In 2008, Polar Design created a secure portal for the members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 478 to access their individual benefits. At the time, the portal was state of the art. It provided participants secure access to their benefit information by integrating with Local 478’s benefit administration system and presenting each participant their personalized benefits through attractive, dynamic interfaces using charts and other graphics.
Fast forward to 2020: we’re grateful that IUOE Local 478 chose us to reengineer its participant benefit portal twelve years later. With this year’s launch, Local 478 has returned to the state of the art while Polar Design has confirmed its legacy of building attractive, effective, custom designed multi-employer fund benefit portals.
Polar Design programmed the new Local 478 portal to stand upon enhanced technology platform that uses the PHP Laravel framework. This framework provides enhanced stability, security and application scalability. This framework has enabled us to implement the portal in half the time that prior technologies allowed. It has also added access to new technologies such as Single Sign On (SSO), which were not supported by the code base that originated in 2008.
The front end also features substantial improvements including a clean, modern and responsive design that scales perfectly between small smartphone or large desktop screens.
The Polar team has become very well acquainted with Local 478’s benefits and operations through the years. Nevertheless, we still conducted our formal design and review process with Local 478 as if they were a new client including stakeholder interviews, UI/UX specifications, technical documentation and interactive prototypes for clients to explore prior to conducting the full build.
Our process has obvious benefits for new clients; for existing clients, it helps identify any changes to their original requirements and design assumptions. Such insights guide us to conceive new functionality or design changes that can have improve utilization and effectiveness. As an example, in Local 478’s case, we identified a need to elevate the presence of features like the “out of work” report that participants use to report a layoff or furlough more accessible, among other improvements.
The newly designed portal will remain relevant and useful for Local 478’s participants and staff for many years. With the modern, responsive design and use of the flexible, expandable Laravel PHP framework, Local 478 has future proofed its online presence for participants.