Kaiser Permanente

Becoming one of America's most trusted brands

The opportunity

Kaiser Permanente is one of the nations largest non profit health plans, serving over 12.5 million members. Despite this, they are not top of mind for consumers as a source of health content and tools, inhibiting their ability to gain brand awareness and increase membership. Targeted acquisition efforts will drive more traffic to KP.org, so we need to engage users when they land.

The goal

Craft a vision for a unified experience that will boost brand awareness, and influence digital-first, health content seekers to return to KP.org as their trusted source of health content, ultimately increasing membership. Internally, our goal was even loftier: Become one of America’s trusted brands.

My contribution

As one of three designers on this project, I collaborated daily with KP design leadership and strategists, conducted and synthesized research, defined a new visual language and delivered prototypes, a digital playbook and a UI kit. Our recommendations are expected to be rolled out gradually over the next few years.

Client Stakeholders
Product Manager
Content Strategist

What we inherited


KP has great content, but it's fragmented, difficult to find, and costly.

Auditing the current experience

Three separate front doors

Each with different taxonomy, content and visual language. The result: a fragmented and disjointed experience.

Medical and cold photography

The overall look and feel was cold, clinical and uninspiring. Many images featured people getting shots, which was the opposite of inspiring. Treatments were inconsistent and felt stock.

Buried multimedia

Valuable video and audio content was buried deep i n the experience behind pages and deep links.

Asking the right questions



During our discovery, I collaborated closely with a KP researcher, a content strategist and our product manager. I wanted to understand our users' goals and desired outcomes, their content preferences, and how they currently engage with competitor sites and best-in-class content destinations.


User Interviews


Stakeholder Interviews


Current-state Journeys


Competitors Audited


Data points analyzed

Which content attributes support the needs of millenials?
To what extent can we create new content?
What is the appetite or feasibility for non-member accounts?
How can we create value pre-login?
Which health topics do Gen Z/Millenials search most?
What percentage of articles are viewed by members (vs. non-members)?
How does this work tie into the native experience?
Which content has the highest bounce rate?
How often can new content be created?
What factors lead to trust amongst health seekers?
What do you think competitors are doing well?
Which journeys should we prioritize for MVP and why?
Which entry points do we need to consider?
What learnings came out of the parallel front-door work?
What is KP's competitive advantage?
In your opinion, what is KP's biggest hurdle in generating content?
In your opinion, what is KP's biggest hurdle in generating content?
What is the number one reason why this initiative would fail?
Do physicians currently create their own content?
In your opinion, what is KP's biggest hurdle in generating content?
In your opinion, what is KP's biggest hurdle in generating content?
What is the number one reason why this initiative would fail?
Do physicians currently create their own content?

Insights & Opportunities



We were able to distill our findings into a few key themes, which would help guide any design decisions thereafter.

Move beyond encyclopedic pages, and towards emotional health journeys
  • "These feel like blanket statements... not necessarily applicable to my situation"

    "It feels pretty drab and outdated...definitely not memorable"

Favor structured short form content that lets users drive
  • “With articles I think how much will I have to read to get something I can walk away with.”

Build relationships and relevance through interactive tools and experiences
  • “A symptom checker would help me narrow down the possibilities and focus me on what to do.”

  • “As long as it is a trusted web site I have never had a problem sharing information about myself.”

Focus on care guidance and actionable care and wellness outcomes
  • "I want more than heres' what is wrong with you...tell me what to do next"

Defining how America sees KP


Visual Design Considerations

Healthcare is confusing, daunting and clinical. How might we instead make this experience feel friendly, approachable and relatable?

“A feeling of warmth and caring; a sense of quality and professionalism; concern and commitment to one another, the partnership we share in providing healthcare to the community, and a progressive feeling.” —Douglas Boyd, creator of the modern KP logo

Final Design


Relatable health journeys
KPI: CTR, Bounce

Instead of encyclopedic hub pages, we recommended taking the the various KP customer segments on an engaging, personal health journey, empowering them with the tools and resources needed for better health.

Highlighting expert content
KPI: Repeat Visits

KP's on-premise care experience is a unique competitive advantage, so it should extend to digital. KP specialists provide site visitors with a definitive, trusted voice that is medically relevant and not hearsay.

Elevating video
KPI: Min Watched

I recommended bringing KP's robust but buried video content to the forefront, since users better retain and recall information conveyed in video versus text and users are more likely to share video content than other formats. Overall users found the video journeys, immersive and engaging.

“It's captivating, and the flows are logical and seamless”

Interactive tools
KPI: Emails Captured

Entice users to share their data through interactive journeys that unlock personalized content based on their unique attributes.

“As long as it is a trusted web site I have never had a problem sharing information about myself.” — Mike, 25 (has account with WebMD)

Structured short form content
KPI: Page views/session

Since we weren't creating new content, I repackaged existing KP content into snackable, mobile-first, guided learning experiences that utilize familiar social media paradigms amongst our younger target audience.

“It's alive, energetic and I want to learn more” — Ryan, 22, user testing feedback

Article Improvements
KPI: Time spent on page

Simplifying the content displayed on page, cross-linking to relevant content and adding source links collectively promote improved content discoverability, topic authority and credibility.

“I appreciate the ability to share at any point throughout the article” — Matt, 28, user testing feedback

KPI: accounts created

I collaborated with KP engineers to assess the feasibility of introducing non-member accounts' without one, personalization opportunities are limited. Members can follow specialists they trust and save articles for later. 

Inspire conversion
KPI: New Plan Enrollments

I contextually wove in direct conversion moments for customers who may feel compelled to engage further with KP.

“It's logical, seamless and seems like it would provide good value” — Riley, 28, user testing feedback

Seamless social

Social media could potentially be a millennial's first impression of the brand, so it was important to make their journey to seamless. Continuity in the UI makes the experience feel integrated.

A modular system

Even though we only focused on the maternity and diabetic journeys, it was important that this new design language was flexible and could scale to accommodate future health journeys.


What I learned

Cultivating a "blue sky" mindset
  • Unlike most design projects where the output is a dev-ready spec, this was an opportunity to completely break convention and redefine the KP brand, even if implementation was not realistic immediately. It forced me to think big, and really focus on what this experience should feel like to use, and the impression it should leave on digital-first health seekers.

Design does not happen in a vaccum
  • It truly takes a village to build great experiences.  learned so much form each stakeholder I was able to collaborate with. Each brought a new perspective and challenged existing ones. This was the first time I worked with a dedicated content designer, and I can humbly say that this project would have tanked without them. Also, event though the work was blue sky, it was extremely helpful being able to validate my decisions with engineering throughout the process just to ensure some level of feasibility in the near-term.

A warm reminder...
  • Sometimes as designers we tend to over-inflate the importance our work has on the world. However in this case, I found comfort in knowing that what I was working on had the potential to impact the health of millions of people, make better decisions, and achieve better health outcomes. It doesn't get more human than that.



Setting the stage

As luck would have it, right after we handed off our work, KP underwent significant internal restructuring largely due to Covid and the macro environment. As a result, the timeline for the GHI work has been pushed to Q3 2023. The work has received high praise internally, and set a new standard for YML x KP teams moving forward, who continue to build upon the visual language and leverage some of my presentation assets. I am looking forward to bits and pieces being gradually rolled out over the next few years.

“This work is gorgeous and blossoms with possibilities. You nailed it by focusing on an emotional journey of someone seeking better health, and really connecting to them.”

Perre DiCarlo

Principal UX Lead, Kaiser Permanente