WA Cares Fund

Creating an accessible, intuitive digital experience for the state of Washington’s WA Cares Fund, a first of its kind long term care benefit, poised to revolutionize how we care for our elders in America.

behavioral and design research / UX vision and strategy / UX and visual design / brand system / implementation support
The WA Cares Fund is a historic policy intervention for older Americans.

Washington is the first state in the nation to create an affordable way to access long term care regardless of your economic status–a crucial policy innovation given that 7 of 10 of us will need long term care at some point in our lives. Working Washingtonians contribute a small percentage of their income into a shared fund, earning them access to the benefit when they need long term care.

Working Washingtonians contribute a small percentage of their income into a shared fund, earning them access to the benefit when they need long-term care.

The Holding Co was honored to support the WA Cares Fund team to establish a brand that would feel authentic and inviting to a wide range of Washingtonians and integrate it into what we called the “experience blueprint” – a strategy for ensuring that this historic legislation hit the ground in a way that dispelled misinformation, invited people in, and ensured enduring success.

To do this, we conducted behavioral interviews with diverse Washingtonians–coming from different racial and economic backgrounds, living in different parts of the state, and affiliating with different political parties. Long-term care is little understood by the general populace, so we sought to understand people’s most pressing questions and needs.

Leveraging what we learned from our brand work, we shifted into defining the digital experience of WA Cares. We conducted additional behavioral interviews, as well as a qualitative study, to assist in shaping user archetypes, which are grouped into three cohorts – working Washingtonians, beneficiaries poised to access funds for care, and “authorized users,” those empowered to access funds on behalf of loved ones.

To reach these different demographics, we knew we’d need multimodal storytelling–visual diagrams, an interactive calculator which informs how much one contributes and how inflation may adjust their earned benefit amount, case studies with real live Washingtonians, and what we called “receipts,” which helped itemize the type of care one could pursue with these funds. We ruthlessly sought out accessible language so that everyone who landed on the site understood how this fund could fit into their lives.

Now that the site has launched, we are partnering with the WA Cares Fund team to ensure that every aspect of the user experience is as finely tuned as possible–from when people first learn about WA Cares to when they access benefits for the first time, and all the potential steps in between.

We couldn’t be more proud to work alongside such innovative public servants as we do our part to make sure that good design is central to this historic public offering that will allow more elders to age with dignity and care.