How Indiana Farmers Insurance Applied User-Focused Product Design to Revamp Their Agent Portal

Insurance agents have a responsibility to make sure their clients have the right insurance coverages to meet their needs. To stay informed on insurance coverages and policy options, they need access to easy-to-use, informative, and powerful tools. Key in this toolset is the insurance carrier’s agent portal, where they can gather information and perform transactions on behalf of clients.

Indiana Farmers Insurance is an auto, home, farm and business insurance company that sells policies to their customers through independent agents located throughout the state of Indiana. The Indiana Farmers Insurance team partnered with Innovatemap because they were expanding to become a multi-state carrier and needed a platform that could grow with them as they added new states. Navigation and organization of the aging agent portal had been based on company workflows, rather than agent workflows, and the company wanted a more intuitive system that agents could easily navigate.

Problem

When Indiana Farmers Insurance was exploring the possibility of expanding into new markets, they knew that their agent portal had not scaled with them.

At almost two decades old, the Indiana Farmers Insurance agent portal was not complementing the changing workflows of the agents who were supposed to be using that portal to manage their daily business and help service customers. And because the product wasn’t intuitive, Indiana Farmers Insurance underwriters were spending most of their time on the phone with new agents answering questions about what should be intuitive functionality.

Because there was much to accomplish, the Indiana Farmers Insurance team wanted to make sure they concentrated on making changes that had the biggest impact on agents and improved the ease of doing business for them. After all, this product hadn’t been revisited in years, and simply slapping on a shiny new UI wouldn’t solve the problem at hand.

Indiana Farmers Insurance wanted to provide their insurance agents with an intuitive, usable, and valuable agent portal that would make their daily lives easier and make them feel confident offering Indiana Farmers Insurance products to clients.

Solution

In order to truly understand the daily workflows, problems, and opportunities of an insurance agent, we started by talking to them. We conducted in-depth user research to gain a deep understanding of what they currently do, what they need, what pains they’re feeling when they navigate the current Indiana Farmers Insurance agent portal, and more. We dug deeper to see where they were spending their time, what their daily workflows looked like, and where they had created their own workarounds. From this in-depth research came significant insights to guide solution definition.

Once we had the solution defined, we got to work redesigning the entire agent portal. The process began with hero screens to communicate the new high-level product vision and reorganized, intuitive information architecture. Once the hero screens had painted a picture of everything this product could be, it was time to prioritize the MVP, defining the most significant feature set that would solve the most pressing problems for users.

Working from the product MVP definition, the Innovatemap design team began production design to create every single screen you’d come across in the new agent portal. And as these production designs were created, we worked with the company’s internal development team to equip them with what they needed to bring these screens to life.

Result

Through our partnership, we were able to create a beautiful, intuitive portal that insurance agents want to use. By beginning with user research, we designed a product around existing user workflows and were able to better address their pains. The input from users allowed us to design a portal that enabled them to do their jobs better, faster, and more easily than ever before. And going forward, the Indiana Farmers Insurance team is empowered with the foundation and insights to build and scale their agent portal in the future.

Tips

  • Technology isn’t just a box that needs to be checked for your business; it should be rooted in the problems your users are trying to solve to ensure that you’re providing a valuable and usable experience.
  • Internal input is a very good source to build a hypothesis of potential issues with your digital product, but in order to truly understand you need to venture outside the organization and talk to the people who are using your product every day.
  • Technology, when built correctly, doesn’t replace people; it empowers them to be better at their jobs and spend their time adding more value to the business.