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UX Researcher, UX/UI Designer

An Established Insurance Company Moves Online

Kaus is a large insurance company that has been selling policies for over 30 years. They are losing ground in the industry and would like to pivot from sales through regional agents to direct online sales to customers, particularly to young people. They keep their rates low by offering prepared packages rather than fully customized policies. They want to offer customers an intuitive experience that is easy to understand and can help users browse for the right policy and make sense of the insurance marketplace.

Project Goals

Kaus would like to engage directly with their customers, offering a selection of optimized packages through an intuitive and easy to use experience. The experience should be appealing, with a fresh, modern take on the brand that maintains its legacy of trust and customer care.

Kaus can occupy a unique middle ground: a fresh approach to online insurance shopping coupled with an established reputation, customer trust, a proven network of agents, and in-place regulatory approvals.

Kaus desktop mockup


Initial research consisted of in-depth competitor analysis and user interviews, with the primary goal of understanding how insurance customers shop for insurance and evaluate their risks and coverage needs. The outcomes informed how to tailor the overall experience and browsing options to align with these motivations.

Research Questions

  • How do customers research and select insurance companies and policies?
  • What factors do customers prioritize when selecting a policy?
  • Do customers feel they have a firm understanding of what they're buying?
  • How can the target users' priorities be aligned with browsing criteria?
  • What would attract new customers to Kaus?
Kaus research

User Interview Results

  • Four of four users stated that there is a need for trust, the ability to find a good rate, and a frictionless shopping experience.
  • Two of four users noted frustrations centered around the amount of personal information that must be surrendered up front to get a quote and the unwanted marketing calls that this can lead to.
  • Three of four users have concerns about understanding the process and what exactly you're buying.
  • Lessons can be learned from other e-commerce sites and apps that exhibit broad appeal such as Target and Apple, which were cited by three of four and two of four users, respectively.
Kaus interview participants

Primary User Persona

Based upon the research results, a primary user persona was developed. This persona captured the lessons learned and helped guide the ongoing development of the site.

Kaus primary persona

Information Architecture

With research findings and a primary user persona in place to guide site development, focus moved to how users would interact with the site. In order to give users the intuitive experience they were looking for, the navigation and organization of the site required careful consideration.

Card Sorting Exercise

In order to better understand how a given user would expect to navigate the insurance shopping process, a policy type card sort exercise was done. Users were given a list of policy types in a remote, open sort to organize as they saw fit. The participants organized policies by broad coverage types, with some coverages identified as unfamiliar or unnecessary.

Kaus card sort

Site Map & User Flows

Kaus' main goal is to sell policies to customers, and the site map was built to reflect this with purchasing identified as the destination of each flow. Using the insights from the card sort, the browsing categories were aligned to user expectations in order to be as intuitive as possible. Primary user flows were generated to anticipate the most significant pages needed for prototyping.

Kaus sitemapKaus user flows


Building off of the intial research and layout studies, initial site mockups were built. This process began with hand sketching where numerous home page layouts were generated to quickly test ideas. A page layout was selected and iteratively refined, and then developed for desktop, tablet, and mobile breakpoints. Its framework was then used as the basis for the other primary site pages.

Kaus wireframe sketchesKaus wireframes

UI Design

The user interface design builds upon the site framework, further supporting usability, interactivity, and visual appeal. The overall project goal of creating an intuitive and engaging shopping experience remained the basis upon which aesthetic decisions were made.

Branding & UI Kit

The Kaus brand balances the company's established reputation with a fresh, approachable attitude in order to appeal to a younger audience and build customer trust. The page color palette, typography, and logo were designed to be clean, soothing, and optimistic. This is reinforced by photography guidelines that preference golden hour images with warm, muted tones.

Kaus style tileKaus UI kit

High-Fidelity Mockups

The critical pages identified in the user flows were developed into a first round of high-fidelity mockups, applying the brand style to the pages and preparing them for eventual usability testing.

Kaus initial mockup

Usability Testing

Following additional iteration and refinement of the high-fidelity page mockups, a working prototype of the desktop site was built for usability testing. Five participants who aligned with the user persona were recruited for a moderated remote test of the site. The participants shared their screens and were observed during testing, with their narrated thought process and overall impressions recorded.

Usability Prompts

  • Task A - arrive at the site home page, navigate through browsing, select an auto policy package, and request a price quote.
  • Task B - request help from a company representative during browsing.
  • Task C - navigate back and forth during browsing to look at different policies for comparative shopping purposes.
Kaus prototype

Testing Outcomes

Findings from the usability tests were recorded and organized into an affinity map to help identify patterns and determine areas that needed improvement.

  • Task A - 100% task completion rate - all users were able to complete the main task flow without issue.
  • Task B - 100% task completion rate - all users were able to request help through the persistent help button.
  • Task C - 100% task completion rate - users were unaligned in their back and forth browsing strategies which made it difficult to establish a clear use pattern, but the multiple available approaches gave each user the opportunity to choose a preferred method.
  • Pre-filtering policies by type upon arrival at the browsing page was preferred.
  • A policy comparison tool was desired.
  • Three out of five users stated that they found the site to be simple, clean, and easy to navigate.
Kaus affinity map

Priority Revisions

Based on the usability testing results, a number of revisions were made to the site. A revised prototype was built as a milestone to record these updates.

  • The policy package card was included on the policy details page for easier user recall.
  • Shadows were introduced on secondary CTAs for user affordance.
  • Microinteractions were introduced to the CTAs to help improve user feedback.
  • The persistent help button color was adjusted for easier visibility across the various page background colors.
  • All text links were adjusted to improve visibility.
  • The top navigation menus were built out.
  • The help page was reorganized to emphasize the numerous options available for users to obtain assistance.
Kaus coverage pageKaus coverage page revisedKaus help pageKaus help page revised
Kaus revised prototype

Reflection & Next Steps

This project was a valuable opportunity to dive into an unfamiliar industry. The user research interviews made it clear that the insurance shopping process could benefit from fresh thinking and improvement, with users' expectation for easy and frictionless online shopping making traditional approaches overdue for reconsideration. Next steps in the project would include development of certain high effort, high value features such as a policy comparison tool and more refined browsing methods.

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