The summer of 2017, I interned at a seed funded insurtech startup called Sureify at their headquarters in San Jose, California. Sureify focuses on building enterprise engagement tools for Life Insurance companies. As a UX intern, I performed market research, restructured their backend platform IA and designed new features for their web and mobile offerings.

A glimpse of my array of deliverables

About Sureify

Sureify has built a white-labelled enterprise software platform (LifeTime platform) that enables life insurers to acquire, engage, and cross-sell throughout a customer’s lifetime. The LifeTime platform constitutes the following features:
Apply & Buy
Web and mobile sales enablement for online policy purchase with automated underwriting.
Consumer Experiences
The central touchpoint of engagement between the life insurance company and its policyholders. Available for android, iOS and web platforms.
Health & Wellness
The Sureify platform can connect with 400+ devices and fitness applications eg. fitbit, apple health, etc to monitor and track activity.
Insurer engagement and data analytics center

The Sureify Team

My Role

The internship was fast paced and highly collaborative. I was working closely with the Lead Product Designer and Product Manager at Sureify. I performed the following activities :-
  1. Market Research to understand the Life Insurance startups.
  2. Heuristic Evaluation to identify UX issues with the mobile application.
  3. Redesigned a phase one of Sureify’s life insurance engagement platform(SASS) with a scalable Information Architecture.
  4. Contributed in the design of the life insurance quote and purchase flow which increased user engagement and helped the company bag more clients.
  5. Designed sales and marketing materials like emails and decks.
Post summer, my internship got extended and I am currently ideating and designing new features for Sureify’s consumer facing products.

Market Research

I performed market research to get acclimated to the Life insurance industry and identify the different types of Life Insurance startups present in the market. Below I have distilled the knowledge gained in short bites supported by visuals for better understanding. The insurance startup industry has mainly focused on five categories

1.  Life Insurance Apply & Buy Startups

These startups have created their own life insurance policies and are backed by big re-insurers like Fidelity, Hannover RE, MassMutual, Vantis, etc. They are essentially digital life insurance companies that could be building a digital life insurance platform for their re-insurers.
apply and buy startups

2.  Life Insurance companies using the Vitality program

These are insurance companies that adopted the Vitality Health and Wellness solution for their policyholders. Vitality is used by health and life insurance companies to reward policyholders to maintain an active lifestyle. They offer incentivized points-based challenges to redeem points on gift cards, movie tickets, etc. Vitality is fairly widespread and adopted by major insurance organizations around the world. Similar to Vitality, there are Virgin Pulse and go365 that follow the same approach for other industries like corporate and private organizations.
vitality and its adoption by different companies.

3. Building a white label product for insurance companies

These are startups that not only follow a similar model as Vitality for health and wellness, but also are creating a white-label product for life insurance companies to better engage with their policyholders. These startups provide the insurance companies access to a lifetime worth of health data to improve their insurance policies for the betterment of their policyholders.
engagement focused life insurance startups

4. Insurance companies investing in wearables

Wearables are here to stay and they are being leveraged by many startups in auto, health and life insurance. Startups in auto insurance are creating automobile tracking devices to monitor the health of a vehicle to improve auto insurance for their customers. Eg. Metromile and Progressive. Health insurance startup, Oscar is partnering with Fossil for misfit wearables and AXA a large life insurance corporation is using Withings Pulse for their customers.
wearable focused life insurance startups

5. AI focused on-demand consumer products insurance startups

These startups are the most heavily funded of them of all. Property & Casualty startups offer protection for home and renters insurance and on-demand consumer goods like a cellphone, expensive jewelry, etc. The uniqueness of these startups is that they are AI focused with conversational UI based apply and buy process. They also offer rapid claims resulting in a fast and pleasant claim experience.
one-demand p and c startups

Where does Sureify stand right now?

where is sureify right now

Where should Sureify aim to be?

where should sureify aim to be?

Heuristic Evaluation

heuristic evaluation image
I performed Heuristic Evaluation of the mobile app experience to identify usability problems with the app interface. Below I have mentioned a few issues I discovered based on the heuristic principles suggested by the Nielsen Norman Group.

