Protective Life Insurance

Designing a customer journey to drive sales and increase customer satisfaction 🛡

Overview

Protective Life Corporation is a values-driven company which has more than 100 years of experience offering a broad portfolio of life, specialty insurance, and investment products. They were looking for a UI/UX designer to help them create a customer journey for a new insurance offering.

Role & Duration

Lead UI/UX Designer


Information Architecture, Branding, Research, User Personas, Prototyping & Testing


November 2018 – March 2019

Some Important Statistics

57%

Is the total percentage of market penetration for the life insurance.

1.4%

Is Protective’s total market share.

2/3

of people (of all ages) felt as though an updated website and social media presence made them feel more confident when dealing with insurance and money topics.

47%

of all people searching for life insurance tend to value convenience, speed, and simplicity in underwriting over all other factors.

What does this mean?

Based off of these statistics, it’s clear that in order to penetrate the life insurance market, one must provide a simplified & trustworthy online marketplace. There are several companies who have begun to make this shift including Bestow, Ethos, Ladder, Pacific, and Haven Life. Each of these companies has started moving in the directions of a faster, easier, and price conscious models.

While most people are feeling better about their finances than ever before, at least since the most recent recession, life insurance is still the bottom of the barrel. Perhaps, the greatest measure for the likelihood of a life insurance policy going in force is based on trust. This leaves us with the idea that life insurance is still an emotional purchase, by and large. Many people don’t feel obligated to own life insurance until it “hits home” with a family member, friend, or someone close.

Modernize protective’s outdated style and drive new business through a form flow that allows users to get a term life insurance quote.

Challenges

1. Time
Protective had a need to get this project done quickly. Being the only external member of the team working on this project, I set in place measure to ensure that there were quick, open, and productive lines of communication between the project manager, development team, and myself.

2. Living Without the Wall
Similar to the previous comment, I had to ensure that all members of the team were able to contribute and share thoughts, concerns, and feedback. Without all being in the same room and participate in whiteboard sessions, I ensured that there were regular standups in which all members came prepared with items they wanted to bring to the team. This allowed the entire process to run smoothly and a quality product to be built.

Starting Out

When starting work for Protective, I was given the basic building blocks for their brand. However, because they were looking to modernize this new product, I was given creative freedom when it came to color and UI component usage. While there was a lot of work before approaching this piece, it was important to keep it in mind, as it broadened the possibilities for this user flow.

Process

In order to identify if this product was worth building, as well as what it needed to accomplish, we started out by assembling a focus group of target users. After sifting through their feature requests, we were able to identify their key pain points: they wanted an easier way to receive a quote & buy life insurance. Although we knew that the form would fix other issues, we focused on creating an MVP that met the user’s core need.

Sketches

These sketches were early iterations of the form. The goal of these were to start breaking down how we wanted the page to be constructed. Based off of the research compiled, we knew it would be important to have a large focus on progress. We wanted to keep the users engaged. Eventually, we decided to move more in the direction of Layout #2. We felt that it has greater potential to include the most amount of information efficiently.

Lo-Fi

After the initial sketches and much discussion, I began to put together lo-fi mockups of design #1. While it was important to see the designs come together, the main goal of this step in the process was to check and test functionality.

The lo-fi process is a clarifying experience. All members of the team, regardless of skill, are able to use the prototype and gain a much clearer expectation about an upcoming project. Below are several examples of the lo-fi designs which were created and tested in Adobe XD.

Design

With an understanding of what needed to be built, attention could now switch focus from the planning phase to the design phase. At Protective, there are easily dozens of touchpoints at which customers and consumers interact with the Protective Brand. Whatever method, it is important to remember that all images, colors, and elements should support the Protective brand personality. Vibrant, bold, alive with emotion, yet modern and simple.

Primary

Protective is selling products that benefit individuals and families, and our visual appearance should be both human and fresh — conveying an approachable feeling to real-life interactions and scenarios. The primary corporate colors help to express the core identity of Protective.

Secondary Palette

The secondary adjacent palette was created to extend the primary palette to add colors that can be used in a secondary, complementary manner. They can be used as accents or as a secondary color adjacent and subordinated to one of the colors in the primary palette.

Gray Palette

The working palette made up of white and increments of cool grays will balance primary and secondary color combinations. This monochromatic palette works across the Protective color spectrum.

Cards

These cards are used during several steps in the flow. Primarily, they are included to balance the aesthetics and usability of the interface when displaying content that contains different elements.

UI Components

These components are the basic building blocks for the flow. They were custom built with special care and attention based off of the research conducted and steps throughout the entire process. They provide a unified visual language when interacting with the flow.

Implementation

Once the design portion of the project was complete, I transitioned my design focus from the creative phase to the supervising the build. I spent significant time with the development team at Protective to ensure that my designs were being understood and built correctly with the users in mind.

Evalutation

In looking back at the initial research and the entire process of building this experience, I we responded to the research to help Protective gain further traction in this industry. Looking back at the initial statistics in this case study, it’s clear that the most important factors to this new generation of life insurance buyers is speed, simplicity, and convenience throughout the entire process. Our immediate reaction to this was to build a light, minimalistic, intuitive, and personalized product that each user can benefit from – while also driving business.

< 10 mins

Is the average time for users to complete the flow and receive a quote.

38%

Is the percent of time users save when using this flow.

In looking back at the initial research and the entire process of building this experience, I we responded to the research to help Protective gain further traction in this industry. Looking back at the initial statistics in this case study, it’s clear that the most important factors to this new generation of life insurance buyers is speed, simplicity, and convenience throughout the entire process. Our immediate reaction to this was to build a light, minimalistic, intuitive, and personalized product that each user can benefit from – while also driving business.

Learnings

While this project overall was quite smooth, there are always mistakes made and areas throughout the process to improve upon. When a project has such a tight timeline, it’s important to remember to save time wherever possible. While I’m in no way advocating cutting corners, sometimes my high attention to detail can slow down a project. I tended to spend a little bit too much time focused on question content and pixel perfectness. I realized throughout this project that these two aspects are important for the project to be completed, they should not be a detriment to consistent progress. Secondly, users are using more and more devices to access products. It was important to keep this in mind and understand how the design could flow on full sized screens, as well as various mobile dimensions. Finally, it was important to create all the wireframes of the product/service at the start instead of doing it in stages. I tend to get very eager to move steps as I get excited about a project, but it’s always important to keep stages of the project in order. A project is only as successful as each step, and I did my best to adhere to that thought.

Looking at the product as a whole, I am confident that the solutions I came up with, will definitely solve the problem that people face currently face when considering buying life insurance policies.

Griffin is a great communicator and was amazingly dynamic and understanding in working on our project with us. Many times we came to him in an “on-call” capacity asking for one-off pages based on a new direction. He is extremely agile and willing to work with new details as our project changed over time. Thank you, Griffin!

Heath Jackson
Protective Life Insurance