- Date: June 30, 2017
- By: Tony Olson
Ah, the redesign project.
Smart people. A conference room. A big whiteboard. Stacks of Post-It notes. An array of laptops humming. The smell of fresh coffee.
It's exciting to build new. New is fun. New feels productive. New feels world-changing.
Before you take your turn at the whiteboard, however, consider these five things for a successful insurance portal redesign.
1. Revisit Your Goals
Does this project have goals rooted in portal usage with a relatable ROI? Cost savings or revenue increasing? Is the idea to increase downloads, raise form submission rates, or get more live chat sessions?
Or is the redesign the result of a directive from company leadership, with vague requirements like "make it more user-friendly" or "make it easier to use"?
The decision to opt for a redesign often comes straight from the top. For example, an owner or C-level executive demands a design overhaul simply to prove their digital savviness or self-worth. Egocentric design is a brand’s worst nightmare, as it’s devoid of substance and lacks strategic input from real-world data that could otherwise determine which aspects of a product are working fine and worth salvaging.Kissmetrics.com
The most successful redesign efforts start with actionable data based on qualitative and quantitative analysis.
- How is the current site being used?
- Where do people drop out?
- What percent of form submissions are successful?
- What are the most popular entry points?
- How long are people staying on the site?
With solid, data-based goals in place it will be much easier to determine if your redesign efforts are working or not. Don't forget to interview your customers. Otherwise you might have great data, but no actionable changes to make.
2. Work Incrementally.
Starting over is risky. It doesn't take much research to find companies that completely redesigned their websites and lost most of their traffic as a result.
Every couple of years, your organization realizes what a mess they’ve made and a redesign is called for. Redesign is rehab for content marketing. Call in the agencies. Let’s put some fresh lipstick on the pig. And while you’re at it can we tie a nice bow around its neck? One with a QR code on it? Or something that’s the latest fad, whatever it is.Gerry McGovern.com
Odds are there's a lot of good to be said about your current site. It was birthed from another room of smart people with coffee and laptops working around a whiteboard.
Should you really throw it all away?
Small simple fixes can accomplish far more than expensive redesigns. SmashingMagazine.com
Set aside the big redesign project. Instead, find the current pain points on your portal and focus on improving them.
3. Audit Your Content
Do you know what content is even on your site? Past that, do you know what content is being accessed by users?
I’ve heard a rumor that 90% of Microsoft.com’s content has never, ever been accessed. Not once. But it’s just a rumor. And you didn’t hear it here.SmashingMagazine.com
Redesigning the entire site or working incrementally - how much easier would your project be if you only had to rework 10% of the content?
Take the time to do a content audit and get rid of the unused cruft.
4. Check Back With Users
How old is your current design? Since that was launched, has your portal team stayed in contact with users?
Don't feel bad if the answer is "no". You aren't alone. Once big redesign projects are done teams often disperse and move on to other projects.
Fire up that internal user research effort again. Talk to users. Find out if their needs for interacting with you have shifted over time. Do they use differentdevices now? Has their family structure changed? Do they want different projects now that they are older?
Be useful. Answer questions that customers truly want answered but traditional marketers hate to answer, such as: total cost, who your competitors are, product weaknesses, how to install, etc. Have a much smaller website but constantly test it with your customers, evolving and refining it based on evidence of what customers do. You win attention today by paying attention to your current customers, not by constantly trying to grab the attention of potential ones.GerryMcGovern.com
5. Fight the Good Fight
You might be tempted to implement a feature that makes your life easier. Remember this is your customer's tool! It just happens that when they use the portal, it saves you money and grows your business.
You know this.
You'll need to keep reminding everyone else. As my grade school Latin teacher said "Repetitio est mater studiorum" (Repetition is the mother of learning).
Feel free to reach out and contact us with your specific insurance portal questions. We're happy to help!