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Distribution Approval

Distribution Approval is one of the features that the 401(k) plan sponsor uses to approve the employee distribution request. I helped drive and redesign the new experience of this feature.


Product Designer

Problem Space
For Slavic to process participant distribution requests, the 401(k) plan sponsor will need to review and sign the requests. However, the current process provides
less flexibility and limited ways to communicate
between Slavic and the plan sponsors, therefore, creates frustration and confusion and results in
long processing times
for our participants.

We created a
table list view
that give a clear view of all pending requests and enable the plan sponsor to sign off requests
based on their availability
. By providing
customized form
for each distribution types if gives a
clear guidance
on what information is needed and an additional
flagging feature
allows plan sponsor to communicate to us while researching additional information.

Still underdevelopment


Detail Case Study


Background knowledge

What is distribution?
Distribution is the process when the employee wants to withdrawal money from their 401k account. It could be when they leave the company, any distributable event, loan, or hardship.
What is the process?

This process includes
the participant
the plan sponsor
, and
us as 401k recordkeeper
The participant will submit a request through our online portal, and then we need to send the request to the plan sponsor to validate the information and sign off the request. Once information is being verified, and we will process the request and send out the money.

Research Insight

Identify and define the problems and set the goals

Business Value
Data Insights

40% of the customer calls
are related to distribution, and distribution approval is also one of the top complaints we get from the plan sponsors.
If we can improve the approval process, we can provide a better experience for our plan sponsors and reduce the processing time. That then leads to improving efficiency and reducing customer calls.

User research

Systems with little to no flexibility are the root cause of inefficient workflow.
The plan sponsor needs to go through all of the requests only to sign off a part of it or even just one.
Not customized form causes more confusion
All fields are required in the form with no alternative, so the sponsor ends up filling incorrect information and creates more confusion.

Provide a solution that increases efficiency, ensures information accuracy, and provides better communication. Ultimately reduce the overall distribution processing time.


Brainstorm ideas and create solutions

User flow

Review requests → Sign and approved the reviewed request

Select request → provide information → sign off request
don't have information → research information
Partial information
no information

Different solutions
Card design vs Table + detail design
pros: view all information, better for review and prepoulate information or less edit
cons: need edit state and less flexibility to display
table: highlight then detail, detail could cover more scenario flexibility

Queues vs Status
queues: hide reviewed, easy to identify
Status: still can use fillter, more complicated filter
still provide more information but is actually not needed

high fidelity

Table Screenshot
Filters (dropdown)
Remind pending days

Detail Screenshot




Validate your solutions

User testing
task completion

Pre-test questionnaire → tasks → Post-test questionnaire

Too many information and actions
-first time user might need more time to complete a task
Not obvious with some indication, blue line and yellow too subtle
modal too many actions

Business review

add copy ssn feature and hidden uncover for security
table - vesing
enhance modal design
simpler and less action
hide certain things
detail indicating status (ready to sign queue)
history view

remove loan when doing other feature research and planning

Focus on MVP and add feature enhancement for future version

What would you do differently, what did you learn?
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