Disclaimer: This case is confidential, and its use is only cited for hiring processes. Any reproduction will be considered a breach of trust by the recruiting team. 

1.Client's Context and Problem Statement
This enigmatic car insurance company already had a platform directed towards insurance agents, where they quoted, issued, and managed their policies. When we took on the project, the platform needed to catch up compared to its direct competitors. Additionally, agents used less than 10% of the offered functionalities due to the cognitive overload caused by a complex information architecture, navigation, and excessive information. This, in turn, led to an increased workload for regional managers, as they had to help users complete tasks that they couldn't perform on the quoter platform themselves.

Why did this client seek consultation?
One of the client's primary motivations for fixing the platform was its look and feel, the Interface. This first requirement opened the conversation and led to the goal of transforming it into the best quoting and insurance policy management tool where agents could perform all necessary actions for quoting, monitoring, issuing, and staying informed about updates, changes, or resources to help them sell the insurer's products more effectively.

What were the project Objectives?
The platform redesign included:

2. What was my role in the project?

Product Designer: I participated in the team in ideating component solutions, information architecture, and developing flows within the platform. In this part of the process, many debates revolved around usability and optimizing site sections to solve findability issues within the platform.

UX Researcher Strategist: I also played a researcher role in this project, designing the research strategy from discovery and usability testing. All this work was generated focusing on product needs and business objectives. As the project progressed, specific questions arose that we were able to test in each user touchpoint. The research resources I was responsible for included:

Face-to-face interview with Insurance Broker Managers.

3. What research methodologies were applied in the project?

1:1 Interviews with Agents/Managers/Promoters: Although the client had provided us with information regarding the tasks performed by platform users, we decided to directly inquire with agent users to discover their sales journey. The chosen technique was 1:1 interviews because it allowed us to delve into a conversation where the user could feel comfortable sharing their experience, pain points, and how they handle their daily sales challenges. It's also an effective technique for identifying patterns among users, and as a result, we realized the different profiles that actually use the platform. The issues on the platform were not foreign to the three profiles; they were affected in different ways. For example, the inability to generate a quote on the platform, because it was not understandable to some agents, resulted in the promotion managers having to monitor what agents could or couldn't do, address the gaps, provide assistance, and/or request constant training sessions and platform inquiries from area managers. In the worst-case scenario, they would ask the manager to create the quotes.

Card Sorting: One of the most significant issues with the platform was the topic of findability. The platform had many sections and different paths to get to the same place. We also noticed the use of specialized terminology that the insurer used to name its services in their daily operations, but it was different from how agents referred to those services or how they understood them in the insurance sales jargon. After we had an initial optimization of the site architecture proposed by our UX Writer's expertise in the team, we proceeded to test this optimization against the mental model of the agents. The goal was to observe how they grouped concepts, how they related them to their job execution, and if there were any missing sections or elements. The result of this experiment allowed us to iterate towards a more accurate architecture with respect to the tasks performed by the agent on the portal.

Execution of Card Sorting Experiment with Insurance Agents.

Usability Testing in Each Sprint: We began with hypotheses from a business and team perspective. In the team's case, it's always advisable to investigate similar solutions or platforms when diving into a new project. In this case, the references that the consultant agency where we belong had recently created and those readily available were quoting tools aimed at end customers. Therefore, our hypotheses started from there. Regarding the business, they were aware of the problems caused by the platform's shortcomings but needed theories on how to solve them. User testing served as the shaping tool for solutions, first to break the preconceived ideas held by the team and the business and then to tailor the platform to the agents' needs while aligning it with technical capabilities or business rules.

This project involved user feedback in every sprint, providing us with valuable information to make arguments with the business when something didn't seem necessary to them. It also offered insights into viability. For example, could the user still complete the task if we removed a part of the workflow? Should we fight for that workflow, or could we choose another battle?

Usability testing of the proposed CRM redesign with Agent Users. Face-to-face mode.

4. What were the biggest learning and challenges? 

One of the most valuable lessons was the importance of testing from the beginning. Sometimes, there's a misconception that the only way to test things is with a finished prototype or a complete flow, but that's unnecessary. You can conduct small experiments to test content or assess if the step-by-step flow makes sense to your user to complete their task. At this stage, when the final design isn't a distraction, you can discover missing pieces or find out that your hypotheses need to be corrected. The sooner you do this, the less costly it will be because you won't have to take as many steps backward, allowing more time to design a better experience.

We also learned the significance of having well-studied and aligned business objectives and always including IT at the table (in fact, IT hired us). In this field, we sometimes become overly focused on user needs, and while providing a good user experience should always be the goal, we must remember that digital products are influenced by various factors, such as business, IT, and the market or its socio-economic/cultural context. If we design while neglecting any of these factors, it's likely to become our main roadblock.

5. What did the client achieve? 

There were several achievements at different stages:

Overall, this client successfully co-created a tool with our team that was entirely centered on its users, in this case, the agents. It includes an optimized and prioritized information architecture that aligns with their day-to-day work, allowing them to manage and visualize their status at a glance and efficiently complete their essential monthly tasks.

Disclaimer: This case is confidential, and its use is only cited for hiring processes. Any reproduction will be considered a breach of trust by the recruiting team.