“The most common user action on a Web site is to flee.” – Edward Tufte, Information Design Guru.
You may have created an attractive website or an application, but does it have the user traction as desired? Mere ‘Intuitive design’ may not be sufficient, as more often than not, the intuition of your team may not be congruent with that of your customers’.
In terms of application or website design, the traditional approach had been ‘inside-out’ – where the user came last on the checklist. However, there has been a gradual transition to ‘outside-in’ approach, with underlying belief “it won’t matter what’s inside, till they get there!”
Usability services provides a structured approach, where your end design is a result of controlled tests on real users , diligent collection of data, unbiased comparison of results and critical analysis. The approach builds the design around the perspectives of intended audience, empirically improving the user experience in terms of efficiency, productivity, satisfaction and desirability.
Refer to a case study on an insurance company redesigning their P&C portal through usability concepts and user-centered methodology. The new portal successfully increased the adoption, traction and satisfaction of end users.
Usability in Insurance
Interactions between insurers, agents, customers, vendors and regulatory agencies have been rapidly increasing in complexity. Many different touch points have evolved as stakeholders expect more flexibility, faster response, ease of use, accessibility and seamless integration of data (and transactions) across multiple form factors. Customers, agents and brokers are using a variety of vehicles to interact and transact– impacting every aspect of the insurance process – from inquiry to quote, bind to policy delivery, and ultimately, to policy servicing and claims handling.
As insurance players embark on re-platforming their core risk management information systems, client facing portals and CRM tools, they increasingly endeavor to
- Choose or build a more collaborative architecture with taking cognizance of the perspectives of various stakeholders. And accordingly redesign the interface using usability concepts.
- Converge transactional, reporting and analytical portals, as it comes together in role-based, dashboard-like views to enable wide spectrums of users to work and collaborate more effectively.
- ‘Componentizing’ the functionality and capabilities to be delivered in various user-specified configurations though portals, PDAs and other mobile devices–integrated into industry consortium offerings and at times, to be white labeled. This poses further pressure to think through the user experience carefully for the various channels.
Usability Services from 4iSoft
4iSoft offers usability services to insurance carriers, TPAs and other niche vendors, that can enhance the usability of customized applications, mobile apps, websites, portals, kiosks and other interactive media.
We provide the following usability services:
- Conducting research
- Conducting design review
- Conducting user research
- Information architecture development
- Wireframe development
- Prototype development
- Visual design
- Interaction design
- End to end usability testing
User Centered Design
1. User research to identify design personas
Great design starts with listening and observing. Using day-in-the-life studies, we create personas. Personas provide snapshots of your user personas or roles, goals and tasks.
User research answers the big questions: Are we providing the right features? Do we understand user goals? Does our functionality flow the way a user wants to work? Is our content compelling and emotionally impactful?
2. Wireframes to guide Interaction Design
Prototyping forms the foundation of good Interaction Design. Rapid throw-away design concepts that show the way a user interacts with content, navigation and features. Our wireframes follow a Task-oriented Design approach, keeping the task at the center and observing the behavior around it.
At the heart of Interaction Design are the following questions: How should we best support user’s tasks? What paths and sequences make the most sense for the user and the business objectives? What usability best practices should be included in the wireframe blueprint?
3. Usability testing to validate design
Usability testing helps you validate your ideas. It involves creating an environment, where user actually interacts with your design without any intervention. User tests give you a window into how a user will actually use your design, over what their opinions are about the design.
Usability testing answers these questions: Is our design working for our users? Do users know what to do and how to do it? Are there any glaring usability issues, errors or confusions we should know about? How well are our design concepts or ideas performing for users?
4. Visual Design
Element of visual design comes in only after strategy and intention are fully comprehended. Graphic design, though important, will only be superficial, until the user finds what he looking for, and do what he intended to do. Ultimately, you need both strong visual design and strong usability.
Visual design addresses these issues: How can we represent brand signature? How can we visually appeal to our users with maximum effect? How can we communicate leadership, trust, credibility and ease of use? How can we make our wireframes sing?