The first project of DesignLab's UX Academy was the design of a new, responsive e-commerce website and logo for KAUS, a fictional insurance company that sells prepared packages that can be customized to a certain extent for any situation, both for businesses and for individuals.
The focus was set on creating a website for private customers with easily navigable insurance categories.
Duration: 10 weeks.
Role: UX Researcher, UX/UI Designer.
Tools: Illustrator, Figma, InVision.
I relied on the Design Thinking process, which involved 5 stages, as well as constant iteration.
Usability test plan
In order to create empathy towards the users and fully understand the problem, I conducted research by means of a competitor analysis and customer interviews (in-person, except for one, which happend over the phone). This allowed me to get to know the company's business type, see how competitors solved the problem and investigate how and why customers chose an insurance company over the other, what insurances they owned and whether they had already visited the website of a insurance company and purchase an insurance policy online.
It was interesting to find out that none of the participants had purchased an insurance online and that they usually chose their insurance company according to the referral of people they know (friends or family members).
The results led to the creation of a persona that would represent the customers, as well as an empathy map and a storyboard illustrating how and why the persona decided to change the company for their car insurance policy.
Based on the research findings gathered during the Empathize phase, I defined a possible solution to the problem at hand.
First, I identified the business and user goals, as well as the technical considerations, which led to the development of a roadmap that presented the features categorized according to their importance and urgency.
A card sorting session was also organized, in order to find names for the insurance categories that would be meaningful and logical to users.
With all this information I was ready to create a sitemap that would illustrate the hierarchy and sections of the website, as well as a task and a user flow that would show the steps a user would go through to buy an insurance. This helped me define the UI requirements.
After emphasizing with the users, analyzing the problem and defining the solution, it was time to create grid-based wireframes for desktop, tablet and mobile screens using Figma.
This was also the time to create KAUS' new logo. Before starting with sketches, I did a brainstorming session to find the attributes that would define the company's look and feel and then created a moodboard. The final result was a brand new logo and style tile, that would define the visual elements of the website.
Based on wireframes and style tile, I created responsive mockups of the homepage and a comprehensive UI kit.
I created an early prototype with InVision, based on the wireframes. The purpose was to learn to use the environment only, as it was not used during any test. It also allowed me to figure out better all the steps the user had to go through while purchasing an insurance on the new website.
I developed another prototype with InVision using the mockup screens. This time, I used it to test the desktop version with real users during the next phase.
Once the mockup prototype was ready, I wrote a usability test plan in order determine the characteristics of the participants, their tasks, the goals of the test, etc.
After the usability tests, which were conducted in-person, I gathered the results in a report and laid the findings out in an affinity map that also presented possible solutions to any issue that was identified.
Overall, the prototype performed well with the given tasks and the participants, highlighting only a few issues, e.g. some participants not identifying the main menu right away. A possibile solution to this would be to style the main menu differently, for example separating header from body content with a stroke.
Overall, despite having trouble organizing more participants for e.g. card sorting sessions or usability testing, the whole process ran smoothly. The results of each phase were the foundation on which to build those of the next one, proving the usefullness of the process and especially that of iteration, wich occured constantly
Given more time, I would have conducted other card sorting sessions with more participants, in order to define even better insurance categories; conducted tests on the categories with more participants and on the buying process, too, to identify potential hiccups. Nonetheless, the resulting website proved to be a valid solution, since it would allow users to easily navigate KAUS' different policies on mobile, tablet and desktop screens and purchase them online.