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  • Role:

    UX/UI, Prototyping, Research, Visual Design, Software Development Analyst
  • Tools:

    Figma, Illustrator, Miro, Jira, Confluence
  • Duration:

    6 months
  • Industry:

    Insurance
  • Type:

    Full-Time In-house Design

Transforming User Experience: Streamlining Insurance Bundles in the Digital Sales Channel


Mercury Insurance offers a unique balance of affordability and comprehensive coverage. Since its establishment in 1961, the company has been a reliable provider of auto, home, condo, renters, and business insurance, along with mechanical protection. Local agents specialize in crafting ideal insurance policies that prioritize low rates and excellent coverage. Mercury is committed to a seamless claims resolution process and collaborates with law enforcement to combat fraud, safeguarding clients from fraudulent claim payouts. With a stress-free vehicle repair process and a network of local agents, Mercury Insurance is a top choice in various states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. The company holds A ratings from A.M. Best and Fitch, and Forbes Magazine recognizes it as one of "America's Most Trustworthy Companies," solidifying Mercury's position as a trusted industry leader.

Star Journey Optimization Star

Unifying Auto and Home Insurance Flows for a Seamless Digital Sales Channel Experience

The project focused on enhancing the user experience within the Digital Sales Channel department by redesigning the bundle flow for Auto and Home Insurance. Previously, these flows were separate, requiring users to quote and purchase Auto Insurance before proceeding to Home Insurance. This led to a lengthy process with redundant questions and extended forms. The redesigned solution consolidated common questions, merging both flows into a seamless, efficient process. The result is a streamlined experience, eliminating redundancy, reducing form length, and ultimately improving the overall flow for users seeking bundled insurance options.

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Understanding Mercury Insurance Customers

The primary users targeted in this project are Mercury Insurance customers seeking the convenience of bundling Auto Insurance and Home Insurance. These individuals are specifically interested in obtaining both types of coverage, benefiting from bundled products that provide cost savings through attractive discounts.

Mercury Insurance customers, known for their diverse needs and preferences, are looking for a streamlined and efficient process when quoting and purchasing bundled insurance. The incentive of discounts serves as a key motivator for choosing this bundled option. Understanding the importance of simplicity and cost-effectiveness, the redesigned flow aims to cater to the preferences of Mercury Insurance customers, providing them with a seamless experience that eliminates redundancy, reduces form length, and ultimately enhances the overall journey of obtaining bundled insurance options.

As Mercury Insurance customers are likely to value time-saving and straightforward processes, the consolidated flow aligns with their expectations, offering a more user-friendly and efficient pathway to secure both Auto and Home Insurance.

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Roles and Responsibilities


In my capacity as a Software Development Analyst and UX Designer at Mercury Insurance, I operate within the Mercury Technology Solutions department, specifically contributing to the Digital Sales Channel product division. While I am not exclusively confined to this division, my primary focus lies in projects that fall under the umbrella of customer acquisition.

Under the leadership of the UX Manager, who oversees my role and those of other dedicated designers in the Customer Portal and Agent Center domains, I actively collaborated across divisions to execute the bundle flow project. Reporting directly to the Director of Brand for this initiative, I bridged the gap between design and implementation.

For this particular project, cross-collaboration extended beyond Digital Sales Channel. I engaged closely with the Underwriting department to ensure a holistic understanding of insurance processes. Within Mercury Technology Solutions, collaboration with the Payments department was essential to align the bundle flow with financial aspects.

Executing the project with an Agile methodology, I collaborated directly with the Product Owner, ensuring that the development process remained iterative and responsive to evolving requirements. To bring the design to life, front-end development was executed through a third-party collaboration, leveraging offshore developers for efficient implementation.

The multifaceted collaboration, both within and beyond the Digital Sales Channel, allowed for a comprehensive approach to enhancing the user experience and streamlining processes for Mercury Insurance customers.

Scopes and Constraints


The amalgamation of Auto Insurance and Home Insurance into a bundled offering presented a formidable challenge in this intricate project. While the individual product lines seamlessly operated in standalone mode, merging them into a cohesive bundle introduced complexities. Legacy code, underwriting rules, and pricing rules entrenched in the back-end posed challenges that demanded meticulous attention.

