Kellie Rae Carter | User Experience Designer

Property Evaluation Tool

My Role: Project Lead and Usability Analyst

Project Scope: 3 months

Design Problem: The project team was tasked with creating a tool to be placed within the Renter's Quote and Bind application that helped them estimate the amount of personal possessions that they needed to insure. The fear was that users underestimated the amount they needed to insure; for example, most people do not know that the average closet for a working professional holds approximately $5000 (replacement value) worth of clothes and shoes. Our team needed to create an easy-to-use, lightweight tool to work within the quote process.

UX Approach: The team consisted of four visual designers, and information architect, and myself, wearing dual hats as project lead and usability analyst. The first step was to conduct an extensive analysis of online tools used in the insurance and finance industries. This analysis featured almost 100 different tools and was used to help define key attributes for how online tools should support users. We also worked with business to define how renter's quotes are underwritten and how replacement costs are calculated.

Since we were working on a blue-sky visioning of tools for, the visual designers assigned to the project created several novel concepts for both the property evaluation tool and a larger, stand-alone property inventory tool. These concepts were assessed, revised, and refined over the course of a month leading up to usability testing. We conducted a RITE (Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation) study over the course of 2 weeks to validate the tool approach and concepts.

Result: At the end of the project, we had two separate tools, the property inventory tool and the property evaluation tool. The evaluation tool was implemented into the Renter's Quote and Bind application in 2010 (see screenshots to the right) and has contributed to an increase in the quote completion rate. The tool analysis part of the project also set standards for subsequent tool development for