Gusto Benefits

I led the design of Broker View from 0-1, a tool for external benefits brokers to manage their clients’ benefits on Gusto. It enable brokers to save time and integrate Gusto into their workflow. Features such as initiating open enrollment setup have already shipped to 350+ external benefits brokers.

Team: Kate Davies (Design mentor), Eric Jester (PM), Katie Krueger (ProdOps), Kristin Walko (Research), Anish Asrani (Engineer)

What is Gusto?

Gusto is a people platform that provides payroll, benefits, and HR tools for small and medium business

Who are Benefits Brokers?

Benefits brokers are benefits experts that help businesses navigate the benefits world. Small/Medium businesses onboard external benefits brokers to Gusto through broker integration (BYB) to help them complete benefits tasks and run open enrollment.

Problem

The current BYB is a single tab on their employers' Gusto account and is not optimized for brokers. They can't work fast and do their job due to excessive touchpoints, minimal self-serve, and hacky workarounds.

Solution

Transform BYB into a comprehensive tool called “Broker View” that provides more self-serve to brokers and allows them to better integrate Gusto into their workflows to save time.

Broker View

Allowing brokers to view, manage, and complete benefits tasks for all of their clients in one place.

Workflow 1: Complete Employee Tasks

Help brokers save time by making tasks more self-serve

*Task details page credits to Kate Davies

Workflow 2: Setup and Run Open Enrollment

Providing a more transparent and self-serve setup process to prevent excessive customer support touchpoints

Workflow 2: Setup and Run Open Enrollment

Providing more clarity and actionable guidance on open enrollment progress

Workflow 2: Setup and Run Open Enrollment

Downloading documents directly from Gusto so brokers can work efficiently

How did we get here?

A low product market-fit led us to conduct rounds of interviews with brokers and brokerages of all sizes on Gusto. This helped us discover the issues with BYB at its core and ultimately helped us understand what needs to be done: Broker View.

Research Insights

01 Lack of functionality forces brokers to look outward

Many functionalities crucial to simplifying and accelerating work are missing. Brokers are forced to look outwards, making a majority of their work outside of Gusto.

02 Fragmented workflow disrupts broker efficiency

Brokers have to communicate excessively with Gusto through email just to complete tasks, but also have to log in and out of each of their client’s accounts in order to complete individual tasks.

03 Lack of visibility and ease of tracking

A lack of visibility in the progress of open enrollment prevents brokers from quickly understanding what they need to do, such as complete urgent benefits tasks and helping their clients.

04 Brokers have varying workflows and methods

We realized that, though brokers go through standardized processes to do their job, each broker has a different way of approaching and completing these processes.

Opportunity

There are currently over 900+ companies using BYB, but over 50% of those are managed by the top 10 external brokers on Gusto. This makes it an incredibly tedious and difficult process to manage, track, and complete tasks for all of them.

By providing a better experience to benefits brokers, we can also bring in new customers to Gusto. Brokers can refer their existing clients to Gusto and also recommend Gusto to new clients looking for payroll providers.

900+

Companies using BYB

>50%

BYB companies managed by the top 10 brokers

Goal

How might we surface necessary information, provide essential functionalities, and help brokers work more efficiently on Gusto to better serve their clients?

Success Metrics

On Gusto’s side, we want to allow the BYB Ops team to refocus their energy towards more urgent tasks instead of handling open enrollment setup. We hope to:

Reduce handle times for open enrollment setup

On Brokers’ side, we want to see the value we’re delivering to brokers and also help them work more efficiently. We hope to:

Improve BYB’s product-market fit

Reduce broker touchpoints

Reduce time spent on tasks and setup

Design Decision 1

Modifying existing frameworks to lower engineering lift

Gusto’s existing product for accountants, Gusto Pro, follows a very similar model as what we hope to achieve with the new BYB. I decided to utilize existing patterns wherever possible to cut down the engineering lift. However, the nature of a benefits broker’s work is very different from an accountants’, so that required me to think in context and balance the use of existing patterns and designing new patterns. From there, I began my process by taking inspiration from Gusto Pro's home page, client page, and firm directory.

