Helping Hiscox create an online user experience that lives up to its brand

Hiscox is a highly-regarded UK insurer that has long been known for the quality of its products. The company was keen to ensure that the user experience of its online quote-and-buy service for household insurance would live up to the promise of the Hiscox brand. Having already worked with new experience in France and Germany Hiscox asked us to propose a programme of research and testing that would help them meet their user experience goals. We proposed a two-phase usability-testing approach.

Rapid testing and development of initial prototype

In the first phase of testing we ran a RITE (Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation) study, involving three mini 1-day rounds of testing with a day in between to make refinements. We asked the participants to bring in their insurance documents, talk to us about their home and insurance needs, and their perception of the Hiscox brand. We then asked them to get a quote for their home and belongings using a prototype of the new online service. At the end of each testing day we agreed with the Hiscox team what needed fixing and potential solutions. Hiscox’s designers made changes to the prototype before the next sessions so the whole process could begin again. After the three mini rounds of testing Hiscox had solved most issues in their process flow and page designs, and had solid feedback on how the site affected brand perception. The RITE method helped Hiscox evolve their new quote process from ideas to user-vetted designs quickly, within the space of a week.

Pre-launch testing of Beta site

After Hiscox developed a Beta version of the new quote-and-buy process, we ran a second phase of user testing examining the more dynamic aspects of the design that could not be tested in the first phase. This round of research involved participants using the fully-functional Beta version of the new site. As it was connected to a working back-end system we could evaluate users’ interpretation and reaction to live features such as address finders, search-as-you-type, and referral messages based on their own home and contents. This second phase was crucial in identifying delicate brand-trust issues, and weeding out potential barriers to purchase.

Following our second phase of research the new service went live in October 2014.

What our client had to say

“new experience played a vital role in helping us achieve our goals in developing a superior online user experience. Their researchers worked very closely with our development team to ensure the end result was just right.” Charlie Gower, Group Head of Insight and Research, Hiscox