The project encountered complexities on multiple fronts, with governance procedures and rigorous QA testing adding layers of intricacy. Negotiating through the intricacies of existing systems, including legacy code, required a strategic approach to ensure a smooth transition for users navigating the bundled insurance options.

The project was further shaped by time and budget constraints, influencing decision-making and resource allocation. As a result, the team had to navigate these limitations while striving for an optimal solution that streamlined the user experience.

In addition to the fundamental challenges, the project presented a unique opportunity to overhaul the front-end design and align it with the latest brand standards. While this was a positive step, it added a layer of complexity, as these changes needed parallel implementation across standalone flows. Balancing the integration of brand updates with the consolidation of insurance flows required meticulous planning and execution.

The collaboration with a third-party offshore team introduced unexpected challenges, requiring adaptability and effective communication to address issues that arose during development. Coordination and synchronization across different time zones became crucial elements in managing the collaborative effort.

The intricacies of the payment back-end, coupled with its legacy structure, posed additional hurdles in optimizing the payment procedure for both Auto and Home Insurance simultaneously. Overcoming these challenges demanded a nuanced approach, combining technical expertise with innovative solutions to ensure a seamless payment process for users navigating bundled insurance products.

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Streamlining and Modernizing the Bundled Insurance User Journey

The project grapples with a multifaceted challenge of seamlessly integrating Auto and Home Insurance into a bundled offering within the Digital Sales Channel. The existing user journey involves arduous standalone flows for each insurance type, leading to a convoluted process for customers. Additionally, the prolonged forms, disjointed payment procedures, and an outdated user interface further compound the complexities.

In the bundled option, users have to navigate the entire standalone flow for Auto Insurance before proceeding to the standalone flow for Home Insurance. This extended process involves inputting personal and vehicle information, obtaining quotes, making additional purchases, e-signing documents, completing payments, and confirming the transactions, twice.

Both Auto and Home Insurance flows feature excessively long forms, creating a cumbersome experience for users attempting to complete both in a single session. The extended form-filling process contributes to user fatigue and potential abandonment.

The payment for Auto Insurance is handled separately, necessitating users to input payment methods multiple times. This disjointed approach leads to varied payment scenarios, creating complexities related to down payments and installment options.

The existing user interface is outdated and needs a comprehensive update to align with the latest brand guidelines. The obsolete design elements detract from the overall user experience, requiring a modernized visual approach to enhance usability and aesthetics.

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Transforming the Bundled Insurance Experience

Addressing the identified challenges requires a strategic and comprehensive approach. Implement the following solutions to enhance the bundled insurance user journey within the Digital Sales Channel.

Begin with Auto Questions, seamlessly transition into Home Questions, followed by a dual quote, additional questions for both auto and home, and conclude with a single, streamlined payment section.

Merge quotes on a single screen utilizing expand/collapse features to provide users with an intuitive and efficient viewing experience.

Empower customers to choose preset packages or manually customize their coverage based on individual preferences.

Streamline the user experience by consolidating common questions between Auto and Home flows. Remove or adapt fields while retaining essential underwriting requirements. This optimization significantly reduces form length, minimizing user fatigue and enabling completion in a single session.

Initiate Auto payment options first, followed by Home. Streamline payment methods at the end of the payment modules to enhance the user journey. Minimize web service calls for increased efficiency.

Implement a system to store payment information, allowing for the re-use of saved information for Home options or enabling users to enter new payment methods. This innovative approach reduces redundancy and simplifies the payment process for users.

Overhaul the user interface by incorporating new buttons, refined steppers, and a contemporary color palette. Align typography improvements with the latest brand guidelines to contribute to a modernized and visually appealing interface.

Ensure accessibility by conducting thorough testing, guaranteeing that the revamped user interface meets the necessary standards for inclusivity and ease of use.

