UX Research

Portable Benefits Package

Building a foundation of a portable benefits package for gig workers
Duration: 6 weeks
Project Role: UX Researcher
Team: Yeseul Namgung, Samira Marcano, Victoria Funn


Since the onset of the pandemic, the gig work trend has gained momentum, attracting an increasing number of individuals who are now considering it as a viable career path. Gig workers appreciate the flexibility that comes with this type of work, allowing them to select specific projects or jobs based on their preferences and schedules. However, a workforce management company has identified the challenges faced by gig workers, including the loss of benefits typically associated with full-time employment, such as health insurance, paid time off (PTO), and retirement plans.

Our client, a worker-centric platform company headquartered in Canada, is dedicated to addressing these issues and creating a more secure pathway to economic stability for gig workers. They have approached us for assistance in establishing the groundwork for a portable benefits package tailored to the needs of gig workers.

Business Gole

Create a solid foundation of the portable benefits package for independent contractors today in Canada. This will be separate from the company’s current platform, meaning that their management platform will be the mechanism for launching this package and it will be launched in it’s own name. In addition, the package will be used in any partnered gig economy apps in the near future.


  • Focus on building a solid foundation of a portable benefits package. Find out which benefits bring real value to current gig workers
  • Competitive Analysis
  • User Persona

My Role

I was a part of UX Research team with two other Researchers. We collaborated closely with the client to build a perfect foundation of a portable benefits package. I was responsible for:
  • Project Planning
  • User Groups
  • Interview Script
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Synthesizing Research
Problem Statement
  • How might we provide benefits program that will reside with gig workers?
  • How might we help better plan the future for gig workers?
  • How might we provide security and a pathway to economic mobility to gig workers?
  • How might we provide a solid foundation for a portable benefits program that will bring actual value to gig workers?
  • Identify potential users and find solutions to a perfect portable benefits package.
  • Find out if the given guideline(package assumption) for the foundation of the portable benefit is bringing true value to gig workers.
  • Discover the pain points of gig workers when losing benefits. Recognize or discover any potential new opportunities to add to the benefits package.
Understanding the Competition
Competitive Analysis
Before we enter the phase of conducting user research, we started with conducting competitive analysis to get better idea of the current market and what benefits are provided to users.
Wonolo is an on-demand staffing platform based in USA that provides flexible opportunities for individuals to make extra income and learn new skills. Wonolo has a program called Wonolo up, which offers exclusive benefits to Wonolo members. They partnered with different service providers to let users access health, financial, and other benefits.
Bennie is an employee benefits platform based in USA. They provide grouped health services to small and mid-sized employers. The services include Medical, Dental, and Vision plans.
Livelii is health insurance provider based in Toronto, Canada. It provides Dental, Vision and Life & Accidental Death insurance to self-employed, freelancer, consultant, contractors, and gig workers.
Collecting User Data
Quantitative Research
To understand who current gig workers are, and what they value as benefits, we sent out a survey to thousands of gig workers at their current platform and received 50+ Responses.
Users participated
People said gig work is their main source of earning an income
Through quantitative user research, we also found that gig workers value benefits highly in wellness, financial support, perks, and entertainment.
Understanding the User
Qualitative Research
To dive deeper into the user’s pain point, in this case, losing protections for gig workers, we conducted a second round of user testing. We interviewed six individuals from the survey to find what current gig workers would want as benefits and reveal any struggles they face when seeking financial stability.
“I wish prescription drugs to be more affordable”
Abiola, 26
“Some of the gig works I find are far from home, resulting in taking multiple transportation”
Harsh, 21
“I realized that medical expenses can add up in costs”
Gurminder, 41
“I have spend my personal money to buy for clothes or tools I need in order to meet the working condition”
Aditya, 22
User Persona
By synthesizing our research data, we came up with a representation of the key audience that our stakeholders and their design team can refer to when building and launching their program.
Age: 26
Occupation: Student / Part-time gig worker
Status: Single
Personality: Introvert
Technology: Web & Mobile
How does this portable benefits package work?
Himesh is an international student. He currently works a part-time gig to make money while studying full-time at University. He does not have experience working as a traditional employee, so he does not know the “Benefits” offered to employees by an employer. He is curious to know what benefits are offered and wants to learn about HSA.
  • Wants to be able to learn about the program independently without reaching out and sharing his information
  • I am afraid of hidden charges that may occur, and not being able to cancel or pause at anytime
  • English barrier