Spring 2016 | Design Direction: Jason Roh

Background Information

Spark was developed to be a business intelligence tool for the Medicare Advantage market. This product allowed plans, vendors, and various organizations in the industry to find all publicly available information about MA plans in one convenient location.

The Challenge

Navigating through publicly available information is not an easy task for many. MA plans and organizations within the Medicare Advantage market need easy access to this data without having to spend resources parsing through large amounts of information. Spark needed to showcase important information about all eligible MA plans and specific measures related to Star Ratings.

My role during this project included directing the design; creating wireframes and workflow diagrams; building high-fidelity prototypes; and incorporating stakeholders’ opinions and user data to improve the experience.

*Due to the confidentiality of my work, product names have been changed and visual representations of my work and process have been limited. If you would like to learn more about my capabilities, feel free to contact me at


By interviewing various groups of potential users from different Medicare Advantage plans, I was able to define the appropriate design strategy for these users. I noted that the directors and executives familiar with Illuminate, were ideal candidates for Spark. While clinical support teams did not find Spark helpful, the “power users” of Illuminate regarded Spark necessary to further improve their plan’s Star Rating.

Spark Personas

The main users for Spark consisted of high-level executives and directors focused on improving the overall Star Ratings for their plan. Aside from the clinical support team, the ideal user group were identical to those found using Illuminate.

Spark Workflow

The Plan Analyzer module of Spark consists of in-depth visualizations and information for users to view and compare against other plans. I designed the publicly available data CMS provided, and defined an intuitive structure for users.

The Design

Spark consists of three main pages: Plan Analyzer, Measure Diver, and Geo Explorer. The three main modules allow users to search for MA plans; investigate which measures affect overall Star Ratings; and understand how geography plays a role in overall ratings.

Spark Plan

The Plan Analyzer provided detailed information about a plan’s profile information to the specific measures that affected their overall Star Ratings.

Spark Measure

The Measure Diver conveyed information about the several measures that CMS uses to generate a Star Rating for MA plans.

Spark Geo

The Geo Explorer incorporated various external data sources to depict how geography affects Star Ratings.

Final Design

Stakeholders from across various organizations in the Medicare Advantage market stressed the need to better understand the Star Ratings System. Due to the convoluted nature of public data, I was able to design a product that would convey all relevant information in a clear and intuitive fashion.

Our team at Accordion was able to design and implement Spark within three months; allowing organizations to compare MA plans; view quality measure details; and utilize external data sources. The three-pronged approach to understanding Star Ratings gave risk-taking organizations the power to create strategic moves to improve the quality of care for their members.

Final Thoughts

Spark was also the foundation of the Accordion design language for its new platforms. By creating an intuitive design for enterprise applications, Accordion is able to develop new products using the same language.

*Due to the confidentiality agreement some information has been altered or omitted.