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Fostering Creative Solutions

Prior to implementing the solutions outlined in the previous section, a thorough ideation phase was conducted to explore creative approaches to address the identified challenges. This phase involved collaborative brainstorming sessions, stakeholder discussions, and an exploration of innovative concepts. Here are key ideation highlights for each problem area:

1. Merging Auto and Home Flows:

Conceptualization of Unified Sequential Flow:

Brainstorming sessions led to the concept of a unified flow, starting with Auto Questions and seamlessly transitioning into Home Questions. The idea was to create a cohesive journey that streamlines the user experience and minimizes redundancy.

2. Quotes Display Enhancement:

The team delved into various methods to enhance the display of quotes, ultimately choosing to implement expand/collapse features for presenting both quotes on a single screen. This approach was driven by the goal of improving user comprehension and simplifying the quote comparison process.

During this phase, an important discovery was made: recognizing the user’s need for flexibility. We identified the necessity to incorporate an option within the quote display, allowing users to decide whether to continue with bundling or detach and pursue a standalone path for either Auto insurance or Home insurance. This feature enables users to explore standalone options without losing the progress made in the flow, readjusting the quote as needed. This consideration prevents potential frustration and respects the user’s time already invested in the process, accommodating changes in bundling preferences.

3. Common Questions Consolidation:

The ideation phase centered on reimagining the form-filling process, with a specific focus on consolidating common questions between Auto and Home flows. Brainstorming sessions generated the idea of optimizing the user journey and reducing form fatigue through consolidation.

In the course of this phase, a crucial discovery emerged. While working on consolidating the Auto and Home forms, we identified a nuanced challenge: the difference in terminology for address input. In Auto insurance, the address input is referred to as “Street Address,” while in Home Insurance, it is labeled as “Property Address.” Notably, in Auto insurance, the “Street Address” also serves as the mailing address.

To streamline the consolidation of these two forms, a solution was devised. The approach involved modifying the bundle form to ask for an address initially. Subsequently, we introduced a follow-up question: “Is this the property you want to insure?” A “Yes” answer dynamically designates the field as both “Property” and “Mailing Address.” On the contrary, a “No” answer prompts the introduction of new address fields labeled “Property Address,” while the initial input address is repurposed as the “Mailing Address.” This solution optimizes the form-filling process, ensuring clarity and efficiency for users navigating the bundled insurance experience.

4. Resolving Disjointed Payment Process:

Sequential Auto and Home Payments:

During the Ideation phase, the team explored different sequences for handling payments. The concept of initiating Auto payment options first, followed by Home, emerged as a solution to streamline the payment process and reduce complexities.

Additionally, while analyzing the intricate payment flow and considering various combinations between Home Payment Options and Auto Payment Options, as well as between Payment Methods for both Auto and Home, a comprehensive understanding was developed. The conclusion drawn from this analysis highlighted the effectiveness of adopting a zig-zag flow during the payment process.

In this zig-zag flow, users establish Payment Options for Auto, followed by Home, ensuring a smooth progression. Subsequently, they proceed to set up Down Payments (when available) for Auto, followed by Home. The flow then navigates towards configuring recurring payments for Auto, and subsequently for Home, with a pre-population approach whenever feasible. This structured sequence minimizes complexities and enhances user convenience throughout the payment setup process, culminating in a landing on the confirmation page.

 

Payment Information Storage:

Ideation focused on simplifying the payment process, recognizing the industry standards that deem it unacceptable to ask customers to input a credit card number or bank account multiple times when the same payment method will be used for both Auto and Home.

The concept of temporarily storing payment information for reuse emerged as a solution, aiming to reduce redundancy and enhance user convenience. This strategic approach not only aligns with industry standards but also ensures a seamless and efficient payment experience for users, eliminating unnecessary repetition of input for shared payment methods between Auto and Home insurance.

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Transforming the Bundled Insurance Experience

The culmination of the design process resulted in a comprehensive and user-centric approach to enhance the bundled insurance user journey within the Digital Sales Channel.

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  • 01

    Merging Auto and Home Flows

Unified Sequential Flow


The final design seamlessly integrates Auto and Home flows into a unified sequential journey. Starting with Auto Questions, users smoothly transition to Home Questions, followed by a dual quote, additional questions for both Auto and Home, and concluding with a streamlined payment section.

