User Research for SCIP: Product development close to daily business
For Sapiens Germany, developing software for insurance companies also means regularly testing the software "on the living object". This means observing and interviewing the people who work with our software. User research has always been part of our service portfolio, so it's obvious to put our own product SCIP to the test.
Background to the most recent qualitative research project was design and user guidance updates as part of the SCIP 11 release. Users have already been working with the new user interface for several months, so we wanted to identify potential usability problems as a basis for improvement.
Selected method: Participant observation
In order to find out what works well and what not, we decided to use the User Safari research method followed by a short interview. This is a participant observation in which the respondent is observed in his or her familiar working environment, performing daily tasks. The aspect of "thinking aloud" is also essential here: By asking users to think aloud, unconscious actions are communicated to us. The observer has the opportunity to follow up in order to deepen certain facts.
In a subsequent short interview, the user is asked about his or her opinion and feelings. This serves to uncover Pains and Gains that could not be recognized by pure observation.
SCIP Core is part of the SCIPSuite, which seamlessly integrates digital sales and automated policy management. Accordingly, contract administration, claims creation and processing are the focus of our research. The test subjects are usually clerks who work intensively with SCIP on a daily basis, enabling us to gain valuable insights.
- In order to be able to improve SCIP in the long term, we focused on the most important use cases.
- How does the user organize himself?
- How does task management work?
- How are objects searched?
- How are calls/emails from customers documented?
- How is work done with documents?
- Interaction between SCIP and other tools: What is used and how?
At the same time, we also observe how the user journey is going: Where do the clicks go? Where does the user get "stuck"? What works well/efficiently?
What have we learned?
Gaining insight is at the heart of every research endeavor. It's the only way to improve a product based on valid user feedback, not just assumptions. What we learned at the last User Safari in particular is how clerks actually work in the context of digitalized insurance.
SCIP is used extensively in the day-to-day operations of an insurer: It starts with an overview of an existing policy or reported claim. That's why it is important to give the clerk access to all relevant details, such as upcoming changes, tasks, comments and documents.
Insights into very specific work practices also emerge, which can help with future design decisions: What is the user's scrolling and clicking behavior? How are forms and menus navigated? How is the URL being worked with? How are the browser's own functionalities such as browser back and tabs used?
Last but not least, the large amount of positive feedback confirms that with SCIP we have developed a helpful, lightweight PAS that lives up to our mission "Make insurance feel simple".
Recommendations for action & action items
What happens after the data collection? After processing the results and identifying quick wins, we usually compare the costs and benefits of the recommended actions. The evaluation and prioritization of the action items is finally handed over to the R&D team. Analogously, the recommendation and handover of the result documentation to the respective customer team represents the conclusion of the user research.
In the process, a distinction is always made between what benefits the product across all products and customers and what is product-specific or only relevant in customer-specific work processes.
Sapiens Germany considers User Research to be the ideal instrument for continuous improvement of products. Therefore, we will continue to apply User Research to our product portfolio.