How I’m Learning to Rapidly Design a New InsurTech Product
Life in a start-up
There’s been a flurry of activity since my last blog post but my main focus has been to continue designing key user journeys and screens for our new product, preparing for a presentation of our team’s progress to our partner broker/potential investor and taking a closer look at the skills and behaviours of a Product Manager.
User Experience and Screen Design
In my last blog I mentioned that I was iterating on the design of a key screen which had been the output of a design studio. I’ve been continuing to iterate on this design (incorporating feedback from user testing) and feel I’ve reached a point where I can draw a line under it for now. Sometimes I think you could iterate one screen forever more (all users have a slightly different viewpoints and preferences) but I believe the design now satisfies the majority of users so I’m to moving on to other user journeys and screen designs in the app.
Ahh, the other screens… SO MANY SCREENS!
So far I’ve listed around 45 screens but that’s just at a high-level — there will be many more in reality
It would be easy to get overwhelmed by the volume of designs I need to think through but I’m keeping in mind that this is our MVP so the release in November will not be the final product — there will be many more iterations and a chance to enhance and refine the functionality further in future releases.
I’ve priorotised each area of the app and am working on just a couple of journeys at a time. I’ve also created a “wireframe tracker” which has proved invaluable. In this I’ve listed all the screens, their current status (iteration 3 to review with team, testing round 2 in progress etc), and any open questions/comments. (Anyone who knows me will know I’m in my element with this tracker — putting my organisation and planning skills to good use!). Sharing this with my team has proved useful.
To help relieve some of my workload, we’re looking for a contract UI designer to help out a couple of days a week. I’d like them to provide the skills to make our product visually delight our users so I can focus my attention on the designing a good user experience and lo-fi wireframes. So in between designing I’ve also been helping my colleague with the recruitment (sourcing and screening candidates, interviewing and setting design challenges). We’ve not secured anyone just yet but I’m confident we’ll find our superstar designer soon!
Presenting our Progress to Potential Investors
Striking the right balance between spending my time on the release of our MVP, and designing key screens to illustrate the future of our product has been hard.
On the one hand, we need nail the design of our MVP as development is starting imminently, so this is a very high priority. However, we won’t get very far as a company without money. We therefore want to enable potential investors to visualise our future product so it’s important I spend time creating mockups of how we plan to solve the current problems of insurance broking and transform the market.
To do this, I’ve been helping my co-founders create a presentation pack. Investors are interested in how we aim to disrupt the industry and what makes us unique. We must demonstrate innovation, how powerful our team is and where we could take the business with the appropriate investment. My contribution has been to show the work we’ve done so far in identifying the current pain points of insurance broking (through the interviews, observations etc), how we propose to address those problems and the progress we’ve made on our designs through iterations and testing.
I’m really enjoying learning about the investment process in startups as this is something I’ve never been exposed to before. There seems to be a fairly well-trodden path but Konsileo are forging their own way, doing what works best for them.
Product Management Skills and Behaviours
Finally, I took some time out with my manager to talk about the skills and behaviours of a Product Manager. One thing we discussed at length was being “present”. As a natural introvert, I tend to hold back in certain meetings; preferring to internally analyse what is being discussed, reflect and then discuss with the relevant people later. However, it could be perceived that I’m being passive or less engaged by people who work differently to me so my personal goal is to demonstrate a new energy, asking more questions and commenting more in discussions.
The next few weeks are looking jam-packed! Aside from my day job, I’ve got a half day workshop at Bunnyfoot where the topic is designing delightful experiences and a couple of evening meet-ups (one on “Engaging the client or stakeholders with research outputs” which looks to be very promising, and an insurance related event).