Translating research into frameworks that will guide the design process and development of design concepts.


Information Architecture

Information Architecture

Cover Oregon is a healthcare exchange dedicated to taking the best thinking of the federal exchange platform and customizing the experience to fit the needs of Oregonians. The state’s exchange utilizes a persona driven approach to allow families, individuals and employers the opportunity to efficiently locate an optimized plan.

Striking a Balance

Key goals of the approach included balancing simplicity with power, creating something familiar but not generic, establishing Cover Oregon brand visibility, and identifying contextual adaptability. Shopping for health care is a very personalized experience and one that is tailored to each situation. Many of the complexities and challenges require a design thinking framework and practical problem solving starting with a) Card-sorting exercises to define the customer ecosystem, developing the global information architecture and ultimately c) wireframes and prototyping.

To meet these challenges the design team developed five overarching principles:

  • Understand consumers’ health coverage experience
  • Understand key stakeholders’ needs and capabilities
  • Understanding what is unique about consumers in Oregon
  • What existing or open policy issues for enrollment are challenging for Oregon?
  • What successes or failures in analogous implementation efforts can we learn from?

The Cover Oregon CEO outlined design as one of his three top goals for the exchange and now the Cover Oregon teams use them to guide their work.


In the end, through the crafting of an intuitive experience and style guide, Cover Oregon was able to help transition from health care plan and price-based strategies to design-centered solutions, driving and evolving its brand through user experience, and enhancing user engagement.

A human-centered health coverage enrollment experience that takes a key step towards making health care reform work. It does so by helping people understand and connect with the coverage they are eligible for and supporting their enrollment decision making and ongoing relationship to coverage.

The Exchange was one of the first of it’s kind, offering Oregonians an forum to explore and acquire health insurance options, and manage their ongoing health insurance needs.