Over the course of two days, AmeriFlex and Ascend Marketing collaborated in Luma Institute structured discovery sessions to uncover insights to guide the AmeriFlex website redesign. 

Using the navigation structure below, recaps and documentation of each workshop has been outlined. 


We held seven workshops over two half days with the following attendees:  

  • Stacy Wofford, AmeriFlex
  • Bart McCollum, AmeriFlex
  • James Frazer, AmeriFlex
  • Brent Ross, AmeriFlex
  • Matt Palubicki, AmeriFlex
  • Patrick Wynne, AmeriFlex
  • Leah Valenti, AmeriFlex 
  • Tina Schweiger, Ascend
  • Meghan Murphy, Ascend
  • Ekaterina Konovalova, Ascend

On day 1, 11/11/14, we completed the following workshops at AmeriFlex:

  • Rose, Thorn, Bud
  • Bulls Eye
  • Stakeholder Mapping
  • Abstraction Laddering

On day 2, 11/12/14, we completed the following workshops at Ascend:

  • Persona Profiles
  • Storyboarding
  • Schematic Diagramming

Workshop image gallery



The Rose, Bud, Thorn workshop allowed the team to identify what components of the current site were positive (rose), which had potential (bud) and which were "thorns" in their side. 

ROSE (pink)

  • Social Media Listed
  • Content on footer
  • Lots of content
  • Lots of information
  • Search feature
  • News & alerts (what is alerts)
  • News & alerts (alerts redundant?)
  • About us, features, BBB, and awards all add credibility
  • Phone access
  • Free mobile app! (but for who)
  • Works on mobile (actually better than desktop)

BUD (yellow/green)

  • Good footer content/links
  • Large amount of info is good, we can utilize it
  • Content sections can be too long
  • FAQ context
  • Information
  • Rogers completed blog—good, but hidden
  • Services page
  • Services listed
  • Video
  • YouTube channel button, only two videos shared on YouTube
  • Search function doesn’t return complete results
  • Has potential, news items
  • Have good news stream, but not good on homepage, frequency
  • Have some good tools but they are links (ie. Enrollment, video, salint)
  • Partners
  • Workforce not integrated well to appropriate audience
  • Sales & marketing look like they’re only under broker, not employer
  • Lead audience segmentation
  • Produce employee member goal start but info/copy not custom
  • Navigation structure
  • Tabs for each audience
  • Image counter
  • Learn, Enrollment, Tools, EDI icon
  • Implementation sections enrollment
  • Menu just needs to be moved up, need better navigation

THORN (blue)

  • Different Logos on Footer
  • “About us” doesn’t list all things about us clearly
  • Too much content
  • Forms
  • Text overload
  • Too much info, not easy to find it
  • Organization of forms/resources
  • Forms page has depreciated forms
  • Home page too wordy
  • Discrimination testing portal is a spreadsheet
  • Tools that employees want are hard to find
  • List of services on landing page
  • Need to clearly organize the site and clarify roles (producer/employee/member)
  • Claim form should not be a quick link
  • Other pages: too text heavy, no visual elements
  • No games / fun
  • Not very interesting
  • Login button
  • Too many logins
  • Many portals, all different
  • Login mixed with mixed content links
  • Multiple portal logins and individual pages for each
  • Mongoose, colored broker portal
  • Narrow content frame
  • Busy
  • Inefficient use of page in view (margins)
  • Membership support center is ugly
  • UI is clunky and chunky
  • Colors bad
  • Colors
  • Too much of one color
  • Stock photos
  • Stock photos
  • Piggybank
  • Pig Graphic
  • Stock photography, bad home page
  • Piggybank
  • Platform
  • Drupal
  • Unclear messaging
  • No call to action, just a rotating banner, not sure what to do
  • No clear positioning statement
  • Business solutions
  • Too many font sizes without pattern, style sheet?
  • Lower left rotating box looks like advertisement
  • Logo on bottom not very prominent
  • Work force management? Too same
  • Can’t navigate well
  • How audiences are services, not clearly stated for audience
  • Circular links
  • Change from people to things on workforce
  • Lost on workforce page
  • Navigation
  • Claim form is PDF
  • Too many places to go and find documents to download
  • On slider the text boxes on the images don’t say anything
  • Menu organization doesn’t feel intuitive
  • Main navigation not at top


Following the Rose, Bud, Thorn exercise, the team then participated in the Bulls-Eye Diagramming workshop to identify priorities. 

PRIMARY (center)

  • Consistent logo
  • More marketing push
  • Resources
  • Easy-to-find claim form
  • Better navigation
  • It's about the employees
  • Concise content
  • Bolder colors
  • Web forms
  • Custom photos and icons

SECONDARY (second circle) 

  • More graphics
  • Assets behind logins
  • Business cycle based
  • Powerful content
  • Great headlines
  • Calculator
  • Business ROI calculator
  • Landing pages for audience segments
  • Testimonials
  • More videos
  • All logins in one place

TERTIARY (outer circle)

  • No pigs!
  • Top floating navigation
  • Homegrown .NET
  • Less PDFs
  • Phone access
  • Shopping cart
  • Integrations



Stakeholder mapping is a process by which the workshop participants brainstorm the variety of potential visitors to the site. 

