Here at Homelyfe, the customer is at the centre of everything we do. At the very beginning, when Homelyfe was just an idea, we gathered a group of people together and asked them all about their frustrations with insurance, what they would change and what they’d love to see. Those insights have guided us every step of the way. With Homelyfe almost ready to launch, we invited a bunch of busy London professionals to put the app through its paces and see if it did the job.
We wanted to create an app that takes the stress out of buying, managing and renewing insurance and gives you confidence that you’re covered, whatever happens. After months of development, it was great to finally be able to see this in action, to watch users navigate the app and find out how intuitive they found it.
Here are just a few of the things we learnt:
Make it easy
The Homelyfe app has been designed to be easy-to-use, so it was brilliant to hear how intuitive everyone, from the tech-savvy to self-confessed technophobes found the experience. This comment, from a user, summed it up best:
“It was nice, quick, clear and straightforward, and I could find all my documents fast.”
We’re different to the insurance companies that have come before us, so the look of the app had to be different too. We’ve worked really hard on our branding to make Homelyfe welcoming but unique and this is something our users loved. One said: “I really like the design, it’s friendly and reassuring” and another commented on the “lovely illustrations”. We’re lucky to have a brilliant team of designers and illustrators to bring our brand to life.
Make it fast
Filling out insurance forms online is normally quite slow and difficult, particularly on a mobile device. At the beginning of Homelyfe we spent a lot of time thinking how to make the experience of filling out a form as quick as possible, so it was great to hear our users expressing how simple and convenient it was to get a quote. I’m often surprised at how the simplest features, like how the app autocompletes when typing, end up being some of the most liked and valuable things for our users. We have a lot more ideas on how to make this better but it was great to get such a positive reaction to what’s normally quite a frustrating process.
Explain the unexplained of insurance
The insurance industry is full of legal terms and jargon and whilst it’s an insurance company’s job to know them inside out, it’s unfair to expect customers to be as clued-up. It’s always been our mission to demystify insurance without glossing over the details, so we designed our app to let users zoom in and out of detail as they need to rather than just subjecting them to pages of complicated policy wordings. It was great to see users making the most of this and allowing them to get the information that was relevant for them quickly and easily.
We also got some great reminders that some ideas, while they now seem obvious to everyone at Homelyfe, can be really confusing to people when they see them for the first time! There’s definitely more work to be done in parts of the app to make our message clearer and more intuitive, and we’ll be taking full advantage of the mobile canvas to do just that.
Put customers in control
At Homelyfe we always want our users to feel in control. It was great to hear one user, having been asked to cancel their policy and discovering how simple it was, say:
“From a customer standpoint that’s fantastic, but from a business standpoint do you not want to make that harder? It took me no time at all and you haven’t even tried to make me feel guilty about it!”
No, we don’t: it’s your policy, and we designed the app to make it as easy as possible for you to make changes whenever you want, including cancelling your policy. It’s the way insurance should be.
Knowing this vital information prior to launch, we knew what needed polishing, what words or phrases need tinkering, and what kinks needed to be smoothed out. We set about making that feedback a reality and now the app is available to download from the App Store. We would like to thank all our users for their input, we couldn’t do this without you.
Blog by Michael Murphy, Product Director