Online car insurance usability benchmarking


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This is from 2007 so sites will all have improved since then (one would have hoped!).

This report led to a series of successful projects with Hibernian/Aviva.

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Online car insurance usability benchmarking

  1. 1. Online Car Insurance Usability ReportMeasuring the User Experience of 20 Irish, UK & US car insurance websites
  2. 2. IntroductionAbout this report So making sure that your site is easy to use for visitorsThis report tests the user experience offered by twenty car could be a considerable competitive websites - most from Ireland, but with UK andUS sites included for comparison. As Stephan Briggs, eBusiness enterprise manager,The purpose is to rank the performance of these sites, and Lloyds TSB Insurance, points out: “Online insurance isto highlight best practice. an extremely competitive market, but if we understand the customer better and provide a betterBackground to the online insurance market online experience, we can get the commercial edge.Buying car insurance online is becoming increasingly This is only the beginning, we have much still to learnpopular – as far back as 2002, Forrester research and do, but it is an excellent start.”revealed that the number of online car insurance buyers inEurope had doubled in the previous year. Follow-up workby the same organisation in 2005 showed that 63% of UKonline adults expect to buy their next motor policy Table of Contentsonline. Introduction 2Usability, not just price Benchmarking Results 3While price is an crucial factor in buying decisions, havingthe best product offering is no good if visitors are too Best value of the Irish sites 4confused or frustrated by your site even to get a quote. Scoring Methodology 5According to the 2005 Forrester research, “The process of Site Scores 6getting a quote is still dogged by usability problems: 31%of quote forms end with a consumer leaving in Personas we used 26frustration, without getting a price.” The top problemsthey identified were a lack of contextual help, illegible text, Testing Criteria 28and inconsistent interface elements. Wrap Up 36 2
  3. 3. Benchmarking Results Progressive 76%Results at a glance All State 75%The top Irish site was Hibernian Direct, Esurance 70%which ranked 5th overall with a score of 67%, Churchill 68%9% behind the winner, US site Progressive. Hibernian Direct 67%There were three Irish sites in the top ten, Lloyds 64%Hibernian (67%), Quinn Direct (63%) and Quinn Direct 63%Allianz Direct (63%). Allianz Direct 63%Two Irish sites (AXA and Eagle Star) Nationwide 61%managed to score zero, for bringing site Direct Line 59%visitors to a complete dead end. 59% FBD 54%The average score for Irish sites was 44% - agrade of poor. The average score for US sites Tesco 53%was 68% - good. Geico 50% 44% 42% One Direct 41% Confused 28% Axa 0% Eagle Star 0% 3
  4. 4. Best value of the Irish sitesTesco is tops for young male drivers Quinn Direct is best for female driversThe best value for Greg, our 20 year old male For Karen, our 30 year old solicitor, Quinn Directdriver persona was Tesco. They offered fully offered the best value at only €418 for fullycomprehensive and third party fire & theft at comprehensive insurance. They could not quote€1,142 and €961 respectively. for third party, fire and theft for the value of the car we submitted. The best value for third partyThe worst value for Greg was They fire and theft was, at only €376.offered fully comprehensive and third partyinsurance at €2,259 and €1,947 respectively, The worst value for Karen was One Direct. Theyabout double the price of Tesco. offered fully comprehensive and third party insurance at €655 and €615 respectively.Both, One Direct and Allianz Direct could notquote Greg for the details we provided. The personas we used are detailed on pages 26 & 27 4
  5. 5. Scoring methodology Each of the criteria was scored as follows From this, the overall percentage score was calculated, 1: Good implementation of the criterion the following grades being given to the total: 0: Reasonable effort in implementing the criterion, but still 0-45%: Poor with room for improvement. 45-54%: Adequate -1: Failure to implement the criterion or implementing it so 55-69%: Good poorly so as to render it all but useless. 70-100%: Excellent The criteria were divided into three categories, functionality, content and visual design, which were weighted 40%, 40% and 20% respectively, to reflect the number of criteria in each section. Background The score in each category was first calculated as a percentage, and then This ensures that a low (or high) All sites were evaluated and scored from April 22nd – mark in a category with few criteria does not unduly skew 28th, 2006. the total. Each of the sites was independently evaluated by two IQ Content analysts using the same scoring scheme. The analysts used the same two personas generated for the evaluations, containing details of two different imaginary people looking for an insurance quote. The details included addresses, driving and employment histories, car ownership details and coverage requirements. 5
