// Usability Improvements for a Client Portal – Enervision Media

Earlier this summer, we began a collaborative effort for GTM Household Payroll to redesign its online client portal – EasyPay Online.  GTM offers tax and payroll services for household employers. The EasyPay Online portal allows GTM’s clients to manage their tax and payroll for their household employees like nannies or other home care workers (entering hours for an employee, viewing payroll or tax reports, etc.)

The Situation

GTM’s clients had been commenting about some difficulties in using the portal, specifically:

  • Difficult to find what they were looking for
  • Somewhat out-dated look and feel
  • Hard to do everything they needed to do online
  • Not “user friendly,” especially on mobile phones. (Roughly 30% of traffic on the portal is from mobile devices.)

The portal also included some functionality that GTM wanted to update. This included a notes feature that triggered an action on the part of Customer Service. The portal needed to allow more clients to completely self-serve.

GTM asked Enervision to create a new look and feel that would accommodate the updated feature set, improve usability, and make it easier for clients to self-serve.

EasyPay Online Home Page before redesign

The Home Page for EasyPay Online before the redesign featured a large, non-clickable image, but had no action-oriented links or buttons for frequent tasks.


Our User-centered Process

We met with Customer Service, Marketing and internal Development teams to understand what customers were doing mostly on the portal, details on the problems they were having, and the technical constraints.

The Enervision design team:

  • Streamlined the information architecture. We got rid of numerous “mega-menus” which were making navigation difficult.
  • Created large, colorful buttons on the Home page that acted as the “quick links” to top 6 tasks (80% of the portal activity focused on these tasks).
  • Reformatted elements that seemed awkward. This included forms, tables, and the Message Center on the Home Page.
  • Re-designed the key tasks to provide more guidance, and with terminology clients were likely to understand.

A prototype of the portal was developed internally by GTM.  GTM then asked us to do usability testing of the prototype with actual clients.  This would allow us to test the design and make changes before rolling it out to the full audience of users.

EasyPay Online's Updated Home Page following user feedback

This version of the prototype was tested with users. Large, action-oriented buttons on the Home Page helped users navigate to their activities. They felt the Message Center was taking up too much space.



The user testing was handled remotely via one-on-one GoToMeeting calls with Meryl Enerson. During the research sessions, users were asked to do a handful of tasks, such as entering actual hours worked for a household employee, changing an employee address, and getting a report on previous payroll.

Overall, clients found the new design an upgrade from the current portal, and commented that it was “very easy”, “seamless” and “intuitive.” The most surprising finding was how enthusiastic users were about the large, colorful buttons on the Home Page, which they found very familiar and “app-like.” They wanted more buttons, and less of other things on the Home Page, to focus their activities.

A few tasks were, however, still somewhat difficult for users to complete.

We reported to GTM on our findings. Then, based on specific user comments and observations of their behavior, we updated the design to correct the issues in the interface.  We also added two additional buttons to the Home Page and greatly reduced the screen real estate for a Message Center, which users felt was extraneous.

GTM’s clients were complimentary when the site rolled out in mid-October, finding it “intuitive.” They now have a portal they helped create for themselves – thanks to a user-centered process.


EasyPay Online Home Page update

The final Home Page was updated to include even more task-oriented buttons following user research. The Message Center was reduced to a horizontal area along the top.


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