1. No provision to resolve access code errors

Users do not have an instant solution to resolve access code errors incase the user forgets his/her access code. Although the help documentation mentions the required solution, it would be better if the user is directed upfront.
access code heuristic error

Heuristic – Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors

2. Repeated text and improper use of whitespace

Repeated text elements and an obscure close icon. The video text should provide more context to the user about the contents of the video.
repeated text and bad use of whitespace heuristic error

Heuristic – Aesthetic and minimalist design

3. Contact support error message

Error message should offer an action that guides the user to a solution. The system informs user about error information but no action. The system design needs to employ options to contact support if the system crashes or becomes unresponsive.
tech support error with correct action

Heuristic – Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors

Information Architecture

My main task in this internship was to rethink the design of the current insurer engagement and data analytics platform of Sureify. The design of the existing system was broken and the information architecture wasn’t in the right place to scale the product with additional features. Sureify needed an effective IA.

How did I achieve a scalable and systematic IA ?

Step 1

Auditing the Web application

1. Performed a walkthrough of all the screens 2. Thinking aloud the actions on each stage 3. Experienced errors with the user flow 4. Noted misplaced backlinks and other dev bugs 5. Identified all the tabular data and their operations 6. Overall, documented the experience, sitemap and features on a shared Google doc.
questions we asked while auditing the app

The questions asked while auditing the application

Step 2

Documenting the existing IA and identifying problems

1. We found a mismatch between the primary navigation elements and the content displayed 2. Discrepancy between the organization of the primary navigational elements and corresponding secondary elements. 3. The IA was not scalable to accommodate new application features 4. Overall, the navigational structure needed a revamp I whiteboarded the current system sitemap and analyzed the relationship between the primary and secondary navigation. I was looking for patterns where I can club similar pages together which logically make the most sense.
current sitemap

Fig. Existing system sitemap

Step 3

Card Sorting

Performing card sorting with the lead designer of the team helped me logically identify and narrow down the different pages of the insurer engagement center.
card sorting activity

Fig. Analyzed the current system sitemap and performed card sorting activity

The Outcome

I came up with a scalable structure which gave Sureify a place to logically add new secondary features under the correct primary elements.
new sitemap

Fig. Rethinked Sitemap

What Improvements were made to the navigation with the new IA ?

existing design

Fig. Existing Insurer Engagement Center

redesigned dashboard

Fig. Redesigned Insurer engagement center

 Design Decisions

Primary Navigation The existing navigation structure was enclosed in a drop-down menu which reduced the visibility of the available options. It was also confusing for the user to differentiate between the primary and secondary navigation.

Fig. Difficult to differentiate between primary and secondary navigation.

Rethinking the primary header

current header

Fig. Existing header

Post card sorting I was able to come up with the essential higher level navigation structure which eliminated the dropdown menu. The unused whitespace gave me enough space to effectively organize the primary navigation elements. This increased discoverability of the higher order pages.

redesigned header

Fig. Redesigned header

Secondary Navigation and Sub Menus The arrowheads and highlights in the sub-menu were confusing since both the feature and sub feature were highlighted. The redesign corrected the collapse/expand arrowheads and only the expanded menu and selected feature were highlighted. To make the active state clear, we prefixed a colored border. This made the feature selection clear.
sub menu design problem

Fig. Existing sidebar (left) and Redesigned sidebar (right)

Redesigning the content and inner pages based on the new IA

After the IA and navigation was organized the challenging part was to design all the internal screens. Due to NDA reasons I cannot share all my designs here. I designed 150+ screens. The screens are been tested and will be soon under development. This redesign is one of the biggest changes Sureify has made to their insurer engagement backend and I am glad to make an impact on it.
dashboard designs

Fig. Insurer Engagement Dashboard (Backend)

Designing the Apply & Buy Quote Process

The Apply and Buy process is a web and mobile sales enablement for online policy purchase with automated underwriting. It is a simplified solution which tells you the coverage you need and helps you purchase the right life insurance policy within minutes instead of days. To learn more watch this short video below.


Why is it so complicated to buy Life Insurance ?

Insurance companies are not meeting the expectations of today’s customers. We are in a time where everything is accessible with the touch of a button. People can book a ride and get their lunch delivered using their devices. But, when it comes to life insurance everything seems to come to a halt. Consumers have to go through a very long application form, they have to have a fluids test done in most cases and there is an underwriting period that lasts upto 60 days at times.


How might we recreate the entire customer journey of purchasing Life Insurance as a web and mobile experience ?


We created a simplified process that makes it easy for a user to apply and buy a life insurance policy with the touch of a button.

Detailed process coming soon….