  6. 6. Progressive Overall: 76% - Excellent Functionality: 77% Content: 80% Visual Design: 67% Don’t make me think! Instead of forcing an error on the visitor, Progressive take the liberty of fixing the error What they do well • Offer multiple quotes which can be compared at a glance • Progressive provide clear security information as well as easy access to help • Great flexibility on some of their form fields allowing the visitor to get on with the task at hand rather than getting bogged down by error messages. Where they need to improve Error messages provide a clear call to action • Offer an obvious means to get to the previous screen. Currently, the back button works fine, but visitors may expect an explicit previous or back button from having used other online forms. 6
  7. 7. All State Overall: 75% - Excellent Functionality: 86% Content: 75% Visual Design: 50% What they do well Alternative methods of • All State offer a choice of quotes, a quick one for a contact are prominent in “ballpark” figure and a more comprehensive case visitor runs into alternative. difficulty • An easy way to get help through a call-back facility • A clear and prominent security and privacy policy Where they need to improve • Improve the contextual help on the forms in case visitors get stuck • Explain the financial impact of certain questions clearly • Watch out for data validation – make the fields more flexible Is a comma really that “special” to merit an error message? 7
  8. 8. Esurance Overall: 70% - Excellent Functionality: 86% Content: 60% Visual Design: 58% What they do well • Esurance have a navigable progress bar, which is much more in tune with conventional web navigation. • Esurance’s use of plain English is exemplary. Rather than use internal jargon, they use clear and concise information. In short, they speak the visitor’s language. Kudos to Esurance speaking their visitors language and not internal jargon Where they need to improve • Esurance need to pay attention to cross-browser issues. For example, visitors using Safari on Mac can’t save their quote. This is a bit shoddy and should easily be remedied. 8
  9. 9. Churchill Overall: 68% - Good Functionality: 64% Content: 65% Visual Design: 83% Churchill keep assumptions on which quote is based out of What they do well the way • Churchill provide a number of ways to help if the visitor runs into difficulty, by phone or via an online chat facility • Churchill get out of the way of the visitor’s goal by linking to assumptions rather displaying them up front. Where they need to improve • Churchill is certainly not alone in this but the number Is my address personal or business: who cares and why? of screens taken up with getting the car details is overkill and seems to reflect the internal challenges the system faces with matching makes and models rather than what is easiest for the visitor. 9
  10. 10. Hibernian Direct Overall: 67% - Good Functionality: 50% Content: 75% Visual Design: 83% What they do well • Hibernian’s overall visual design is among the best. They obviously put a lot of work into their user interface and it shows. • At the quote stage, they offer a comparison of quotes, full party versus fire and theft, eliminating extraneous questions and forcing the work onto the Quote screen shows a comparison as well as optional extras website, away from the visitor which is how it should be Where they need to improve • Eliminate the assumptions page and any extra steps in getting to the quote page • Remove any extra questions that are not required for the quote i.e. “Where did you hear about us” • Keep any input error messages on the screen rather than confined to a popup window for better interactivity Why is this question important and why is it mandatory? 10
  11. 11. Lloyds Overall: 64% - Good Functionality: 55% Content: 65% Visual Design: 83% What they do well • Clear quote process with options to easily amend different aspects of the details. • Use of the security code would first seem to be a pain, but it soon becomes apparent that it’s there for Quote has good visual prominence a good reason, to make for a better customer experience. Where they need to improve • Clicking on the “Call us” link leads the visitor to a dead-end, there’s no way to get back to the quote. Making the phone number on the page more prominent could solve this problem 11
  12. 12. Quinn Direct Overall: 63% - Good Functionality: 41% Quinn Direct eliminate the extraneous global site navigation, keeping focus on the task at hand during the quote process Content: 70% Visual Design: 92% What they do well • Quinn Direct ranked first out of twenty websites for visual design, so their credentials in that department are without question. Their online forms are laid out in an intuitive and logical manner. • One excellent example of Quinn Direct’s design is that they have eliminated the website global navigation from the quote process, reducing the risk of a misclick and throwing visitors off the task at hand. • At the quote stage, it is very easy to go back and change information without having to restart the whole process. Where they need to improve • Simply repeating the question in the help text is not enough. Visitors need explanations of what certain terms are and what effect they will have on their quote • Match the number of steps to the number of screens; Error message and help text are at odds. €20,000 or €40,000 which is it? this is what your visitors will expect (Original error was thrown because value of 20,000 included a comma) • Reduce the burden on visitors by asking fewer questions 12
