand the expectations of the user pain points and comprhention around using mySSA to manage their wage report. There were certain elements and features that were not convinient to users hence upgrading the design is important to fulfill the needs of users to achieve the agency goals.

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Study Goal

The key outcomes of this project on the discovery session is to have a shared understanding of the current customer experience for the initial customer personas Annie and Jackie. aligning on the future process for how Annie and Jackie can report their wages behind mySocial Security leveraging the mySocial Security.

Questions Informed My Design Strategy:

  1. How do you design for everyone, everywhere?

  2. What contexts need to be considered?

  3. What’s the perfect user experience?

The Design Process

Our goal for the project was to recapture the magic of the new design of SSA. The original premise was simple: tap a button, and report the wage. Our ambitions were to create a strong foundation that embraced a rapidly evolving business and more diverse user base.

Our high level goals were to:

  1. Make it fast and easy to use for everyone, everywhere.

  2. Give users more control over their time.

Create a platform for innovation and deeper engagement.

The Discovery

We tested the existing myWR app with 8 participants. Our goals were to understand the challenges faced and the workarounds they employed.

I was surprised by the issues we found. Users use differnt devices where it helped us to think about it again and again,  But after some thinking, it became clearer that users expected the experience to just work with minimal effort. As SSA became more integral to their lives, their expectations evolved.

We created a better experience for everyone who uses mySSA, everywhere.

Whether it is to better understand the people we are designing for or just learning more about difficulties in every bit of research was done with intention. We've committed early to do the research and discovery early.

We started conducting our interviews with project owners and project managers and engineering managers. Going into the interviews, my goals were to understand not only the difficulties users faced with the current recruiting process, but also the challenges in the process. A always in order for our design to sustain and perform, we need to find strong balance not just for the End User, but also for the Stakeholders behind the products and services we design.

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How might we questions

  • How might we better communicate the project overview to users and the business?

  • How might we help mySSA users in tracking their wage report progress?

  • How might we inform users about their wage reporting options in different stages?

  • How might we help users use their time efficiently?

  • How might we make the web app simple and easy to use?

User Persona

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User Journey Map

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Iteration

Before I could jump into designing, it was important to define success and understand the user experience at scale. Following the research and depending on the design discovery sessions i and the design team started working on the process. Through the design process, I was quickly creating sketches and prototypes, conducting user testings, getting feedback from my teammates and engineers, and implementing changes. I have a great opportunity to constantly get advices and suggestions from the whole team. After a few brainstorming sessions and going through notes I took from the interviews, and the discovery sessions i started creating the wireframes.

The Main Dashboard

For the dashboard to better serve the users, it should be glanceable, relevant and personalizable. The first thing that i did is to recreate the dashboard so that users will have a pleasant and smooth experience using the app.

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Design System/Style Guide

Use Experience Group

The SSA Design System is the official set of standards , styles and reusable components for SSA web applications. It is a set of standards to manage design at reducing redundancy while creating a shared language and visual consistency across different web pages, applications and channels. In general the design system allow us designers at SSA to manage our design at scale

Under the design system at SSA we use design tokens which are used in place hard coded values in order to ensure a flexible, consistent and salable design system. The design system team defines the Social security design systems visual language including color, typography, spacing, elevation and opacity using design tokens.

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Reusable components

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Solution

With the design changes I made, usability testing are going much smoother than before, and the product got more positive feedbacks from the team.

  • Users used to spend an average of 20 minutes to create a new project and import candidates, while after the redesign, the time needed to finish the task reduced to 8 minutes, a 60% decrease.

  • During the 8-Second Tests, 12 out of 20 participants can easily notice the DEI data and total number of candidates on overview page, whereas for the original design, only 2 out of 20 participants were able to do that.

*A 8-Second test is conducted by showing an image to a participant for just five seconds, after which the participant answers questions based on their memory and impression of the design.

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Creating Responsive Design

By using our responsive web design approach the UI design to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience across a wide range of devices which includes easy reading, easy navigation, minimum re-sizing, planning and scrolling and multi-device experience.

At SSA we deign for the viewport and breakpoints, not the screen size. Viewport which is users visible area of a web page and Breakpoint which is the measurement unit at which your interface will respond to provide an optimal experience. Moreover at SSA we follow Responsible web design which includes strategy based on best practice for long term use-sustainability, treats all interfaces as facts of the same experience, honors user preference and designs adapt to unexpected use cases.

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