Your 2025 benefits program needs a modular platform. Learn more ➡️

Book a Demo

Thank you - we’ll email you about next steps soon!

For Fijoya members please submit question to

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Back to the Resources

Product Stories


The science of mental models in building transformative consumer products

Ayelet Gvirsman

February 12, 2024

2 min

We are obsessed with user feedback.

The proof is in the pudding to see if our vision can be tangibly enjoyed and understood. Seeing our product in action with users is the only way to uncover the real challenges faced by employees and make sure Fijoya is answering these needs in a trustworthy, engaging way.

It is a formidable task to elevate consumer expectations of an industry as complex and cumbersome as healthcare. The only chance for success is to be constantly guided by user feedback. We have always been determined to build Fijoya in a way that always has a dynamic feedback loop with the needs of employees, so we can do our best to achieve maximum impact and delight.

The cognitive science of user feedback

Mental models are representations of how users perceive and understand a product based on their past experiences and knowledge. These mental models are like blueprints of user expectations, formed by years of experience with various products and interfaces. By tapping into mental models, we can create products that feel intuitive, almost like second nature to users. This approach is grounded in cognitive science, a field that explores how our minds perceive and process information. By incorporating mental models into usability testing, we can create products that not only meet users' needs but also resonate with them on a deeper, more personal level.

Mental models in the Fijoya context

In traditional healthcare systems, mental models often revolve around complexity, bureaucracy, and limited options, shaped by experiences with paperwork, long wait times, and convoluted processes. In contrast, consumer experiences in other industries, like shopping for appliances on Amazon or clothes on ASOS, are often associated with simplicity, convenience, and a wide array of choices.

Our challenge is to bridge this gap and introduce mental models from seamless consumer experiences into the complex web of healthcare.

3 (fictional) examples we prepared for

Sarah, a middle-aged woman, has  a mental model that healthcare is complicated, that she won't know how much it's going to cost her and therefore needs to be on her toes.

John, a young professional, has a mental model that benefits platforms deliver value but he needs to work hard for it (e.g. submit a receipt for reimbursement) and make sure he is within the rules to be eligible.

Lila, a fitness enthusiast, has a mental model of online shopping that she will have lots of options, can easily filter what's relevant for her and easily pay with surprise costs.

So what actually happened?

Some users initially approached Fijoya with the mental model of a benefits platform, which led to some confusion.

For example, it took users a while to realize that they could use it more like an online shopping experience. Although they had to go through a payment process, users were able to pay on the spot with a card, similar to shopping in a store. To address this, we explicitly guided users, stating, "We're taking you to the site, pay with your Fijoya card." This helped bridge the gap between the benefits platform and online shopping mental models, facilitating a smoother user experience.

Conscious of these important, varied - and conflicting - mental models, we constantly adapt and forme a framework and process to evaluate every aspect of the Fijoya platform. From onboarding to payment processing, we have sought to ensure that every interaction is intuitive, seamless, and tailored to the needs of the user. Inevitably, at certain points in our product development process, some parts of this user experience were stronger than others. Trusting the process, we celebrated the positive feedback and learned from the constructive questions. 

Key findings
  • Employees love, and are surprised by, the choice and flexibility.
  • The payment process was not obvious to users in early iterations of the product, so we added a simple explainer right as the user pays.
  • Personalization emerges as a key factor in driving engagement and satisfaction among users.

Armed with these insights, we constantly implement changes to improve usability, enhance personalization features, and expand the range of services available to users. This is the path forward to truly consumerize health benefits.

Product Stories


Follow us on LinkedIn

One pay-per-use contract for thousands of health and wellness benefits.

  • You choose the budget

  • We handle the administration

  • Unspent funds return to your budget

Your submission has been received! We will email you shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.