  13. 13. Allianz Direct Overall: 63% - Good One step per page so it’s clear exactly how many steps are left Functionality: 55% Content: 65% Visual Design: 75% What they do well • The step by step process on the Allianz site is clear and intuitive, giving visitors an instant snapshot of where they are in the quote process • Giving comparative quotes also helps to reduce the burden of work on the visitor Where they need to improve Preoccupation with • Occupation preoccupation: although not exclusive to occupation - This seems Allianz, we see this issue on a number of sites; like a lot of work to having to choose an occupation from a really long impose on your visitors dropdown list. This is a potentially frustrating task – a visitor’s occupation may not match exactly those offered in the list, so what happens then? • No navigation: although it is clear for visitors where they are in the process, they can only go in one direction; forwards. Allowing visitors to go back a previous step to edit their data is a standard convention and one that should be employed here. 13
  14. 14. Nationwide Overall: 61% - Good Functionality: 68% Content: 50% Visual Design: 67% What they do well • Although we’d like to see the minimum number of screens before a quote form, Nationwide offer clear Instead of an exhaustive list of information on what you’ll need before you start occupations, Nationwide provide general which is a real help. categories • Compared to some of the Irish sites, Nationwide offers useful occupation categories rather than an exhaustive list of specific jobs. Where they need to improve • Some fields are not flexible. In particular, telephone numbers should be able to accept a range of different formats • It would be very handy you got a full summary of what you’re getting with the quote price. You wouldn’t book a flight without being able to double-check the dates and destinations. Fields like phone number should allow for a number of possible inputs, i.e. they should have greater flexibility 14
  15. 15. Directline Overall: 59% - Good Functionality: 68% Content: 45% Visual Design: 67% What they do well • Directline offers simple contextual help, clearly explaining insurance terms that visitors may not be completely familiar with. • Clear and unambiguous input validation errors are also displayed, highlighting what action needs to be performed by the user to remedy the situation For the most part, Directline provide good contextual help in plain English. Where they need to improve • Show a phone number up front for visitors who need help with their quote, rather than making them click through a series of links. • Employ a more user centric approach rather than a programmer centric one. Choosing a car make and model is longwinded and drawn out. Ease of programming may be a higher priority than ease of use. 15
  16. 16. Insure.ie Overall: 57% - Good Functionality: 50% Content: 60% Visual Design: 75% What they do well give good help and explain why certain questions • provide a good introduction page on how are asked the quote can be discounted. This is a rare example of a good screen to put before your visitors before they get to the quote stage. • Meaningful contextual help is provided (however it is not visible on Firefox for Windows, or on Mac) Where they need to improve • Though a more general point, and not confined just to, they need to watch out for cross-browser issues. For example, the well written contextual help Example of designing for Internet remains invisible to Firefox and Mac users. Explorer only. provides • Error messages could be improved significantly. reasonable help but only Internet Being displayed one by one in a JavaScript alert box Explorer users can see it. is not as good as being displayed on the same screen as the form. • ALT attributes should be added to all images. You may be tempted to assume the visually impaired will not need car insurance, but even if this is the case, they may be tasked with getting a quote for someone else. 16
  17. 17. FBD Insurance Overall: 54% - Adequate Functionality: 45% Content: 65% Visual Design: 55% What they do well • FBD are only a few small steps away from achieving a much higher score. They keep the information needed for a quote to a minimum, not bothering to ask for name, whether your car is a right hand drive Jargon-free help explaining the different or any other marketing driven questions. cover types • They clearly explain some of the financial terms like cover type and no claims discount. Where they need to improve • Clearly explain that the quote has been saved and that the reference number can be used to retrieve it. Currently this is not explicitly stated and could easily be missed, meaning that a really useful piece of functionality could go unnoticed. • Take the phone number out of the footer and display FBD save your quote but never state it explicitly, instead we have to it more prominently remember the reference number to retrieve it. • Consider not asking for coverage type. Instead, offer comparative premiums on the quote page where visitors can compare the prices and choose from them • Offer more information on what the quote is based on at the quote stage rather than displaying the assumptions screen up front 17
