Gaining a “Wow” Experience from Web Users
Wendy Aarons-Corman | March 07, 2014
For years the insurance industry has focused on providing Internet access to products and information to their agents. Insurers have responded to a demand for self service, adding these requirements to a laundry list of business initiatives. While the boom of web and mobile access has contributed to these demands, we have learned that while providing functionality such as quote, bind, and inquiry is good, it’s not necessarily good enough.
As the industry continues to juggle priorities to support the business needs, providing a portal may be at the top of mind but adding the requirements for an optimal user experience may not be understood. For those who look to extending capabilities to the Web and mobile environments or are thinking about their next move, it will be important to think wider than “usability” and begin to think in terms of the entire “user experience.” This will result in a better offering and long term savings.
Start with the basics
What is the difference between usability and user experience? Usability is when our users are performing a task; they need to get something done. The interface for this is designed so that the user can get it done quickly and intuitively. A good example of this is providing the capability to get a quote: enter the data, submit, and get a result.
User experience, however, is how our users feel about their interaction. It widens the scope of the interface to include visual design including fonts, colors, and navigation. So, while getting a quote is important, the flow of the process accompanied by great visual design and the ease to obtain additional support and information during the process is equally essential. Insurers can get their users to “wow” if they understand the concept of delivering optimal user experience.
Use storytelling for workflow
We’ve all been a part of presentations that were difficult to sit through. Those sessions are usually full of interesting material however the delivery has been dry or at a level that has too much detail.
The best presentations are those that incorporate storytelling. Delivering content through a story enables a connection with the audience and gives them the opportunity to discover the lesson.
Storytelling should be brought into user experience design as well. Instead of using scenarios, try to tell the story of how the users might go about their journey. Using storytelling techniques can add a dimension of emotion that will grab the user and result in a better user experience. By focusing on user flows instead of page design and information architecture, insurers will meet their business objectives while delivering a valuable and complete user experience.
Layout, fonts, headings, and pictures all contribute to visual design. The challenge is finding a design that is optimal for all users. By including users in the development and feedback, insurers can meet the needs of most. Good visual design, however, can reduce the learning curve for all users if there is consistency and patterns. This eases the process for the users as they don’t have to memorize what to do since the site is intuitive.
When a user visits a Web Site, they have a task to complete. Ensuring that the user can navigate the site needs to be a fundamental component to the overall design. Navigation includes providing consistency in the placement of menus and elements. Users should not have to guess or spend too much time looking to find something. Provide an experience where users can find what they need quickly.
Providing a great user experience for a disabled person is important for insurers to include. Accessibility should be part of the overall design. This includes support for sound and sight and an interactive experience that can be directed through voice and keyboard. While this is not required by law, it should be considered best practice in reaching all types of users. There are organizations that solely focus on assisting insurers with this need.
User Experience not Just Usability
“User experience” and “usability” are different concepts but are indeed related. While we need to ensure that processing is easy to use, we also need to ensure that the entire experience is substantial. We need to care about design, performance, and the emotional reaction to our design. Our own experience with both good and bad web applications has provided this understanding. It’s time to adjust our mindset and improve our web offerings.
Wendy Aarons-Corman is president and founder of UX Game Changers, an organization that delivers optimal user experiences to the Web and mobile for insurers.
- The Rapid Evolution of Consumer Protection Regulation
- Talent Hunt: Finding, Attracting, Retaining Top People
- Insurers Flexing Their Distribution Models
- Technology Driving Disruption in Insurance
- Fear of ‘Next Bubble’ Challenges Life, Annuity Carriers
- Technology Allows Commercial Lines Insurers to Stand Out
- Single Sign-on Viewed as Biggest Tech Challenge for Agencies
- ISCS Observes 20th Anniversary; Scurto Predicts Major Changes Ahead
- Policyholders and Their First Impressions
- Progressive Making Progress on the UBI Front
- High and Dry: Insurers Search for Disaster Recovery Plans
- Insurers Sign The (Un)Dotted Line
- Reflections of a Retired Insurance CIO
- Mobile Device Management Just One Answer to BYOD Issue
- Lessons from GEICO and Progressive on Winning the Critical Buying Stage
- You Are a Target for a Cyber Attack
- Web-based Systems are the Next Evolution in Claims Technology
- Gaining a “Wow” Experience from Web Users
- Time to Shift from Business/IT Alignment to Business/IT Alliance
- Healthcare Insurers Changing to Consumer Model
- Organization is the Key for Selecting Software Vendors
- Analysts Expound on the Needs of the Mid-tier Insurance Market
- Finding the Cure for Obamacare’s Website
- New Software Solutions Benefit Insurers on the Inside and Outside
- Products, Market Impede Investment in Systems for Life Insurers
- Combatting Cyber Threats: Predict, Prevent, Persist
- The Future of Telematics Heads Beyond Insurance
- The Shame in Cyber Security Lapses
- Building Policy Administration Systems for the Future
- Insurers Look Into The Eyes of Their Policyholders
- It’s a New Dawn for the ITA
INSURANCE IT NEWS
The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
ITA LIVE 2019
The tide is up! It's time to register for ITA LIVE 2019, our annual educational and networking conference! Our theme is "The InsurTech Revolution: Cutting Through the Hype." and we'll be bringing in a torrent of industry thought leaders, amazing insight and wonderful perspectives on the world of insurtech and its impact on the insurance landscape.
ITA LIVE 2019 will present real-life examples of true startup technologies that are helping insurers gain real advantage -- and a competitive edge -- in the marketplace. We’ll highlight the more successful InsurTech partnerships, while offering case studies that demonstrate exciting innovation and cutting-edge techniques impacting all aspects of the insurance ecosystem.
Ride the wave to LIVE 2019. Sign up today! We look forward to seeing you in May, 2019!
BLOGS AND COLUMNS
Insurance carriers interested in meeting or exceeding their customer’s expectations regarding mobility are looking at a two-pronged approach... READ MORE
Robert Regis Hyle
Everybody has a wish list and it seems that atop the lists for insurance carriers still operating with legacy systems is the desire to do away with... READ MORE
As Guidewire Software prepares for the start of Connections, its 11th annual user conference that begins on Nov. 2, Brian Desmond, chief marketing... READ MORE
Strategy Meets Action will hold its annual Summit in Boston on Sept. 14 and the focus for this year is: Becoming the Next-Gen Insurer... READ MORE
Starting last fall when the technology company dropped Mastek from its name and became simply Majesco, its mergers and acquisitions, and hirings have... READ MORE
Digital represents a continuous form of disruption to existing or new business models, products, services or experiences enabled by data and... READ MORE
In spite of all the arm-flapping and hand-waving stirred by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the way health insurance is purchased, and employee... READ MORE
- Vendor Views