Pixel Delights - User Experience Design Portfolio of Gareth Howlett - Quote Me Happy

Quote Me Happy

taking the dread out of buying insurance online

COMPANY: Quote Me Happy | INDUSTRY: Insurance | TYPE: Product strategy and design


Quote Me Happy was the UK's first online only motor and home insurance provider allowing users to purchase and manage their policies online 24/7.

I joined Quote Me Happy as Lead UX Designer to redesign the customer quote journeys and tackle the increasing failure demand on the customer operations team.

my role

I worked in-house at Aviva’s The Digital Garage in London where I led the re-design of the Quote Me Happy home and motor insurance quote journeys for responsive and adaptive web since the outset of the project in December 2016.

Up until April 2017, I led efforts to evolve the service and address customer pain points related to browse, discovery and payment experience.

Customer Insights & ideation

I worked with the customer board to uncover insights and translate concepts into features that addressed customer behaviors and motivations.

Experience Strategy & Vision

I created prototypes to share the vision, design principles and content strategy. This helped to evangelise ideas, gain alignment and drive decision-making.

Planning & Scope Definition

I defined the product with my project manager partners. I evangelised customer goals and balanced business goals.

Oversight & Coordination

I collaborated with backend designers to translate product features for each device context.

Design Execution & Validation

I designed down on mobile first, then onto tablet and desktop. I executed journeys, wireframes, prototypes and design specs.


I designed up and presented works to gain buy-in from executives, senior stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle.

the challenge

The business objectives were clear from the outset; reduce drop off rates, increase conversions, increase retention, reduce operational costs and create talkability. But we also needed to go above and beyond these improvements.

2015 saw the birth of InsurTech companies in the UK. Their goal; to change and renew the insurance sector and in doing so promote competition and make insurance more customer-friendly, cheaper and easier.

Once pioneers with our ‘online only’ business model, we had the task to boost our position ahead of competitors, reimagine what insurance meant to consumers today and deliver it in an innovative way.


In conjunction with marketing analyst data and analytical data available to me; the main challenge was sorting through the findings to reveal meaningful patterns.

The quantitative research helped us see the “what”, but it didn't really reveal the “why”. The Marketing Manager and I interviewed customers not just to validate the other sources of data, but also as a basis for determining how the new design could deliver dynamic content to specific user segments.

I interviewed executive leaders, product, marketing, sales, and customer support teams which I cross-referenced the results with feedback from user interviews and support email transcripts.

A kick-off session was held and together we ran an audit on the existing quote journeys which we mapped out, while stakeholders added their thoughts with Post-it notes next to each step. Together, the team then discussed all of the perceived roadblocks and opportunities.


The audit and user feedback of the exiting quote journey uncovered common problems

Poor sign posting

Users were unclear on what to do on some sections and where to go

Weak confirmations

Left unsure if tasks were completed successfully and no clear “next step” messaging


Punished when entering data in the wrong format. Rigid quote journey due to legacy issues

Poor mobile support

No optimised design for mobile had users pinching and panning through the quote journey

Confusing Price Tables

Complicated and weak pricing structure

Busy User Interface

Poor visual flow and hierarchy had users scanning the page for guidance and order


We took a Lean UX approach; aligning business strategy with a lightweight design process through constant “learning loops” (build – measure – learn).

Based on all the initial research and our kick off sessions, I was able to quickly design a few incremental changes to the existing quote journey or as they were called “quick win solutions” for validation with multivariate tests. This was seen as Sprint 0.

Axure1 Axure2 Axure3

While the development team worked away on Sprint 0; I coupled with the BA and development team to plan out the timeline of the redesign

We prioritized features with involvement from the developers, based on feasibility and impact against the brief.


Due to time constraints I alternated between sketching and prototyping. I generated ideas about the arrangement of UI, functional and data elements, and interactive behaviours.

Starting broad, the vision began evolving into something tangible. A high‐level design language, interactions and the sites anatomy began to piece together.

Prototyping with Axure was the most effective way to gain meaningful feedback from the team, consensus from stakeholders and approval from senior leadership. I was able to easily distribute these as videos and recycle them for Usability Testing.

From The Digital Garage’s Customer Lab, I tested with internal teams and users throughout, from testing paper prototypes to working with our wireframes and on to visual design. The voice of the customer is always present throughout the process. As a designer, this extra voice in your ear is critical. It doesn’t make all the decisions for you, but it helps you find your direction.

My next step involved slicing the comps and piecing them together with Principle or Proto.io into a prototype. Later phases allowed me to focus on micro‐interactions, which I created in Principle.

Without being a distraction of trivialising the product, the transitions on the site were chosen to strike a balance between reinforcing context and creating an engaging and compelling interface.


Our vision for Quotemehappy.com was for users to get an insurance quote nearly twice as fast, on any kind of device. Delivering contextual delights along the way and being fully transparent.

Breaking the user input process into smaller, more manageable 'question sets' that are presented to the user one at a time. By breaking the process into steps or subtasks, we can provide detailed guidance for each step as well as adapt according to what the user has already entered, providing a cleaner and more personalised experience.


Sprint 0 went live, as planned. However, the team couldn’t just rest on their laurels. We cross-referenced live site data in Google Analytics, paying close attention to the following metrics:

• Conversion rate • Submission rate • Drop-off rate • Goal completion •Failure Demand impact

The team only examined vanity metrics like bounce rate and time on page to create context for the core KPIs mentioned above.

To continue optimizing the design, the Analytics team ran more heat mapping tests and more usability tests.


On my departure from QMH, Sprint 0 of the redesign showed a success rate of 65%.

Increase in Home Insurance Sales

Increase - Quote to Conversions

Decrease - Drop Off Rates

Decrease Failure Demand


In this project, I really learned that my small, agile team works great together, even remotely. We were under a ton of pressure and the output required from each individual was extremely high. Even so, we pulled through together and delivered on time.

Despite the fact that we hit our deadlines, we could have made it easier on ourselves by setting a more explicit scope and continually refocusing our stakeholders on the project goals. As the project (Sprint 0) neared completion, the scope seemed to increase dramatically with new ideas and “nice to have’s” that weren’t always aligned with our original KPI’s.

Maintain scope discipline in your MVP, but don’t be afraid to table new ideas discovered during testing for after launch.

I moved on from Quote Me Happy in April 2017 and I’m fully confident the team will continue to work towards my design spec.