Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Security | Launched 2011
Minnesota DEED needed to redesign the existing UIMN.ORG website to better serve both the citizens of Minnesota who are applying for unemployment benefits and employers who interact with MN DEED. The website provides Unemployment Insurance information to approximately 250,000 unique visitors a year.
The MN Unemployment Insurance division needed a complete website redesign that would ‘break the mold’ for typical government websites. The new website needed to reassure people who are newly unemployed who were fearful that ‘the program would not work for them’.
Accessibility & Inclusive Design
We learned that when dealing with unemployment benefits, there are two primary and very distinct audiences: those who are requesting benefits (applicants), and those who pay UI taxes(employers and their agents). This unique audience dichotomy led us down an interesting path for redesigning the UIMN.org website, which including activities such as: requirements gathering, usability testing, card sorts, and HM’s iterative design methodology.
UX & DX Design
During one of the usability testing sessions, a woman who had recently been laid off said, "I just want to know if I'm going to be okay. Can I get help? How much and how long does it take?" We embraced her questions as both a personal and professional challenge to create a website that would instill a sense of confidence and provide reassurance for Minnesota residents who are usually under some duress or feeling marginalized by the loss of a job or on-going employment.
We worked extensively with the UI Team to find a balance when delivering content that makes it easy to read and understand information about Unemployment Insurance while still using the procedurally and legally correct terminology required by the Minnesota State UI Program.
Website Design & Build
The UIMN.ORG website was built based on sound user-centered design principles with the goal of creating a site that belongs to its customers, not to the UI Program. Our approach included design focused on customer service, mobile device access, and accessibility.
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