Case Study

Financial Services Organization: Re-Invigorating the Customer Experience of a Retirement Plan System

User accessing the retirement portal from a mobile device
Design element using the Financial Services Org logo

About the Client

LookThink worked with a financial services organization that serves over 1 million participants — with over 9,000 retirement plans — to modernize the customer experience of their web portal.

Screenshots showing retirement portal calculator and other tools

At a Glance

+1M Users, +9,000 Retirement Plans, One Powerful Website

LookThink was engaged to work with a financial services organization that serves over 1 million participants in 9,000+ retirement plans to completely revamp their primary customer-facing web portals. While the features and functionality of the portals were on par with competing providers, the customer experience and visual impression felt outdated. New business opportunities were being lost as a direct result, and so it was of paramount importance to quickly deploy a solution.

Project Overview

Primary Goal

Modernize the customer experience of a financial services web portal

Audience / Users

Public-sector employees and administrators

Related Technologies

HTML/CSS, Javascript

The Challenge

The portal features and functions were on par with competitors, but the customer experience and visual impression felt outdated. New business opportunities were being lost as a result — it was important for us to deploy a solution that fit with their existing infrastructure.

The internal technology team maintained the portals for a portfolio of enterprise projects — the team also lacked front-end web development expertise. Similar initiatives (i.e., a visual refresh) were only somewhat successful because consistent styles were difficult to support.

After conducting an intensive workshop for the team, we adapted our approach and delivery to maximize the likelihood of short- and long-term success. LookThink dug in to create a six-month plan that would change the visual appeal and usability of the major, customer-facing portals and tools.

Portal mobile dashboard

The Solution

Streamlining User Access

We began with an analysis of competitor portals and a cross-departmental workshop to identify paint point portals — including navigation issues, taxonomy concerns, and visual consistency. We then validated our findings from both activities with users via one-on-one interviews. Afterwards, we understood the organization’s greatest challenge: streamlining user access.

The architecture and updated design came together in an interactive prototype, which was used in testing sessions with various clients. These testing sessions provided valuable feedback and perspectives that refined our assumptions for research.

We reviewed the final prototype and testing results with project stakeholders — including key executives and leadership from the technology department. Weekly review sessions with these representatives were crucial to ensuring the relevancy of our proposal for development.

Implementing the New Design

Following approval, we wrote and delivered the front-end code for implementation across the targeted websites. With the aid of on-site collaboration, LookThink created a phenomenal product and an educational environment for the technology team.

The legacy styles had to be stripped from the system — replaced by a modern, simplified structure. For the new experience to be successful, it was critical that the internal team understood the solution’s structure and how to maintain it in the future.

Retirement portal user homepage and dashboards


The Results

After 8 months of work, we released the redesign of two portals, one mobile application, and several important tools. The new experience was well-received based on an analysis of user feedback, site analytics, and input from clients. The project caused minimal disruption for support teams and resulted in portals that were intuitive and effective.

The project resulted in several successes. Specifically, a leading industry expert recognized discoverability, branding, and engagement. Out of the 1 million users in the portals, the call center staff only had 9 support cases during launch week. The improvements also led to a 110% increase in enrollments for their paid program!

The success of this project resulted in a trusted partnership — LookThink is already working on more design initiatives to modernize the look and feel of their web-based tools and applications. Based on the flexibility of the new code, the client’s internal technology team has an easier process for portal maintenance updates.
We are excited that the success of this initiative has instilled an organizational motivation to continue improving the customer experience.


redesigned portals

that offer several important tools.


mobile application

for users to access information on the go.


increase in enrollment

for the organization’s paid program.

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