UPMC Health Plan


Presented October 2017

3-year project


Recommend solutions for providing pregnant Health Plan members with maternity resources.

The Health Plan's telephonic maternity health coaching program is a robust resource for pregnant women to get advice and information throughout their pregnancy. Due to the lack of reach though, the program's stakeholders were looking for new ways to spread the word about the maternity program, meet younger populations where they are, and make the maternity program more easily accessible. To help them achieve these goals, our department was brought in to conduct research on the targeted user groups and recommend solutions to properly reach those populations.


As the project lead, I created the project's plan and scope, coordinated and led meetings with project stakeholders, conducted all research, analyzed and synthesized all findings, facilitated ideation and vetting workshops, and co-presented the final recommendations to Leadership.

Discovery Research

To begin the discovery process, we built a stakeholder map to determine all individuals involved in the pregnancy process, from the pregnant woman and her partner to physicians and co-workers. By building this web of family and medical support, we were able to begin understanding the number of touch-points a pregnant woman has throughout her pregnancy. To expand on this idea of touch-points, we then created a map of products that a woman buys, considers, or obtains throughout her pregnancy. Through these exercises, we began to understand the many complexities and considerations that we would have to consider when designing a solution.

To become more familiar with the maternity landscape, we conducted internal discovery sessions and generated questions to uncover insights about the pregnancy process. Throughout this research we explored forums, blogs, websites, products, apps, and other maternity resources. By synthesizing our secondary research findings into a categorized timeline, we were able to determine the overarching topics of each pregnancy milestone, including emotional changes, physical changes, lifestyle changes, medical care, education, and purchases.

One of the main maternity resources that the Health Plan offers to its members is telephonic health coaching. By listening to a handful of these coaching calls, we gained direct insights into the range of individuals that utilize this service, the types of questions that are asked, and the biggest concerns and health issues that women run into while pregnant.

To continue our examination of current Health Plan offerings, we participated in baby classes and hospitals tours. We also analyzed competitor offerings to evaluate trends and gaps in the landscape of programs available.

User Interviews

To expand our knowledge of our target user groups, we interviewed outpatient clinic intake personnel and social workers. By conducting these interviews, we were able to gain further insights into common concerns and attributes of women with high risk pregnancies.

Our next step was to conduct one-on-one interviews with new parents and currently pregnant women. By collecting stories and information directly from those experiencing a pregnancy, we hoped to understand the first-time parent perspective, learn about their support systems and use of maternity resources, gain empathy for parents, and learn about their utilization of healthcare and insurance.

To achieve these goals, we had each parent complete at-home activities before coming to their interview. One activity had parents write a fill-in-the-blank letter to a hypothetical fellow new parent that explained the emotional aspects of their pregnancies and their support systems. The other activity had parents give examples of their favorite pregnancy resources and the features that made those resources exemplary. At the in-person interviews, we were able to reference the at-home activities and and ask questions to expand upon various insights.

Maternity Personas

To verify our qualitative findings and uncover commonalities in various user groups and demographics, we distributed a national survey that was completed by more than 600 pregnant and recently pregnant women.

By combining the qualitative and quantitative data that we gathered, we were then able to develop two personas that captured two very different user groups and their needs.


Utilizing our research insights and the knowledge of subject matter experts, we began the ideation process by conducting cross-disciplinary brainstorming workshops. Through a series of exercises, including creative matrices, importance/difficulty matrices, and concept posters, we were able to quickly ideate, prioritize, and expand upon potential concepts. After these workshops, we built upon the suggested concepts by storyboarding features and researching avenues for implementation.


Use Case


Our final concept recommendations were presented to Leadership in February 2017.


usage based insurance marketplace


launched august 2018

new user scoring explanation


launched february 2018

everdrive user personas


july 2018

home screen & navigation redesign

upmc health plan app

launched december 2017

trip recording troubleshooting


launched june 2018

maternity resources

upmc health plan

october 2017