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.
- Race to the Finish Line
- New Tools, New Opportunities in Claims
- ITA LIVE: Reaching Insurance Industry Crossroads
- Advice to Insurance IT Leaders: Keep Your Eye on the Ball
- New Date, Venue for ITA LIVE 2017
- Guidewire Makes Major Push to Small and Midtier Market by Acquiring ISCS
- Insurance Disruption is Happening Right Now
- Insurity Adds Strategic Investment Partner, General Atlantic
- Beyond Transformation: The Convergence of Finance, Risk, and Actuarial Functions
- 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
- Canadian Insurer Deploys Guidewire’s Digital Claims Portal
- UCT Adds Moroz as Sales Director
- National Lloyds Modernizes Distribution with VUE Software
- SE2 and NTT DATA Expand Partnership in Life & Annuity Market
- Sapiens to Leverage Microsoft’s Data Centers for Cloud-Based Services in South Africa
- Alaska National Implements Cincom’s Customer Communications Software
- CIG Successfully Deploys Guidewire Policy, Billing Solutions
- Patriot National Replaces Mariano with Rearer as CEO
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 is pleased to present the 2014 Webinar Series. We have many topics for you to choose from and attendance is open to all ITA members. The webinar topics are current and exciting — ranging from predictive analytics to telematics and will focus on the direction insurance carriers need to follow for the future. All webinars are presented by insurance IT professionals along with some of the leading analysts and consultants in the field. There is no cost to attend an ITA webinar. For more information and to register for the webinar, click the “title” of the webinar below.
BLOGS AND COLUMNS
The insurance industry is on the brink of major technology-driven change. IoT, mobile computing, big data, and blockchain ecosystems will bring even... READ MORE
Robert Regis Hyle
Insurance will always be about fulfilling the promise to policyholders when something happens, but in recent years there has been a subtle switch in... READ MORE
You have surely heard it said that small businesses are the growth engine for America. Today, the phrase has a special ring to it for benefits... READ MORE
With stagnant growth and lingering low interest rates, the life insurance industry faces a challenging future... READ MORE
Finding insurance carriers willing to write commercial lines risks has always been a challenge for producers... 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
The core systems replacement cycle is speeding up. Twenty years ago, even if you spent your entire career working at the same insurance company, you... READ MORE
- Partner News