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How might we help people make sense of financial planning for their future?

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, this case study is password-protected to maintain privacy of information while product is still in R&D.

Our Team

I led Web Design, Information Architecture, Interactive Prototyping, Content Strategy and Design, and contributed to Visual Design

Yuko Osawa, Principal UX Designer

Frank Lee, Principal Product Designer

Sky White, Product Designer
Mehera O'BrienExecutive Creative Director

Vivian Kamen, Program Manager

Leadership at New York LifeXXX

The Ask

Develop a long-term web strategy for the website that expands the business towards the vision of fostering growth in new and trustful relationships with New York Life.

Specifically, the website should:

  • Make it frictionless and easy to start financial planning.

  • Help people make sense of financial planning for their future.

  • Help current and prospective clients discover relevant products and services offered based on their changing needs.

When you get a Ferrari,
but don’t know how to drive it


New York Life is the largest mutual life insurance company in the country, a 175+ year old Fortune 500 company.


I conducted a competitive landscape analysis and interviewed subject matter experts (SMEs) with the team to understand and build a shared vocabulary of the sport, mountain bike mechanics, and identify the delta between owning the best suspension and getting the most out of it to achieve “flow” in your ride.


Deconstruct to reconstruct

To understand the core pain points in product research and discovery, I broke down my site audit work around three core vectors of site architecture:

How things were organized (products and services card sort)​

Where things lived

(site map)​

How people navigate and find what they need

(nav menu) 

Where things lived (site map)

  • How they were organized (products and services card sort)

  • How people navigate and find what they need (nav menu) 

caused heavy cognitive load and created decision paralysis for prospective customers.

  • Hard to quickly browse through mega menu 

  • No single source of truth for finding core offerings

  • Core offerings buried levels deep in menu

  • Different menu labels that do the same or similar thing create confusion around where things live

I identified high impact opportunities to improve navigation and findability

  • Clear organization, hierarchy, and labeling to differentiate paths

  • Single location in menu navigates to products

  • Consistent interaction pattern in nav between menu and page links

  • Mental model that creates approachable hooks for exploration –– solves both ‘nothing’ and ‘everything’ pertains to me


I conducted tree tests on the site map to evaluate how easy or hard it was to navigate the website's hierarchical category structure, or tree, and find the location(s) where I could complete core job-to-be-done tasks (JTBD)


Tree Test for Navigating and Finding Core Offerings

Helping people find things, faster


Prospective customers felt like either 'nothing' or 'everything' pertained to them because products and services were organized in many different ways.

Unclear where core offerings lived because they were housed in multiple places, under different nav menu labels.

Hard to quickly browse through mega menu with core offerings buried levels deep.


Navigating to Products and Services By Triggering Life Event


Navigating to Products and Services By Product


To reduce cognitive load and prevent decision paralysis for prospective customers, I proposed a

New mental model organizing products and services as "Solutions by Need" creates approachable hooks for exploring core offerings.

Clear organization, hierarchy, 

and labeling to differentiate paths​.

Shallow path to products 

Exposing them sooner, from second level deep.



Single home for core offerings

Consolidating two top-level navigation items into one.

Consistent interaction pattern

Distinguish static vs. interactive elements between menu and page links.

Design for delight and humanity

Thoughtful selection of inclusive, branded photography and secondary blues from the palette.

Money is never about money

Most people tend to have an emotionally complex relationship with their finances. Across the site, I designed solutions from a place of empathy that helped people relate each others' similar universal needs and easily discover relevant product(s). 


I designed two core page templates.


In both templates

  • Clear headings 

  • Consistent product card UI design

  • Needs-Based Solutions Page with direct click path to child products 

  • Child Product Page

Developing a Framework that Supports Product Research and Discovery

I designed solutions that met different types of people where they were in their financial planning journey, 

  • I developed a cross-linking strategy across

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