Emily Chan
WORK ABOUT RESUME

UX INTERNSHIP

Mira Financial Quote Finder

Helping people find the best life insurance policies for them and their families.

DURATION
May to June 2018 (6 weeks)

TEAM
Emily Chan, Walter Woodall (CTO)

FOCUS
User Research, User Experience Design

TOOLS
Sketch, inVision, Illustrator, Respondent, Hotjar, Amplitude

During my User Research & Design Internship at Mira Financial, one of my main projects was designing and user-testing a new quotes page. This is the page where users would browse quotes for life insurance policies given their responses to a health questionnaire submitted directly prior to arriving to this page.

CONTEXT

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.

THE PROBLEM

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:

Users are showing interest in buying through Mira but are not following through with the complete application process.


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:

How might we encourage users to use the site to actually select a policy, rather than just browse?

THE SOLUTION

My solution was to redesign the quotes page to:

  • Assure the user that they were making the best investment possible.

  • Educate users about the process more thoroughly.

  • Transparently communicate Mira's value proposition.

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.

Research

DESIGN AUDIT

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:

  • The current site design does not instill enough confidence in the user to move forward with their decision.
    Very little details about each policy meant that users had to do research elsewhere. It also made it seem like Mira was unintentionally trying to withhold important details.

  • The current site design does not help the users make a single decision.
    To move forward in the application process, the user must select one policy that they prefer the most. However, the site doesn't make it easy for users to compare options and actually make that decision.

  • The user does not feel in control of the selection process.
    The results seem to be generated randomly even though there is a specific matching algortihm used in the Mira database. However, users don't know this because they can't identify the unique features of each policy and why it was selected for them.

USER RESEARCH

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:

  • Trust
    I learned that most people generally have an unfavorable view of the life insurance industry. While many companies upcharge to make a profit, Mira focuses only on providing the lowest possible prices while protecting your family and only makes money from outside commissions.

  • Transparency
    Buying insurance online is a relatively new experience especially for older users who typically just purchase it through their employer. For this reason, users also wanted to feel educated about their options before having enough confidence to purchase one.

  • Control
    Users want to feel like Mira personalize options for them, not just spit out the same results for every user. They wanted to have a say in how their health, budget, and term/coverage needs went into their final decision on a policy.

MARKET RESEARCH

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:

  • Insurance sites had tons of descriptive text.
    Many design principles warn against overloading users with too much to read but many insurance sites had helper text embedded in every step fo the user flow. This makes sense because life insurance is not a very easy thing to understand especially for casual buyers.

  • Comparison is key.
    When presented with multiple options, users want to know how each result differs from the other. All of these sites accounted for this in some way either by having row-style listings, built-in comparison tools, or having a ranking of "most recommended" options.

  • Prioritizing needs over price.
    A unique feature on life insurance websites is the ability to adjust "Term" length and "Coverage" amount. These factors are determined by the user's needs and budget. From click data, we saw that very few users actually interacted with these tools on the existing quotes page. I noticed that what many sites did was separate these fields into their own separate page such that a user could not see their results until they had adjusted these option. This allowed them to focus on their own needs instead of being scared away by a price like what was possibly happening on Mira.

USER FLOW & CONTENT REQUIREMENTS

The user flow was as follows:

The screens I would design are highlighted in green.

I also made a rough list of content and design requirements to guide my explorations.

Wireframing & Iteration

WIREFRAME 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.

Final Design Solution

SLIDER PAGE

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.

LOADING SCREEN

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,

"Just from looking at the site, I want to know that Mira is working for me."


Adding a loader page is a simple, but powerful design decision that builds confidence in the user during otherwise idle times in the overall user experience.

QUOTES PAGE

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.

Standard Card View

Expanded Card View

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)

WALKTHROUGH

Reflection

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.