My Agency Home – Owner Insight
Internship Project | UX Design

My Agency Home – Owner Insight
Internship Project | UX Design

Quick Facts:

Role:

UX designer

Time:

Summer, 2013

Employer
(Client):

Vertafore Inc
(Individually responsive project from my 3-month summer internship as an UX designer)

[Skills]
Methods:

User research, Personas, Requirement analysis, Information architecture, Sketching/Ideation, User scenarios, Product design, Wireframing, Prototyping, Interaction design

Tools:

Axure RP 6.5, Balsamiq, MS Visio, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, MS Office

Deliverable:

Interactive prototype (tablet optimized), Annotated wireframe

Quick Facts:

Please see the previous slide.

During my internship I worked as a User Experience Designer. I designed and prototyed My Agency Home – Owner Insight, an mobile dashboard app used on iPad, and tried integrating the trending concepts in the internet age and the companie’s affiliated services that are to be launched soon.

Due to NDA, I can't provide much detailed information about this project.

Project overview: Vertafore is shifting its comprehensive, cloud-based insurance agency solutions into a more integrated, all-in-one place platform, called “My Agency Home”. Currently there are 56 product lines, and lots of novel services are under active research and development; Owner Insight and its affiliated mobile services is one of the initiatives that the company is trying to bring.

Insurance agency owners are those who are always busy on the go and get limited time to deal with misc issues in the office. From the initial contextual inquiry and personas analysis, we found that these agency owners have immediate needs for a mobile product to monitor performance, as well as improving productivity under the context of insurance business. I was actively in charge of the research and design process of the mobile variance of “My Agency Home”. I conducted user interviews and translated feedbacks of lo-fi wireframes into rounds of quick iteration, analyzed the business requirements and laid out information architecture, and designed tablet interfaces and prototyed my design using interactive prototyping techniques.

Design User Experience

One of the prominent characteristics of this project is its conceptual design models and solutions aligning with the today’s complex SaaS initiatives of insurance agency (Vertafore’s clients), as well as applying the renewing concepts into rapid iterations.

During early stages of the product design process, I took part in contextual inquiries and business meetings to look into user’s real need in terms of user experience. Meanwhile I sketch out on the whiteboard about the findings, and made quick modifications to support the ever-changing research process and context.



As we moved to the later part of concept development, I prototyped different versions of the system and often made rapid modifications, sometimes several versions a day, based on peer critiques and results from on-going user research.
(One of the storyboards I used to apply quick iteraction with conceptual feedback)

Some of the concepts I tried out includes the latest trends of information visualization of business reports, as well as social media practices for today's insurance agency owners. I was in charge of presenting periodic findings to the design lead, and will work with her to translate the initiatives into the product design.
  Above are some of the business intelligence tools that I researched that might be suitable for today's insurance agencies (concepts mocked up in Balsamiq, no details revealed)

Information Architecture & Supporting Business Requirement Mapping

As my design for the mobile dashboard considers design issues from the product level, I also tried to start drafting the business requirements, in order to provide solid structure for organizing concept feedback and informing later designs.


Informed by business requirements that is valuable to have based on the initial user interviews, I evolved the initial information structure (site maps) to have in mind the contents within later design directions:

InfoArch
(made in MS Visio, no details revealed)

Enhancing Communication I:
One way that I learned from the colleagues to enhance effective communication in designing for the product is to enforce mapping between business requirement and the tasks screens. In this sense, the appropriate labeling should be able to inform the later development process about the process, the sequence, the interactions, and the user path flow.

Documentation

In the end of my summer internship, I built my prototype (medium-to-high) using Axure RP and worked with company’s internal stakeholders together to present the functional demo in order to show off on the incoming mobile sales conference. The interactive prototype was also ready for further rounds of usability evaluations for more direct user feedback.

Enhancing Communication II:
During this project, it is the wireframes that I used to improve internal communication with other stakeholders, like the developers, the BAs, and the PMs. To better enhance stakeholders’ understanding in terms of priority, the levels of complexity (eg: low, medium, high) and interactions are posted to the wireframes as well.

User paths: specifying the path of page flows with labels that can map with business requirements, as well as mapping with system interfaces.


(Some of the page flows I documented, no details revealed)

I also carefully documented the design rationales, specific interactions and annotated all 30+ wireframes during the last one week of my internship period. With special attention to details, the annotated wireframes have been delivered to both the developers and the company managers for further reference to this milestone.

Extension

One of the other related projects I accomplished includes prototyping and designing interactions of the “My Agency Home” application of insurance agency Saas platform (1st priority project of the company), based on screen mockups and wireframes resulting from usability testing and customer feedback,

In another project, I storyboard out the “client set up” smart flow for agency account managers to input their client’s information that can be plugged into the complex insurance platform. The set up flow needs to be somewhat “smart”: capable of customization in accessing, reflecting dynamically the current statuses, and catering to various client types in the process. In order to properly translate the needs of workers and taking care of the capability of current system, I worked closely with PMs and the UX researchers from our UX team, and dived into all the related design meetings.

clientSetUp

I then designed interactive prototypes in Axure that both incorporated the client set up flow and “My Agency Home” system, which reflected the boarder range of the system where the smart flow is taking effects. The outcome of my work is quite satisfying, so the prototype I mocked up got to be directly handed in to development person. During this task, close collaborations happened from very beginning, including working with Product Manager and team to define documentation scope; reviewing project requirements document (PRD) to ensure correct translation of design; and providing quality assurance (QA) feedback to and consultation with HTML, Engineering, and PM teams prior to launch.

These side projects certainly helped me to distill the related problem domain, as well as having solid understanding of the organization’s business challenges.