Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

Improving Unemployment Fraud Reporting with User Research

Needs

USDR worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry to conduct user research and produce wireframes that will inform a redesign of their unemployment fraud reporting tool. The state was faced with several challenges, including: a backlog of more than 100,000 fraud reports, reports coming in from multiple entry points and in different formats, and reports submitted missing key information.

Our approach

USDR worked in two phases: discovery and production of a research kit.

In the discovery phase, the team focused on:
1) understanding terminology, service factors, and key information flows related to fraud reporting and investigation.
2) identifying user barriers in the fraud reporting experience that create confusion and lead to incorrect or insufficient information needed to expedite investigations.
3) identifying fraud investigator pain points around processing new reports and following-up on existing reports.

In the production phase, the team collaborated with the state investigation team to produce a research and interview kit. The kit will help guide the state in conducting user research, with special consideration for the sensitivity required for claimants who may have been victims of fraud and for people whose primary language is Spanish.

Goals

  • Reduce time to resolve newly reported fraud cases
  • Improve customer experience for fraud reporters and victims
  • Improve fraud report processing workflow

Results

The team discovered four main pain points related to the user experience of reporting unemployment compensation fraud:

  1. Users struggled to confidently move through the fraud reporting process, often getting stuck at the very beginning.
  2. The website didn’t guide users to clearly provide the key information needed to efficiently investigate the fraud.
  3. Users were frustrated by the lack of clear fraud-resolution expectations and no status updates.
  4. Fraud reporters arrived at the reporting website feeling vulnerable and distrustful that websites can guard their personal information.

The team produced a research and interview kit for the state that includes detailed guidance in the following areas:

  • UX content writing principles, with a focus on plain language in English and Spanish
  • Fraud claimant interview kit containing:
    - Full Research Plan, including recruiting language, in English and Spanish
    - Fraud Claimant 45-Min Interview Discussion Guide, in English and Spanish
    - Fraud Claimant 45-Min Interview Stimulus (Figma, Google Slides), in English and Spanish
  • Wireframes and UX flow reviewed by investigator staff
  • Recommendations for how to improve workflow, measure impact, and implement a continuous improvement mechanism

Impact

The state will use these resources to conduct user research directly with people who report fraud, which will ultimately help them improve the fraud reporting experience, help them clear their current backlog of more than 100,000 fraud reports more quickly, and streamline future incoming reports.

— 

Meet the team

Marcie Chin
Marcie is a Program Lead and veteran product manager who believes in leveraging equity-centered design, ethical technology, and strategic foresight to serve the public interest.
Misa Misono
Hernan Chiosso
Josh MacAdam
Maria Bell
Marilyn Osei
Nina Hido
Vicky Pridgen
Get the help you need, now.
USDR is fast, free, and nonpartisan.
We’ll get back to you within 48 hours.
Contact us