Design Decision 2

Applying context to existing components

Something unique about the renewal/open enrollment process is that it can span 2-3 months, depending on the size of a company. I originally designed using the existing stepper component, but feedback from the design systems team said otherwise. The stepper generally gives the idea that the process can be completely relatively quickly.

Ultimately, I experimented with a new progressive disclosure pattern that doesn’t suggest time frame, but instead simply guides the broker through the setup process. This way, we can still be transparent about the steps to setup open enrollment on Gusto, while not imposing any of our own assumptions and creating false expectations.

Design Decision 3

Displaying data and information visually

Determining the amount of information that is needed holistically was not easy. The amount of information at each level should be displayed visually, in a way that is easy to digest, and provide a good understanding that should drive action. In addition, the information must also fit the context of the page.

In the example for the high-level summary, I iterated to find the best way to convey high-level information in a way visual way that is easily digestible. I opted for progress bars, tags, and only showing text for necessary data that can’t be easily shown visually. From there, subsequent trackers will either (1) add more granular information and/or (2) provide a call to action. This allows brokers to decide whether they need to continue to the next granularity to investigate further.

Design Decision 4

Balancing data density to help users better process data and drive action

The main problem with iterations 1 and 2 below was that it was overwhelming. The number of pills, dots, colors, and text can overwhelm the user rather than help them easily identify the people who need help. Speaking with product ops helped me realize that employees are put into three categories based on their enrollment status. The final design involved using tabs to delineate the three different statuses to give a more holistic view, but still give users the freedom to examine an employee if needed.

In the example for the high-level summary, I iterated to find the best way to convey high-level information in a way visual way that is easily digestible. I opted for progress bars, tags, and only showing text for necessary data that can’t be easily shown visually. From there, subsequent trackers will either (1) add more granular information and/or (2) provide a call to action. This allows brokers to decide whether they need to continue to the next granularity to investigate further.

Final Designs

A Broker View that enables autonomous and adaptable workflows for Benefits Brokers

Dashboard

Things to do and company statuses at-a-glance

This solves the issue of lack of visibility and ease of tracking as well as the lack of functionalities. Brokers previously looked outwards to better track and organize the tasks and dates of open enrollment. Here, we’ve provided a solution that does both for them on Gusto, so they can better manage their clients that exist here.

Task List and Client List

Manage all clients and tasks in one place

This simply just makes the brokers life easier by aggregating all of their clients’ information and tasks into one place. Brokers can now work through their clients’ tasks however they want, while also being able to view each clients’ benefits and employee information whenever they need to.

Open Enrollment Setup

Easily understand your role and go through a self-serve setup process

Instead of going through emails, brokers can now set up their clients’ open enrollment directly in Gusto. Here, we broke down the broker and Gusto’s role in the process to provide more context and gave time estimates to help brokers better plan their course of action.

Open Enrollment Tracking

Contextual progress tracking drives action and 

saves time

At different points throughout open enrollment, brokers will have different priorities when it comes to serving their clients. To help translate this in Gusto, I’ve designed progress trackers displaying different granularities throughout the platform. This can help appropriately drive action for brokers depending on the context and help them work efficiently.

Completing Open Enrollment

Easily obtain and complete employee enrollments and feel good about it

Brokers are extremely responsible professionals and we want them to be able to work autonomously, from beginning to end. Brokers can now download the census directly from Gusto and submit them with carriers. Once they do that, they come back to Gusto and confirm that enrollment has been completed. To acknowledge brokers’ hard work throughout the process and affirm their work, the final celebration screen honors the broker and lets them know that their work is worth it.

Outcomes

Some features have already shipped, but we haven’t been able to gather enough data to determine success.

However, my designs have already solved some issues:

  • Reduced external steps from 5 to 2 steps

  • Brokers can manage multiple clients in one place

  • Provided more self-serve throughout BYB

Takeaways

Tools for niche B2B users should only guide without getting in the way of these professionals. They know the processes better than we do, so all we need to do is account for the variabilities, create tools that are adaptable, and help them to do their job better.

I also realized the importance of understanding the context in which we are applying existing patterns. Edge cases require us to think creatively about 1) the applicability and 2) malleability of existing patterns in order to apply them correctly.

© Billy Tseng 2023

© Billy Tseng 2023

© Billy Tseng 2023