The Ideal Insurance Client

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Arguably an insurance client who buys insurance and never has to claim is the ideal customer. From in-car telematics to wearables and body sensors, the Internet of Things (IoT) could enable insurance companies to support customers and steer them away from danger.

Imagine that you were about to renew your car insurance. One of the insurance companies offers an app that collects data about your location, driving behaviour and environmental conditions. In addition to the peace of mind insurance should typically give you, you also have a supportive and useful app designed to help reduce the likelihood of an accident. Sounds great, right? Developing this experience for insurance clients would lead to more satisfied clients and more renewals. But would you be willing to explore such a proposition, or would you be suspicious? Would you invest time using the app and in following the recommendations it gives you, or would you get bored after a few days? Would such risk mitigation reassure you that you were covered or worry you that the insurance company was going to use the information you had supplied to wriggle out of paying up in the case of a claim?

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TSB and the new world order

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As TSB prepares to be taken over by Banco Sabadell, their focus on physical branches is a notable move. In the face of increasing tendencies toward digital services, the purchase of 30 new outlets to add to a network of 265 flies in the face of many other high street banks’ strategies.

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Carl Sagan: users of the universe

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Professor Carl Sagan was a visionary. In his seminal TV series and accompanying book Cosmos, he sought to teach the general public not only about cosmology and more general science, but about the impact we are having on Earth. His ability to take an atemporal perspective on the impact of humanity on the planet was way ahead of its time in late 1970s, and still has it detractors 40 years later, but is essentially one of user experience. He warns us of the huge damage our desire to ‘improve’ our user experience of the planet will have for hundreds of thousands of years after we (as a race, let alone individuals) are gone. He reminds us of our insignificance in the history of Earth, and hopes to teach us to consider more than our own satisfaction in the way we live our lives.

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Derisking trading

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Risk has become a topic for constant discussion and assessment in investment banking. In an environment where instant messaging, process automation software and recording voice instructions increasingly via direct instruction from investors are just some of the methods by which orders are placed, good user experience design presents an opportunity to reduce risk for fund managers, traders, institutions, intermediaries and the end investor.

Creating an intuitive, usable and pleasing product using cognitive science and design thinking reduces the risk of errors made by end users, high training costs, user frustration and potential project failure, not even taking into consideration the business risk associated with the changing systems.

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Good design is an investment

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How much money you’ve spent and how much more money you’ve made as a result is not the only, or even the most important, way to gauge return on your investment. Making things great is not just about delighting peoples’ senses, but can produce a measurable gain.

  • A reduction in the time a business process takes is a return on your investment: you’ve saved time, and we all know that equals money.
  • Making processes easier for people to complete, reducing their required energy or commitment adds business value whether those people are staff or customers.
  • Artists make something look better, designers make it work better: making something look better is only half the battle. UX is about improving the feeling you have at the end of an interaction so it has to look good, and work well too.
  • In a world where there are lots of choices that all achieve much the same thing in the same amount of time, to look and behave exceptionally is a differentiator that counts.

At T&T, we believe that people are at the heart of most businesses and therefore, if you can make them feel delighted by using your product or service, you’ll do well. We design things to add value not only to your balance sheet, but your reputation too.

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Defensive experience design

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By making our environment more hostile, we become more hostile within it.

In cities across the UK, homelessness is a often problem that we choose not to see. It’s on the increase, as people struggle to make ends meet in austere times. Homelessness is not necessarily the fate of those who have made poor choices, but can simply be due to rapidly changing circumstances. The author of this piece in the Guardian tells us that he went from a six figure salary to homelessness in less than twelve months.

Architecture is user experience design in the most physical way: the structure should please our bodies and our minds. When it is deliberately designed to prevent people from stopping in those places, there is a greater effect than simply discouraging ‘loitering’.

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Being a catalyst to customer satisfaction, not a blocker!

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In our day-to-day lives we often encounter challenges in getting to our desired and often essential goal, especially when dealing with service providers. You may have a choice but in the end you have to do it somehow, e.g. choosing a pension provider or paying your council tax. In both cases you go on a ‘customer journey’.

The feeling you are left with can range from real satisfaction (“well that was cheaper and easier than I thought it would be!”) to outright frustration (“but I updated my address with you, and you’ve billed us – why don’t you have a record?”).

Just as we’ve talked about in another post recently it is still essential to provide several methods of going on this customer journey: face-to-face, over the phone and online. Doing it online can be the quickest and most empowering experience. Continue reading Being a catalyst to customer satisfaction, not a blocker!

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Cockney Rebels

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12 Bar Club
Image by Mel Pressmen
Seeing this article in the Guardian today about the eviction of the squatters on Denmark Street in Soho, London made me think a bit. A few years back the 12 Bar Club was one of my regular haunts. It was a chaotic and dirty, but personal and charming in a rock ‘n’ roll kind of way. Its demise is indeed indicative of what for me is a ‘paradigm shift’ (horrible phrase) in how we live now in London.

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