A UX partner acts as an external champion for the user and helps make the user's voice central to an organisation’s digital development. Working on multiple projects means we have learnt what makes Zurich tick: the accumulated learnings have helped ensure Zurich staff increasingly walk in the user’s shoes.

  • Background

    We have been Zurich’s UX partner on 8 projects so far, 5 of those in the last 18 months. They like us for our direct, no-nonsense approach and steadfast championing of the user. We love their willingness to embrace honest user feedback and work out how best to address it within their corporate constraints. The pensions industry has undergone significant change in the last five years, with 2016’s changes being the most radical. Zurich has to keep up with these changes, redeveloping their website and tools to meet user needs, while keeping competitive and remaining compliant with industry regulation. Like many large companies, Zurich‘s product teams tend to develop vast expertise within their own area and it isn’t easy for them to distill this down, so they can provide the content users really need.

  • What we did

    We have user tested a series of prototypes for Zurich, for different parts of their pension and investment sites. Their sites can provide information, but must not give advice, while users just want to know what to do with their money. Understandably Zurich’s internal compliance team can get very twitchy. These tensions have made for some tough user testing sessions for the Zurich observers in the last year.

    The testing helps the core team clarify what users really need and want. They can identify where internal constraints are impacting on them providing the right type and level of content. Our testing provides the evidence they need to prove this and the discussion we have about what action would address these issues means they can work out the solution to the problem.

    Zurich ensures that as well as their core development team observing the user testing sessions, they also expose key stakeholders to the process. They say watching one tester struggle with content which a stakeholder has previously championed is more effective than several hours of circular meetings based on internal focus and opinion! If stakeholders can’t watch the user testing sessions live, Zurich uses highlight videos of the sessions to position the user at the centre of decision making.

    Web Usability can take the learnings from all the user research we have completed for Zurich and make sure those learnings are applied to each new project. So even though the product teams involved will be different, we ensure previous insights are not lost.

  • Outcomes

    For each project the Zurich teams, drawn from across the business, are able to agree the key issues and next steps in one day of testing. This allows them to rework pages as necessary with a clearer user-led steer and to retest those pages before final development. More importantly, the continuity of the relationship with us means Zurich is building a user centric approach to digital development across the business.