  18. 18. Tesco Overall: 53% - Adequate Functionality: 36% Content: 75% Visual Design: 42% What they do well • Tesco provide good help text, helping to eliminate any confusion that their visitors may have. • At the quote stage, Tesco offers a choice of cover Good comparison of different levels of coverage levels, allowing visitors to choose between the lowest price or the highest level of cover as well as adding on additional options. Where they need to improve • There are far too many screens to click through to get to a quote. This is a real challenge for Tesco as they offer a diverse range of services and products, Who’s important here, the customer or the marketing department all of which are offered from the homepage • Form usability could be improved by employing standard design guidelines like clearly flagging any mandatory fields and removing any non-essential questions 18
  19. 19. Geico Overall: 50% - Adequate Functionality: 45% Content: 55% Visual Design: 50% Not only is information handled securely, but kept private too. What they do well • Geico provide and clear and unambiguous privacy and security statement, going some way to gain a visitor’s trust Where they need to improve • Remove the guff from the bottom of every form. It is likely that it just adding to the visual clutter and distracting the visitor from the task at hand. • Provide better means to navigate forwards and back over the different screens in the process • Eliminate any needless steps and match the number of screens to the number of steps, otherwise it is far too difficult for the visitor to see where they are in the Show me the money! Then tell me about any discounts that apply process. 19
  20. 20. 123.ie Overall: 44% - Poor Functionality: 36% Content: 35% Visual Design: 75% What they do well • Despite their low score, this site is within a few small steps of a much better result. • In terms of visual design, the website is clean All input fields are available on one screen, well organised and uncluttered. and well laid out Where they need to improve • Need to clearly distinguish between mandatory and optional fields. Currently (and unhelpfully), some fields are marked as mandatory but in fact all are • Again, we see a preoccupation with occupation, but this time it’s twice as bad, forcing visitors to choose their employer’s business as well as their own occupation. • Get rid of extraneous questions: is area vehicle used really relevant. If so, what does it actually mean – if I drive to work through four postal districts, how do I show that? • Put all input validation errors on screen at once Why bother frontloading the quote process with a page of rather than one-by-one in a JavaScript pop-up assumptions? Instead, just provide a link to them. 20
  21. 21. Best Quote Nice and short stepped process showing the visitor that it Overall: 42% - Poor should be a quick and painless process Functionality: 50% Content: 75% Visual Design: 83% What they do well • Unlike some of the other websites, has a direct mapping between screens and number of steps Where they need to improve • Remove distractions from the quote process. Currently, there are a number of links at the top of the page which if clicked by accident, could mean Not a very polite error message for having to start again. the visitor. Did they break the site? • Provide a phone number if visitors get into difficulties and need to ring someone • Make sure all errors are well handled, both user errors and system. We found duplicate input validation error messages as well as a server error page when we went through the quote process. 21
  22. 22. One Direct Overall: 41% - Poor Functionality: 32% Content: 55% Visual Design: 33% What they do well • The facility to both save and have the quote emailed to potential customers is a particularly useful one and Not just how many is often lacking on other well-known insurance steps but also what websites so OneDirect are to be commended for those steps are offering it. Where they need to improve • While emailing the quote may be of great benefit, including a 520 kilobyte PDF attachment advertising prize bonds is not. On a slow dial-up connection, this could frustrate the most patient of visitors Input field is too short for visitor’s • Failure to offer quote in simple language, rather than address using internal terms like One Star, Two Star, Three Star to describe their levels of cover. • Too many questions – questions could be moved to “additional discounts section” on the quick quote page rather than getting in the way • Failure to design with web standards, which means visitors on browsers other than Internet Explorer will have a different user experience. The danger here is they may not bother experiencing the site at all as a result. 22
  23. 23. Confused Overall: 28% Functionality: 36% Content: 30% Visual Design: 8% What they do well • provide options to save and email the quote • As a broker they provide a wide range of quotes to choose from Where they need to improve • Visually, is very cluttered. The design Total clutter is trying to be a little bit cheeky or funny, but this rarely works. • There are far too many screens and far too many questions for what should be a simple quote. Adding insult to injury. Not only do make visitors answer a trivial question, but they’re even not happy with the response! 23
  24. 24. Axa Overall: 0% - Poor Functionality: 0% Content: 0% Visual Design: 0% What they do well • Similar to Eagle Star, from an online perspective, AXA do not cut the mustard. A clear “Get Quote” call to action results in a dead-end, not what the visitor had in mind. Where they need to improve • If they really think they are doing their customers a favour by not providing an online quotation system Axa’s call to action on the homepage leads visitors into a dead why not state it upfront rather than having a end prominent call to action that has the potential to mislead? 24
