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Accessibility Research and Roadmap Lead to Change for Inclusive Digital Design

Case Study

Washington Health Plan Finder

Screenshot of the Washington Healthplanfinder website.
Doctor working at a laptop
Washington Healthplanfinder Logo

The Problem

Applying for and shopping for health insurance is complicated. The Washington Health Benefit Exchange (WAHBE) operates Washington Healthplanfinder, the online marketplace that helps Washington State residents determine their eligibility for health insurance and apply for tailored insurance options. To ensure all residents have an easy-to-use customer experience WAHBE determined that it needed to integrate accessibility even more deeply into the digital design and agile development process.

The Solution

Armed with insights from user research, WAHBE went beyond legal accessibility requirements to invest in a more inclusive experience for users of Washington Healthplanfinder.

We collaborated with WAHBE to assess the accessibility of Washington Healthplanfinder and improve the overall user experience. Anthro-Tech led efforts to:

  • Research and document “best in class” examples of inclusive web designs
  • Update WAHBE’s customer personas to include people with disabilities
  • Benchmark Washington Healthplanfinder’s compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines, which includes criteria for people with cognitive disabilities, that can include ADHD or Dyslexia
  • Recommend best practices for integrating accessibility in the agile development cycle

Anthro-Tech observed how people with disabilities use the current Washington Healthplanfinder site, identified areas for improvement, and recommended design solutions based on data-driven insights. WAHBE stakeholders observed as Anthro-Tech led user research. Stakeholders witnessed how difficult it was for a user with a screen reader to navigate certain sections of Washington Healthplanfinder. Seeing these challenges firsthand helped create buy-in for efforts to improve accessibility. Changes to integrate accessibility into WAHBE’s design and agile development process resulted.

WAHBE made accessibility a core value and went beyond legal compliance. We provided WAHBE with:

  • A roadmap outlining how to incorporate accessibility in each step of product development
  • Data showing the site is doing well in terms of consistent compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines based on automated and manual accessibility audit
  • Documentation outlining areas to improve the accessibility and usability of Washington Healthplanfinder for people with disabilities, and suggested solutions and recommendations focused on inclusive design

We helped WAHBE leadership develop a plan for creating and hiring a new accessibility expert role within the organization. They recently filled this role and are onboarding their new accessibility expert using the roadmap and resources developed with Anthro-Tech.