Helping people find the best life insurance policies for them and their families.
May to June 2018 (6 weeks)
Emily Chan, Walter Woodall (CTO)
User Research, User Experience Design
Sketch, inVision, Illustrator, Respondent, Hotjar, Amplitude
Mira Financial is a life insurance startup that uses smart wearables to provide people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes with affordable life insurances that reduces in price as they improve their health.
Mira was created in response to a troubling issue in the life insurance industry. Individuals with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, heart disease, asthma, etc. are typically overcharged or flat-out rejected by traditional life insurance brokers. In addition, individuals who work on improving their health are ignored by their insurers even though their circumstances may change drastically over time.
Mira's conversion funnel mirrors that of many other insurance sites. A relatively large amount of users visit the site, this group reduces as people naturally drop off at the Health Survey (which asks for personal information), it further reduces again on the quotes page, while finally some users actually go on to make a purchase and apply for a policy.
Based on clickthrough data seen on Amplitude, we found that:
We found that a significant amount of users were exiting the site at the Quotes Page. After identifying this root problem, a design problem presented itself:
My solution was to redesign the quotes page to:
To achieve these goals, which are true to many other e-commerce platforms, I conducted extensive user research to empathize with Mira's unique users.
The first thing I did was look at the existing quotes page and evaluate where it was possibly failing in converting users.
After analyzing the current design, I diagnosed the following issues:
My above findings were based on my design knowledge, but I needed to confirm these hypotheses with real users. I recruited 6 individuals from Mira's target audience (all pre-screened to ensure that they were interested in buying life insurance within the next 6 months, had a pre-existing condition from a specific list, and were between the ages of 25 and 50) for remote user interviews.
Combining findings from past user studies and my own research, I created the following personas to better understand the target audience.
From these findings, I learned that in order for users to purchase life insurance they must have the following things from their provider:
The next step in my design process was doing research on competitors and products with a similar user experience. I analyzed 8 online insurance providers and 3 eCommerce websites. I investigated eCommerce sites in addition to insurance sites because their users have a similar need to search and compare multiple options.
I noticed the following common design patterns:
The user flow was as follows:
I also made a rough list of content and design requirements to guide my explorations.
I created four different explorations of the same user flow described above and then tested them for usability with 6 different users. In each exploration, I sought to test out a different hypothesis:
Exploration A: In this mockup, I wanted to see if users preferred a modal pop-up to view 'More Details' about a quote. I also wanted to see how they would react to having the sliders and filter at the top of the page.
Exploration B: In this mockup, I wanted to see if users preferred a dropdown cared to view "More Details" about a quote. I also wanted to see how they would react to having the sliders and filter at the side of the page.
Exploration C: In this mockup, I wanted to see if users preferred a side-by-side view of quotes.
Exploration D: In this mockup, I wanted to see if users preferred a vertical card-style for quotes.
Explorations A and B were the most favored based on my findings so I used those to create my high fidelity prototype.
Empowering Users to Make Smart Choices
After analyzing click data from HotJar.com, a user research tool that tracks where users click on live websites, I found that less than 50% of site visitors clicked the sliders. These sliders represent critical choices in picking a life insurance policy. I conducted user research to understand why this was happening and deduced from this that users who saw the sliders and quotes on the same page (like in the old pages) were adjusting these tools in accordance with how the prices would change, not with what kind of plan they actually needed.
Many novice insurance buyers don’t realize how much coverage they can actually afford and instead just aim for the lowest price. To prevent users from “cheating” themselves on a better value policy (what most people don’t realize about life insurance is that although higher coverage plans cost more, they come at a much better value), I isolated the sliders on their own page.
Building Trust Between the Users, the Technology, and the Company
Another screen that I added was a loader page. From my user interviews, I found that multiple users wanted to feel like they wanted to feel confident that they were getting the best price from Mira and didn’t need to go to any other site to compare prices. One user put it well saying,
Providing Transparent and Effective Content
The main quotes page underwent many design changes to give more information and control to the user.
I redesigned the cards to be easily scannable, comparable, and simpler-to -understand. Based on my user research, I evaluated the most essential points of information and either assigned them to the standard card view or the expanded card view. Within each view, I then used the Z-Shaped Reading Pattern principle to structure the rest of the content.
The cards stacked one on top of the other allows the user to easily scan down columns to compare different policies.
In addition to redesigning the cards themselves, I also designed a new filter-and-compare tool to solve the pain point that users felt like finding a plan for them was confusing and difficult to do on the old page.
The Filter tool allows the user to be completely in control of the prices they see throughout their search process (left).
The Compare tool allows the user to bookmark plans and compare them side-by-side. Quotes can be bookmarked from different results gathered from different variations on the Coverage and Term Length sliders (standard view center, expanded view right)
This was a great experience for me because I definitely honed my user research skills as well as my visual design skills. Constantly creating actionable design decisions from raw user research allowed me to practice working in a fast-paced environment and allowed me to design more efficient and meaningful deliverables. I definitely got out of my comfort zone in interviewing so many participants and I'm so glad I did because I really felt like I could empathize with these users which was crucial to my design process.