More Th>n is a subsidiary of the Royal Sun Alliance (RSA) Insurance Group, that offers motor, home, pet and travel insurance. RSA has major operations in the UK and Ireland, Scandinavia and Canada with over 13,500 staff with services in more than 100 countries.
A digital transformation project across the More Th>n product range (Motor, Home and Pet insurance), including changing service provider, development framework and creating new products with a user-centred approach.
As lead UX Designer on phase three of the project (More Th>n Home Insurance), I was responsible for delivering a best in class user experience. This helped reduce declined claims, increase the users understanding of their home insurance and optimise legacy journeys. The team I was working with included:
During the project, I organised and ran activities including:
The ways of working are an ongoing challenge in RSA. The digital team, work in an agile scrum environment, generally based in one location. The wider organisation works in a waterfall approach and is spread across multiple locations. This means that teams have different expectations on working processes and delivery.
Teams throughout the business work with different toolkits and systems, for example, designers at RSA work on Macs with Slack and Jira, while stakeholders use PCs with Lync and Excel. This, coupled with strict security procedures, means sharing of documentation and knowledge is complicated and slow.
More Th>n were in the later stages of completing transformation across their motor insurance product that was due to launch in the next two months. Stakeholders including product owners, underwriters and aggregators had their time split between a new release and creating a brand new product. With approaching deadlines, looming priorities were conflicting.
In joining a new company I needed to gain knowledge of the target market, business goals, competitors and the current team. This was so that I could communicate, empathise, lead and share ways of working with the business.
During the first few days, I became aware of different opinions between designers and stakeholders, regarding the outcomes from previous usability tests and what direction should be taken with the product.
As I spoke to more team members, I realised that tensions were high. I needed to understand where both teams were coming from and to defuse the situation quickly. I wanted to create a cohesive working environment before moving forward with any design work.
While organising 1 to 1 interviews with the key stakeholders, I started to write up the questions and organise the facilities I needed to record the interviews. My goal was to ask the team the same set of questions and gain an understanding of their different opinions.
To coincide with the interviews, I also reviewed the lab footage, the affinity diagram and usability report from the study. I then organised and facilitated workshops to review all the information gathered and form an agreed path forward. I used footage from the usability session to guide decisions and techniques, such as dot voting, to reach an agreed approach.
As the project moved forward I undertook a competitive analysis of the industry and a wider analysis of tiered products and worked alongside the UI Designers to create new concepts and low fidelity prototypes. The concept worked as intended. Due to constraints, we conducted testing on the product using resources we already had.
We started sharing ideas, concepts and ways of working regularly with stakeholders to avoid surprises and to take everyone on the same discovery journey.
Before facilitating guerrilla testing I wrote scenarios, scripts and planned a practice session to enable efficient and reliable results. After testing, I used the affinity diagramming method with stakeholders and team members to efficiently categorise and prioritise the research findings, UX ideas and other rich topics. This helped to keep the stakeholders engaged and informed with progress.
As ideas were created and progress was made, I organised a lab usability testing session and invited stakeholders to observe and help document the findings. This included; booking, planning, writing the tasks and script, and overseeing the prototype. I shared the facilitating and moderating responsibilities on the day with a colleague.
Relationships between stakeholders and designers improved greatly with an agreement made to review the display of the product structure. It was also agreed to regularly share our techniques and the reasoning behind the design decisions. This allowed our process and ideas to be understood and for any conflicts to be resolved easily and efficiently.
Monthly Brown Bag sessions were set up to help share skill sets and our ways of working across the wider business. I also presented to the More Th>n board to share the process of how the team were using design thinking methods in their work.
In hindsight, an area that could have needed more time and dedication was the way that we presented data and information. Stakeholders would regularly misunderstand wireframes as final deliverables, instead of concentrating on UI details rather than the concepts. The prototype was also misunderstood as a new live site, causing panic and frustration on both sides. With time set aside earlier on in the project to educate and set expectations around levels of design, I believe the process would have been more efficient.
Shortly after the usability testing, RSA made a decision to change its approach to the transformation project. This included changing the service provider and the development framework. This led to the project scope and approach being changed. The findings of this project were shared with the design team and have since been applied as research towards another project.
“The customer is at the heart of Dickon's work. Business objectives and initiatives can often side line the customer without a true champion like Dickon in their corner. His ability to get stakeholders of all levels and types on board is immense and his dedication to help these stakeholders arrive at the customer first pillar is nothing short of amazing.”
Meghan Powderly-Bates, Digital Product Manager