Discovery and Framing

Discovery & Framing

Discovery & Framing is a collaborative process that quickly explores a problem and identifies a potential solution.


The Digital Experience Center's (DEC) approach to software development invariably involves significant exploration into the problems we’re trying to solve; deep empathy for the consumers who will use our products; and a flexible, iterative approach toward validating our envisioned solutions. This process normally happens as development occurs, providing just-in-time insights to inform the next iteration of the product. However, when presented with a challenge that is particularly complex and far reaching, it is often prudent to dedicate pre-development attention to distilling the problem, prioritizing personas, and exploring potential solutions. This process is called Discovery and Framing – and as logic would suggest, it is comprised of two distinct parts:


What’s the problem we’re solving?

In the first week, the team participates in a series of exercises that explore the problem space and business environment. A deep understanding of the problem’s components ensures that data and focused observation are the foundation of a proposed solution. This week consists of:

  • Understanding the user
  • Extensive user interviews
  • Analytics research
  • Definition of personas

Understanding the business

  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Review of existing initiatives
  • Understanding long-term business goals

Understanding the tech stack

  • Analysis of existing technical infrastructure
  • Identification of pain points
  • SME interviews


How will we solve the problem?

In week two, we apply our learnings from the first week to the exploration and definition of potential solutions. This involves design and user experience exercises, analyzing technical options, and conducting additional user research to validate concepts. This week consists of:

Create and test solutions

  • Create initial prototypes
  • Conduct usability testing
  • Validate concepts with users

Align with the business

  • Define high-level solution
  • Prioritize features
  • Agree on product goals and expectations

Define the tech stack

  • Utilize tech prototyping and experimentation
  • Identify application delivery process
  • Ensure security and stability
This Exercise Achieves:
  • Well-defined problem statement
  • Identified goals and risks
  • User personas and workflows
  • Initial, user-validated prototype
  • Proposed solution (UX + Tech Stack) that meets user and business needs
“We did more in one week than I’ve seen done in a month!”
D&F Participant – MyHumana Login Redesign
Case Study:

MyHumana Login Redesign

Humana’s members are increasingly looking to the web for information and answers regarding their policies, claims, and providers. Even the Medicare population – the 65-and-over members who make up 75% of Humana’s membership – expect a fast, reliable, and convenient online process for accessing their plan details.

The MyHumana login experience, however, was slow, convoluted, and unreliable – and members’ online experience tainted their overall impression of Humana and their likelihood to recommend it to others. Leadership from the Digital Center of Excellence and Digital IT determined that the current login experience was unacceptable, and efforts to drastically improve it were needed.


The need to improve the login experience had been recognized for some time; however, there were two overarching reasons why an overhaul had yet to occur:

The underlying technical infrastructure prevented incremental improvement. Logging in to MyHumana required calls to multiple, tightly coupled services; complex personalization rules; and dependencies on services that were not meeting “enterprise ready” SLAs.

There are many types of Humana members, with differing needs, competencies, and expectations. The existing solution required customizing user content and information based on thousands of personalization rules.


The co-located, cross functional team aimed to develop a path toward creating a fast, reliable online experience that allows members to easily find and understand the information they want. The team determined that the MyHumana website will have a resilient architecture built for high availability that serves its customers first. This mobile-first experience will instill trust and confidence in Humana.


The two week investment provided valuable insights into the current state of the tech stack, the needs and frustrations of our members, and a potential solution that would address login time, site resilience, and improved user experience. In two weeks, the team:

  • Identified overarching goals and risks
  • Reviewed existing metrics and research
  • Spent time at the Humana call center, listening to member calls
  • Interviewed more than 30 internal stakeholders and subject matter experts
  • Conducted user research with 14 Humana members
  • Aligned on an agreed-upon problem statement and vision
  • Created, iterated, and refined scores of designs to one potential solution
  • Formalized proposed architectural solution and tech stack
Discovery discussion

Software engineers sketch and share ideas during the discovery and framing exercise.