TEAM 1 (left image)

  • HR: "How to make my company better; increase employee satisfaction"
  • Payroll: "Automate payroll and time management"
  • CEO: "Benefits; move away from manual process"
  • Competitor: "what sets them apart / differentiators"
  • Member: "How do I get my money and answers to claims?"
  • Spouse: "What is my balance?"
  • Media: "I'm looking for credibility, news, blog, etc."

TEAM 2 (center image)

  • Existing employers with sales opportunity: "I don't know what I don't know, so tell me what I should know that AmeriFlex offers"
  • Existing employers; HR with a big company: "I have a system, but need some info"
    • I need open enrollment forms
    • I need change forms
  • Existing employers; small company: "I need more support than large companies"
  • Potential employer customers: "I want to streamline my HR services," "I'm growing," "I'm unhappy with my current vendor"
  • Producers: "Give me information so I can sell this / give me scare points"
  • Potential members: "Tell me about it"
    • Why should I sign up?
    • Is it worth it?
    • Will this save me $?
    • What qualifies?
    • Risks?
    • So many acronyms...what do they all mean?!
  • Existing members: "I need info about my account"
    • What's my balance?
    • Where's my refund?
    • I need a new card
    • I need info that impacts me financially
    • I need to file a claim
    • What items are eligible? 
    • I need to register

TEAM 3 (right image)

  • Internal: "How can I help AmeriFlex?"
  • Vendor: "They are successful and I want to affiliate" 
  • Employers: "I want to see a report or find info," "How much am I spending/saving?"


We started with the initial statement of "AmeriFlex helps employers handle non-core HR things in a way that gives them peace of mind." Through a series of questions urging participants to outline how and why, the team settled on an overall concept that Ameriflex:




During the Persona Profiles workshop, each participant was given a sheet of paper and assigned an AmeriFlex stakeholder to define mindset, characteristics, needs and goals. 

This helps us get in the frame of mind of our website audience. 


  • Has a pet
  • Visits doctor at least 1 time per quarter
  • Has 1 major surgery per year
  • In a fixed budget
  • Single mom/2 kids
  • Likes to coupon
  • Likes to shop online
  • Likes savings
  • PTA member

Employee / Bobby Joe / Female /  42 / Lineworker

Mindset Quote 

“I know I should sign up for the FSA. I understand it pays for things my insurance wont but I don’t understand all the rules and how I can maximize my account. Can I still have this if my husband has an HSA? Who cares. It’s not like the IRS will come to my house. What if I lose my job, can I get my money back? I hope there are no risks and I hope this dang card works when I go to the doctor’s office. I hate sending in receipts, what a pain!”


  • Save money
  • Understand account
  • It needs to work and understand
  • If something “goes wrong”, fix promptly
  • Understand health plan and other ancillary benefits to see where account fits in
  • Get answers to questions quickly


  • Feel good about choice
  • Be a proponent of FSA/advocacy/referrer
  • Expert about service with AmeriFlex
  • Rest easy, no legal issues
  • Care about program
  • Make AmeriFlex part of investment strategy


  • Straight and to the point
  • Makes decisions based on research and factual data
  • Measures everything for gauging success or failure

Employer / Dr. Lazarus Grayson III / Male / 47 / CFO

Mindset Quote:

“Let’s see the numbers! Don’t try to make me feel good, make me believe.”


  • Reduce operating cost
  • Increase revenue
  • Stabilize cost
  • Measurable results


  • Meaningful gains in market share
  • Reduce tax liability
  • Reduce overall operating cost
  • Add value
  • Tools to monitor implementation, cost/savings


  • Single
  • Rents
  • College Education
  • 2 dogs at home
  • Starting to see that benefits are very important, but doesn’t really know enough to make decisions

Employee / Kristen / Female / 29 / Account Manager

Mindset Quote

“Spending plans seem like a good idea but I need more education and information to make a decision.”


  • Clear information about health spending accounts
  • Information on the different between types (FSA/HAS/…)
  • Determine how much money to put into an account
  • Determine how much money each option will save


To pick a plan that saves money, is convenient without feeling like I’m at risk of losing money in a “use it or lose it” scenario.


Employer / John Doe / Male / 39 / HR Director

John is the HR director of a mid-sized business that is experiencing rapid growth. He likes helping people, and thinks he can do great things to improve the company and the lives of those working with him.


  • Information
  • What is offered?
  • What services are best for me?
  • What is legally required of me, moving forward?
  • Where do I start?


  • Save money
  • Save time
  • Live better
  • Provide employees with helpful/beneficial service


Linda owns a small landscaping design firm. She’s growing fast. She finds herself inundated with day to day admin and hates it. She found a broker who recommended she outsource all that “stuff” to AmeriFlex. This would allow her to stay in compliance and meet the needs of her employees.

