Insurance software is complex. Ideally, this is not something that policyholders are aware of. Policyholders conclude contracts online or via their broker and receive information quickly via various channels whenever they have questions. Updating contracts, applying for benefits or settling claims should be simple and easy to do. However, there are technically complex and time-consuming processes running in the background that have to be managed by the insurance company's employees. Changes to contract and personal data must be made in different systems. No changes may be made that could erroneously affect other insurance products. Policyholders call their insurer when they have concerns and when they need information and advice quickly. Benefits must be paid out quickly, which unfortunately is not always possible when an insurer's processes are fully automated. And then there are the phases of premium adjustments and the automobile exchange business. During these peak periods, employees are sometimes recruited from other departments in the company to handle the high volume of inquiries. In order to have the best support in their daily work, employees need software which meets all professional and technical requirements, and which also enables fast, intuitive and user-friendly operation. The user interface (UI) should therefore be set up according to design guidelines that offer optimal usability and user experience.
Usability and user experience
But what do we actually mean by usability and user experience, and how do they go together? Usability is the user-friendliness of software, which according to DIN EN ISO 9241 is defined by how effectively, efficiently and satisfactorily a user can accomplish a task within a given context. In addition to other standards, in|sure Ecosphere products are based on the seven principles of usability listed in DIN EN ISO 9241-110: task appropriateness, self-descriptiveness, conformity to expectations, conduciveness to learning, controllability, tolerance for errors and individualizability. In addition to these factors, the development of our software also takes into account other aspects that relate to user experience. User experience is not only characterized by efficient task performance, but also by aesthetics, i.e., the design of the software, and other factors, such as responsiveness within the system. Usability is thus a component of user experience, but on its own, it is not sufficient to provide a positive user experience. Users of in|sure Ecosphere have the advantage of a software solution which is efficient, visually appealing and intuitive to use.
A positive side-effect of intuitive software is that the amount of training required is significantly reduced. Familiar operating patterns from everyday work and an intelligent user guidance system enable a quick introduction to the software. When educating and training your staff, software as a work tool can increasingly take a back seat, and more time can be given to important technical topics. There is another related side-effect: the ability to call in user groups from other departments if needed. Software that can be learned quickly and is consistent across the entire in|sure Ecosphere enables seamless switching between different software products, thereby allowing users from other departments to be called upon to perform certain business transactions in the event of staff shortages.
How does adesso insurance solutions do it?
In order to meet all the demands placed on our software, it is not enough to address the issues of usability and user experience after the product has been finalized and delivered. You can't sprinkle software with magic UX powder after the fact and hope that business transactions and processes will somehow operate efficiently at the user interface. User experience is not about "making things pretty." Especially in the case of technically complex systems, usability and user experience are a core component of software development, which must be considered beforehand when defining the requirements and designing the software, which is then evaluated "in the wild" after the features have been implemented. For this reason, adesso insurance solutions has its own Usability Engineering department. A diverse and multidisciplinary team of experts is responsible for the entire ecosphere. Our experts are deeply involved in the development of our products, and support the product managers in the development and evaluation of technical features, while always keeping the entire product landscape in mind. We want our customers to benefit from new features that go beyond individual products. It is also important to ensure the consistency of our software across our entire product landscape.
Integrated into the products
Because our comprehensive team is involved in overseeing the entire ecosphere, care must be taken not to lose the depth of our technical focus. For this reason, our experts also take on sponsorships for software products in which they are deeply involved, both professionally and technically. This allows us to better support our requirements engineers and product managers. However, this close "in-house" connection is not the end of the story. We are constantly striving to improve and learn. Every new customer offers us the opportunity to gain deeper insights into the development and individual use of our software. For this reason, our team regularly visits our customers and conducts workplace studies. As part of these studies, we observe our end users at work and document what happens on and off the screen. Our findings are sent to product development so that they can continuously improve our products. Because good software can only be developed in a task and user-centered approach!
Would you like to talk about the user experience of insurance software? Then please contact our expert Karsten Schmitt, Head of Business Development.