  25. 25. Eagle Star Overall: 0% - Poor Functionality: 0% Content: 0% Visual Design: 0% What they do well • Honestly? Nothing. From the initial promise of on-line motor insurance, visitors end up at a dead-end. Where they need to improve • In the offline world they may offer competitive quotes with high levels of cover but online none of this matters. With the homepage offering “Online Motor Insurance – Go on Cover Now” to the subsequent page which promises “Get a Motor Quote with the option to go on Cover now”, the visitor is led to a page that claims, despite all appearances that they “do want your business and we feel that the most effective way to tailor the cover and price that best suits your needs is to speak to you directly on the phone”. This restricts their visitors in so many ways, as the phone lines are open from 8.30 to 5.30, 15 hours short of a 24 online presence. It’s like having a retail store on Grafton Street and not bothering to open in December. 25
  26. 26. Persona 1: Greg, young male driver Greg, young male driver Greg’s goals Greg is a 20 year old computer science  Greg’s overall goal is to simply get on the road as student who lives in Lucan. He is entering cheaply as possible. his final year in university. He has been  His goals on an insurance site are to get a quote driving his mother’s car for the last three quickly as he will be comparing quotes from a years on her insurance policy (as a named driver) and passed his driving test three number of websites before making a purchase months ago. decision. He spends almost two hours a day commuting to  He is looking for the cheapest quote just to get Dublin City University on Dublin’s north side. Coming driving and is not too concerned with the level of into his final year, this would be time better spent in the cover on offer, he will happily go for the minimum library. To this end, his parents have bought him a if it gets him the cheapest quote. secondhand Toyota Yaris (1 litre engine), registered in 2000. He has worked hard all summer to save for his first insurance premium in his name. Interface requirements  Provide a quick quote  Minimise the number of “obstacle screens” before Name: Greg Cooper getting to the quote form Date of Birth: 6th April 1986  Keep the number of questions to a minimum Occupation: Student (final year) Car: Toyota Yaris (1 litre/998 CC), registered 2000,  Provide information on any possible reductions value, €7,000. that can be made to his premium Driving for: three years in total, all on parent’s insurance Full licence: since 3 months ago 26
  27. 27. Persona 2: Karen, young professional Karen, young professional Karen’s goals Karen is 30 and works for a medium sized  Karen needs to get a quote quickly but also solicitor’s firm in Dublin. She is originally needs the ability to save and retrieve a quote from Galway and has been driving for 12 quickly for comparison between different websites as she doesn’t have time to compare all websites years, the last 10 of which have been on in one sitting. her own car.  Alternatively, if she could print it put easily or She regularly drives home to Galway to her parents receive it into her email mailbox, she would be and at often heads off to different parts of the country happy for weekend breaks with her friends. Last year, a friend  She wants the maximum amount of cover in case was involved in an accident but it was not their fault. of an accident This incident crystallised in her mind the need for fully comprehensive insurance. She heard the whole Interface requirements process was a big hassle as her friend wasn’t sure if  Provide a facility to save and quickly retrieve she had to ring her insurance company or a solicitor. quotes As she works in busy legal practice, she can only use  Provide different levels of cover that can be the internet for 30-40 minutes during lunch breaks and added to the quote early in the morning for 20-30 minutes.  Give clear details on the claims process Name: Karen Wallace  Provide a printable format Date of Birth: 6th April 1976  Email the quote in addition to providing it on Occupation: Solicitor screen Car: Toyota Corolla (1.4 litre/1398 CC), manufactured 2006, value: €20,000 Full licence: 10 years 27
  28. 28. Testing criteria: Functionality1. Are the number of screens/clicks kept to a minimumbefore getting to quote form? How did we develop the criteria?Visitors want to get a quote quickly. Assumptions andterms and conditions pages can be linked to instead of We developed a specific set of heuristics for thebeing displayed up front. online insurance market, to make sure the criteria were fair and appropriate. We categorised the criteria under the categories that we use when conducting client usability audits 1.Functionality: does the process of getting a quote work well and simply for the user? Churchill keep assumptions on which quote is based out of the way 2.Content: is there enough clear and concise2. Is it easy to move forward and back through information to help the user through the process, andprocess? ensure the credibility of siteCan visitors easily navigate between the different steps?They may want to change details, add drivers or change 3.Visual Design: does the look and feel of thethe level of coverage to see if it alters their quote. There website complement the functionality and contentshould be a clear path to navigate in both directions, and rather than distract from it?entered data should retained between screens.3. Are mandatory fields highlighted as such?Any fields that are optional should be differentiated fromones that are mandatory, letting visitors choose to enterthe minimum amount of information. 28
