By FintechOS · October 12, 2021
6 minute read

Designing for Growth: Ask the Experts


Are there golden rules to web design User Experience, or UX? What are the best benchmarks? And what can insurers learn from the best in the industry?

FintechOS gathered four experts to field questions on the latest thinking in insurance UX. 

How can insurers learn from other apps? 

“That is a great question. It’s important to look across the internet for inspiration. When customers use an insurance app they don’t compare it to other insurers. They compare the experience to Facebook and Netflix and Revolut, and other apps. In the users’ minds, they are comparable. If one company can figure out how to deliver a service, why can’t the others? So, when an insurer comes to us and says, ‘Here, look at our competitors’, we look again. What apps are the customers using in their day-to-day life? What kinds of TV shows do they watch, events they go to, brands they like? Everything. It is important to understand the consumer and connect on a personal level. So, we need to go way beyond target data, and resonate with the audience based on their beliefs.” 

Andra Perkone — UX Architect | UX Consultant, UXDA 


Q: What benchmarking should be done? 

“Benchmarking is essential. Insurers should absolutely be going out there and comparing themselves to rivals. But it’s important to note that traditional metrics cover steps, such as quote to sale, and page to page to page progress. It is vital to develop a more holistic approach. See how the parts fit together. Where we can, let’s begin with the initial interaction with the customer. How do they engage with the brand for the first time? What is the journey like from initial marketing emails, the online quote, and so on. Insurers must look more carefully at the qualitative approach. I’ve seen recent research saying only 4 in 10 insurers do any sort of behavioural tracking. I’d like to see a lot more of that, because it’s really important when we want to understand how consumers are navigating pages, and what they are getting stuck on.” 

Paul Houston — Head of Business Development and Marketing, Opquast 


Andra Perkone
“From my perspective, the big change is when you realise you are not selling insurance, but selling safety. You’re selling peace of mind. That is a paradigm shift.” Andra Perkone — UX Architect | UX Consultant UXDA

What mistakes do incumbent insurers make with their UX? 

“There are two observable patterns. The first is complacency in design. There is an assumption that because they are stable and mature, they are untouchable. They think design is just pretty pictures, and they don’t need to try. They will always have customers. To which we say – it’s not true. Look at the progress made by N26 and Robinhood in fintech. And Lemonade, Metromile, and Oscar in insurance. Big and old is not a selling point any more. 

The second thing is their fragmented user experience. They think if they offer a great website and good service, it’s okay to have a lower quality app. Users will forgive them. But the brand runs across channels in the consumer’s eyes. A single poor experience matters. We know from experience how difficult large companies find it to offer a consistent experience across all channels.” 

Andra PerkoneUX Architect | UX Consultant, UXDA 


What technical rules can be applied to UX? 

“At Opquast we have a unique approach. We have a set of quality rules. We started somewhere in the region of a 1,000 and whittled them down to 240 rules that are universally applied around the world. They aren’t empirical measurements. Rather they are broad brushstrokes that can be applied, like design parameters, across eight different roles, from SEO and privacy, to accessibility and ecommerce. Our rules included all those things that you should stay away from. The faux pas. Such as not informing someone a webform is going to take 20 minutes, or it will take 30 steps to upload your passport photo.” 

Paul HoustonHead of Business Development and Marketing , Opquast 


How can traditional insurers improve their UX strategy? 

Mark McDonald
“Where digital newcomers have an advantage is agility: they can spot trends and react quickly.” — Mark McDonald, Head of Insurtech Strategy, Altus

“I don’t think there is a big difference between established insurers and digital newcomers. Most insurers are digital-first, because of cost savings and operational efficiencies. Where I do see a difference is the layer below the UX. Here is where digital newcomers have an advantage. Their mid to back-ends are structured for agility. They are able to respond quickly. They can spot trends and react quickly. 

Traditional insurers run chunky technology stacks. Implementing that technology cost billions, so I don’t think we are going to see it ripped out and replaced. Instead, the solution is to put in an integration layer that works with the back end and bridges the gap between the existing technology and new innovative solutions.” 

Mark McDonald — Head of Insurtech Strategy, Altus 


What is the key difference in a UX when it comes to signing up customers? 

“There’s no magic red button you can install on your homepage to turn visitors into customers. Sorry, that’s the truth. There are good general principles, which George covered in his presentation. From my perspective, the big change is when you realise you are not selling insurance, but selling safety. You’re selling peace of mind. You are protecting the assets of your customers. That is a paradigm shift. You should switch your mindset from selling, to giving your customers the best experience. Then the magic buttons will just flow! Oh, and stop spending your money on advertisements. Spend your budget on UX specialists, and invest in the customer experience. That is ultimately how you improve your customer’s finances.” 

Andra Perkone — UX Architect | UX Consultant, UXDA 




Main photo credit: Pexels


Register now to watch the full recording of the webinar. 


Related articles: 

Digital Insurance: How Incumbents Should Think and Act Like Challengers  

Insurance: The Four Moments of Truth Matter 

Customer-Centric Insurance: Fixing Broken Trust  

10 UX Do’s and Don’ts  

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