Employer / Linda / Female / 35 / President

Mindset Quote

“I want to focus on growing my business and ensuring quality service for customers. I don’t like 'paperwork' and managing employee’s HR needs.”


  • Offload work-admin tasks
  • Handle employee needs
  • Avoid hiring a full time HR person
  • Avoid being worried about not complying with government requirements of having employees
  • Attract quality people because of benefits offered
  • Need to scale smartly


  • Validate AmeriFlex: are they a good choice?
  • Understand how they would help me on a day to day basis. Do I get a person to call on?
  • Understand how they help my employees: what do they offer and how does that benefit them?
  • Understand how they’d use the site
  • Get an idea of cost
  • Figure out how to get started


  • Smart
  • Educated
  • Reliable
  • Ambitious
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Introverted

Potential Employee / Sheldon Cooper / Male / 32

Mindset Quote

  • I’m looking for a job
  • I want to be paid well, have a good vacation package, have a good benefits package, and have good career opportunities.
  • I also want to have a nice cubicle where I can arrange my star wars action figures.


  • I want to have a job and I want to be compensated fairly.
  • I don’t want to be a corporate slave. My needs are to have at least two weeks of vacation and work no more than 40-50 hours.
  • I want to have career growth and to find a company where I can grow professionally and feel good about my career and status.


  • To get a job that will fulfill my needs.


  • Loves work
  • Likes cats
  • Outgoing
  • Helper
  • Go getter
  • Reads a lot
  • Has a nice watch

Employer / Jim Bob / Male / 34 / HR Superstar

Mindset Quote 

“I have tons of things to do and no time to do them. My boss wants a better HR department but I don’t have time to put together programs for my employees. I want to bring how powered employees into my company but we need to offer more than just a job.”


  • One stop shop for employee health care benefit programs
  • Top notch information
  • Be able to point employees to a source that knows


  • Off load work to focus on core business needs
  • Increase likes on Facebook
  • Decrease employee turn over


  • Busy
  • Client focused
  • Concerned with how clients interacts with us
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Problems must have quick resolutions
  • Big shoes
  • Likes AmeriFlex salesperson to buy drinks

Broker / Bob Broker / Male / 50 / Benefits Broker

Mindset Quote

“I need to sell insurance plans, but I need Flex account $ COBRA to bundle for my clients. I want everything to be easy for my clients.”


  • Simple setup and implementation for my clients
  • A contact at AmeriFlex dedicated to my success
  • Reporting to show how I add value in tax savings
  • An easy way to send new cases for implantation
  • Amazing tools to show how Flex & COBRA administration adds value
  • Tools to manage midyear changes for my clients


  • Differentiate myself and products from competitors
  • Satisfied clients
  • No problems leading to client frustration
  • Build my reputation and block of business
  • Make commissions on products


  • Married
  • Works with a small company that needs to set up benefits and find a better process for payroll

Employer / Pam Beasley / Female / 32 / Office Admin

Mindset Quote

“Looking for ways to handle healthcare costs and process payroll for a new/small business.”


  • Better way to handle payroll
  • Can’t decide if we need FSA or HSA, and need to understand our options
  • We are required to provide Cobra, how does that work
  • Didn’t want to worry about managing all these plans and procedures


  • Learn about healthcare payment options
  • Learn what we can do for payroll other than a manual process
  • Easily get the right info
  • Easily be able to contact someone with my questions
  • Get a good idea of costs and what is required to get started
  • Feel confident in selecting AmeriFlex to pursue final decisions


  • Entrepreneurial
  • Visionary
  • Successful
  • Marketing mindset
  • Well respected company
  • Has strong integrity
  • Has good reputation
  • Fancies himself a technology guru

Employer / Troy Underweed / Male / 47 / CEO

Mindset Quote

“I want to deal with this company because they represent a lot of revenue for us and they are the best at what they do. I want to be affiliated with them and I want other stakeholders to know that we are a vendor for AmeriFlex.”


  • Wants to sell his products/systems/services to AmeriFlex
  • Wants to market his company’s affiliation with AmeriFlex
  • Hopes to increase his company’s esteem/reputation
  • Hopes to increase profitability/roles
  • Wants something unique/visionary that the market currently doesn’t offer
  • Wants website to show him

Goals (long-term)

  • Contact with AmeriFlex
  • Willing to offer discount to get AmeriFlex
  • Work with AmeriFlex to solve problems not currently scalable
  • Press release/joint marketing with AmeriFlex
  • Website confirms his pre-conceived notions of AmeriFlex and he walks away with an even better impression of Ameriflex than before


For the Storyboarding workshop, we selected three of our personas and outlined what activities/decisions lead them to the website. 



In Schematic Diagramming, we sketched out what the "homepage" for each of our three primary audience segments would be: member, employer and broker. This allows us to identify if we can merge these into one single homepage, or if the information and content is different enough to warrant individual landing pages for each audience.