  29. 29. Testing criteria: Functionality 4. Can quote be saved for later? 7. Is it clear where you are in the process? Visitors may not have all the required information with This is essential so that visitors can build a mental them or wish to save their quote for comparison with map of the process and from that estimate how long other websites. Allowing them to save their quote it will take. The number of steps and current location easily means they won’t have to retype all their in the process should be clearly outlined, and the information when they return. number of steps should match the actual number of screens. 5. Is quote emailed to visitor? Visitors may well compare several quotes from different companies so having them all in their inbox is of huge benefit. Sites should offer the feature, and crucially tell visitors about it. Allianz Direct use one step per page so it’s clear exactly how many steps are left. However, a 6. Minimum number of questions asked? description of what each step entails would be better. Questions like “Where did you hear about us?” are of no benefit to the visitor during the quote process but may help someone in the marketing department fill out a report. The more this type of question is asked, the more likely it is that your visitors will become frustrated and abandon your site. 29
  30. 30. Testing criteria: Functionality 8. Input validation: are input validation errors It reduces the number of questions they need to clearly flagged and noticeable? answer, and makes the differences clear. It should be The ease with which visitors can recover from errors easy to change the level of cover on and recalculate is very important. If an error is made, the fields with the price on the quote screen itself. the errors should be clearly identified altogether on the form (not in a separate JavaScript alert). For extra kudos, predicting and correcting common errors can be of real value. Don’t make me think! Instead of forcing an error on the visitor, Progressive take the liberty of fixing the error 9. Is data input clear and flexible? Does the process allow user to choose how they Hibernian Direct’s quote screen shows a comparison enter information such as telephone numbers, as well as optional extras postcodes, date and engine size (e.g. is entering 1.4 for engine capacity allowed, or only 1400?). The 11. Can I change data and recalculate my quote (i.e. system should allow spaces, commas, dashes or at add/remove excess)? least clearly state the required format. Different visitors will have different goals. Where some visitors want to find the minimum premium, others may 10. Are multiple quotes given for same criteria? base their purchase decision on maximum cover. It should Rather than ask visitors up front what level of cover be easy for the visitor to add or remove options (including they wanted, why not give them a comparative adding drivers, and changing car type or excess amounts) quote? to see how it affects their premium. 30
  31. 31. Testing criteria: Content 3. Is there a explanation of jargon? 1. Is it clear why certain questions are asked? Jargon reflects complex terms or language most In some cases, occupation affects the price of familiar within the organisation or industry at large. insurance, but it should be clear why particular details Will all your visitors understand the acronym NCB are required just to give a quote. For example, why (No Claims Bonus)? On an Irish site we saw “Is your do they even need my name, when all I want is a car imported?”. Since Ireland has no indigenous car quote? Does Amazon make you register before industry, every car is imported (but this isn’t quite you see the price of a book? Explanations of why what they meant). Avoiding the jargon altogether, or questions are asked build credibility. at least explaining it minimises the annoyance or confusion you create for your visitors, whom you can’t assume know your vocabulary. give good help and explain why certain questions are asked 2. Does it explain the financial impact of questions: i.e. this could reduce your quote? Related to the above point, it’s valuable to explain how a certain answer may be reduce the final quote. FBD Insurance offer argon-free help explaining the different cover types 31
  32. 32. Testing criteria: Content 4. Is it clear what I’ve been quoted for? 6. Is there information on how easy it is to make a The price is important of course, but visitors need to claim? know exactly what they’re getting. Does the quote Not just on the homepage, but through the quote include excesses, bonus protection, is it third party, process. This helps to engender trust with your fire and theft or fully comprehensive? If your quote visitors and makes it clear that if they do sign up with process involves a lot of steps, visitors may have you, they’ll get good service. forgotten the options they selected earlier in the process. 7. Is information handled securely (using SSL) and is this explained? 5. Is it clear what assumptions are being made? Visitors may need some reassurance before Most insurance quotes are based on a standard list submitting their confidential information online. We of assumptions, i.e. no convictions, no modified looked for SSL implementation and a clear statement engines etc. Are the visitors aware of these on security that would allay any fears that visitors assumptions - with a clear statement on the quote may have. page that the quote is based on assumptions (and a link to those assumptions). Having a long list at the start of the process is no good; it will probably be ignored. Geico make their position clear. Not only is information handled securely, but kept private too. 32