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  • 01

    Merging Auto and Home Flows

Enhanced Quotes Display


Implemented expand/collapse features to present both Auto and Home quotes on the same screen. This design choice aims to improve user comprehension and facilitate a more intuitive quote comparison process.

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  • 01

    Merging Auto and Home Flows

Coverage Pre-set Packages


Introduced coverage pre-set packages, empowering users to choose preset packages or manually customize coverage based on individual preferences.

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  • 02

    Addressing Lengthy Forms

Common Questions Consolidation


The final design optimizes the user journey by consolidating common questions between Auto and Home flows. This streamlining process involves removing or adapting fields while retaining essential underwriting requirements, significantly reducing form length and minimizing user fatigue.

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  • 03

    Resolving Disjointed Payment Process

Sequential Zig-zag Payments


The design features a sequential zig-zag flow for handling Auto and Home payments. Users establish payment options for Auto, then Home, followed by setting up Down Payments (when available) for Auto and Home. The flow continues with configuring recurring payments for Auto and Home, pre-populating payments when feasible, ultimately landing on a confirmation page.

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  • 03

    Resolving Disjointed Payment Process

Payment Information Storage


Recognizing industry standards and user expectations, the final design incorporates a system to store payment information. This approach minimizes redundancy by allowing users to reuse payment details when the same method is used for both Auto and Home insurance.

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  • 04

    Modernizing User Interface

Comprehensive UI Revamp


The user interface undergoes a comprehensive revamp, incorporating new buttons, refined steppers, and a contemporary color palette. Typography improvements align with the latest brand guidelines, contributing to a modernized and visually appealing interface.

Accessibility Testing

To ensure inclusivity and ease of use, thorough accessibility testing is conducted. The revamped user interface meets necessary standards for accessibility, enhancing the overall user experience.

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Outcomes: Metrics, Reflections, and Insights

The journey through the redesign of the bundled insurance experience within the Digital Sales Channel unveils a landscape marked by challenges, achievements, and valuable insights.

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Metrics and Achievements

 

In gauging the success of the project, several metrics and achievements come to the forefront. Key performance indicators were meticulously tracked to measure the impact of the redesigned user journey.


Reduction in Form Length:

The consolidation of common questions between Auto and Home flows resulted in a significant reduction in form length. Users experienced a streamlined process, contributing to a notable decrease in user fatigue.

Enhanced User Engagement:

The implementation of a unified sequential flow garnered positive feedback and increased user engagement. Users appreciated the convenience of a single journey for both Auto and Home insurance.

Positive Accessibility Feedback:

Thorough accessibility testing ensured that the revamped user interface met necessary standards for inclusivity. Positive feedback on accessibility reaffirmed the commitment to providing an inclusive experience for all users.

Retrospective Reflections

 

Looking back on the project, retrospective reflections unveil a journey that was both challenging and illuminating. The complexities inherent in merging Auto and Home flows, optimizing lengthy forms, and streamlining the disjointed payment process were substantial.


The payment section, while functional in its current state, stands as a testament to the intricate nature of the project. Some areas that I deemed vital for the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) were not fully realized. The payment flow, though operational, acknowledges room for refinement. This serves as a reminder of the iterative nature of design, where continuous improvement is essential for perfection.

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Lessons Learned

 

The challenges encountered during the project yielded valuable lessons, providing insights that transcend the scope of this specific endeavor.

Importance of Iteration:

The iterative nature of design became a focal point. Acknowledging that perfection is an ongoing pursuit, each phase of the project reinforced the significance of continuous improvement.


Balancing Complexity and Simplicity:


Striking the right balance between addressing technical complexities and maintaining a user-friendly interface emerged as a delicate yet crucial aspect. The project highlighted the need for judicious decision-making in navigating complexities.

Conclusion

 

The redesigned bundled insurance experience represents a significant stride forward in enhancing user interaction within the Digital Sales Channel. Despite the inherent challenges, the outcomes reflect a commitment to user-centric design and a dedication to overcoming complexities. The project's conclusion marks not an endpoint but a transition to further refinement and evolution. The journey continues as we strive for perfection in delivering a seamless, user-friendly bundled insurance experience.