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Can any of you suggest studies, usability test results and patterns for best insurance quote forms? How is this different from ecommerce checkouts or does much of the research around this also apply?

I'm currently redesigning an insurance quote process and have some exciting opportunities to make improvements, but would like to see what the state of play is before I go too much further. Any help or ideas much appreciated.

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closed as not constructive by ChrisF, Ben Brocka Aug 31 '12 at 14:55

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This is a really general question - a good starting point would be for you to do some competitor analysis to understand the state of play in the specific marketplace (including of comparison sites if those are used by your audience), and use this to focus on specific elements. – Peter Aug 24 '12 at 6:45
Hi Ken, I reworded your title to turn it into a question. Your issue seems rather broad, so does this title capture its full extent? – dhmstark Aug 24 '12 at 11:18

I have worked in this area (usability testing various insurance applications) quite a bit.

These are the most important aspects I've found via testing, and they have come up in the context of each system I've tested:

  • Information flow in the application matches agents' real-world tasks (there are several; interview agents and watch them work to understand this)

  • Data entry is fast and efficient; system does formatting and math instead of the user

  • System provides intelligent defaults

  • Questions make sense and have JIT help for terminology and decision support

  • System helps users feel confident that the result is correct

  • Inputs and outputs make sense for users' local agency systems; backend support for other systems used so no duplicate data entry is needed

Both ecommerce forms and tax-prep forms provide good (and sometimes not so good) models for complex form interactions like these.

Refer to "Forms that Work" book for usability-tested successful patterns, and when to use them:

and see also "Web Form Design" for principles of well-behaved forms

Test early and often with real agents.

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