  33. 33. Testing criteria: Content 8. Is there a phone number on hand if I run into 10. Is meaningful contextual help provided? difficulty in answering a question? This can relate to jargon, but also to questions that are Visitors may not need to ring you, but they’ll get very ambiguous. One example we noted was the term annoyed if they want to and they can’t. A prominently- “Employment” - was it expecting a yes or no answer, a job placed phone number or prominent link to one makes the title or an employer name. Apart from better labelling, most sense. contextual help would have been nice. All State make the phone number prominent in case visitor runs into difficulty 9. Is it clear what information will be used for (privacy policy)? For the most part, Directline Are visitors going to be swamped with email from your provide good contextual help in company because they received a quote via email from plain English. you? Hopefully not, but they should at least be told, via a clear privacy policy with prominent links to it (especially near particularly sensitive input fields like email address). 33
  34. 34. Testing criteria: Visual Design 1. Are fonts readable i.e. of sufficient size and contrast? Screen resolutions are getting bigger, just as more older people are going online. The size of headings, main text and text in drop-downs should be readable, and it should be possible to increase the text size using browser controls? 2. Are ALT tags used for graphical text elements? This is the most basic of accessibility issues for blind or partially sighted users. Remember, blind people may be getting insurance for someone else! Text make input fields are available on one screen, well elements produced as graphics (such as headings or organised and well laid out navigation buttons) should be accompanied by useful ALT tags. 4. Are gratuitous images kept to a minimum or are they 3. Is the design clean & uncluttered? used where simple text would suffice? A clean design projects a positive image, but also A bouncing telephone might seem like a cheery invitation makes complex functionality easier to understand. to call customer service, but it could well annoy visitors, All pages (especially the quote page and those with who (on sites such as these) want the facts, and nothing lots of questions) should be clearly designed and but the facts. Most often text is clearer, and images should easy to follow. be limited to those that add real value to the experience. 34
  35. 35. Testing criteria: Visual Design 5. Is there a clear visual hierarchy (i.e. important 6. Is there clear signposting or calls to action? information like price visually prominent)? Given the interactivity of the quotes process – visitors Many of these pages display large amounts of are answering questions, entering information, making information, and visitors need to be able to tell quickly choices – it should be clear at each point what is the which is the most important. On pages with many most obvious next step (such as continuing to the next questions, access to contextual help and a phone screen in the process), and what are the other actions number to call should be more prominent than terms possible (going back to change a previous entry, and conditions information. Text size and colour can looking up help, or calling a representative). help here, as can background colour and indentation. Lloyds’ quote has good visual prominence 35
  36. 36. Wrap-up Our hope with this report is that it will help all insurers understand how they About iQ Content can improve the service to their online customers. iQ Content is one of Europe’s leading internet consultancies, helping organisations to improve their How can we help? websites, intranets and products through a range of content, usability, accessibility and training services. Usability Evaluation & User Testing We deliver websites that reflect our client’s core  If your site was benchmarked and you would like objectives while providing positive experiences for the us to present our findings or perform a more user. detailed evaluation, please get in touch with us.  We can conduct a detailed usability evaluation Many of Europe’s leading organisations, from all sectors or user testing of your website to improve the – including user experience of your visitors Vodafone, Deloitte, Benchmarking Tourism Ireland,  Have your website benchmarked against its BUPA peers by some of the best usability analysts in and many large public sector organisations – have Europe. benefited from iQ Content’s services.  Identify your website’s strengths and weaknesses relative to your competitors For more information, visit: 36
  37. 37. Feedback, queries, comments?iQ Content LtdDocklands Innovation Park128 – 130 East Wall RdDublin 3e: info@iqcontent.comt: 01 817