Case Study

Auto Insurance

A mobile app that quickly enrolls a new customer for auto insurance

View Prototype

The Prompt

This was a design exercise that I worked on to redesign the auto enrollment experience based on Geico's current web site. For this assignment I was given a fictitious persona, Alex — a 32 year old business owner who uses his cell phone extensively and owns one car. In addition to this piece of data I talked to somebody who never bought auto insurance to understand a first time user perspective.

Competitive Research

Assessing the Landscape

Aside from Geico I looked at popular auto insurance companies such as Progressive and Allstate for UI and flow conventions among other features.


Geico allowed customers to skip some of the monotony of filling out forms via Facebook Connect.


Progressive detects vehicles based on user entered address.


Like Progressive, Allstate not only detects vehicles but also provides a more comprehensive list (up to three cars — Progressive was only able to find one).

Comparative Review

A Look at Other Industries

I looked to Intuit’s Mobile TurboTax app for inspiration on quick data capture. By taking a photo of their W-2, customers avoid long and painful form entry.

I also explored popular and well designed apps like Starbucks, Le Tote and Uber (to name just a few) to see how they handle some of the common data entry challenges in addition to observing conventions.


Starbucks inspired some of the form layout although I primarily leaned toward the Float Label Pattern in my design.


I considered the Uber’s set pickup location pattern as a way to jump start the form submission process since the address could be used to locate a person’s name and vehicle.

Le Tote

I looked at how Le Tote uses forms to quickly capture user information without being too tedious by using pictures and large buttons.

User Research

Framing the Problem

I interpreted the challenge as a balancing act. Alex needs to fill out the form quickly, however he also needs to understand what he’s doing. Filling out the form fast but lacking knowledge could lead to support calls inadvertently successfully meeting one metric but failing at the other.

In this regard, usability testing would be invaluable in getting a rough, first look to see if the prototype is working — better yet, A/B test it against a competitor such as Geico to see where it succeeds or fails.

Concept Evaluation


Although I didn’t have the time to draw out storyboards for this exercise — this would be the next step I would take to see if I’m moving in the right direction conceptually by eliciting quick and visceral reactions from users.

Taking a Picture

What if the user could take a picture of their vehicle registration using their phone to prefill the auto insurance forms.

Auto Assistant

What if you could pay somebody to fill out the insurance for you. What would you pay? Would you be willing to do it or would you have concerns?

Data Throwing

What if you started your auto quote on your desktop, got interrupted and left but were able to finish the rest via your smart phone based on where you left off?

Concept Evaluation

Data Capture & Organization

To reduce time entering fields I considered multiple channels and sources of data, From social networks such as LinkedIn or Facebook to DMV records, vehicle registration slips, driver’s license, Yellowpages, among others.

Data Synthesis

I mapped out and compared various channels against each other when capturing user data. Although a vehicle registration slip presented the most comprehensive data set I was worried that it might require the user to do too much work to find it so I decided to focus on extracting info from the driver’s license.

Data Categorization - Version 1

Data Categorization - Version 2

Concept Evaluation

Final Solution

Exploring Flows

I started by sketching out ideas for flows and making my assumptions explicit. These are a couple of rough sketches,

Data Categorization - Version 1

Data Categorization - Version 2

Happy Path Scenario

Below is a proposed ideal route. I would account for the different states and edge cases in the final design.

Mobile Design

Data Entry Method

Alex can choose from two methods of filling out the form

Take Photo of Driver's License

The photo option provides guidance on how to take a good picture

Scanning Data

This screen accounts for back-end processing and OCR time while assuring the user.


Based on the photo (ideal state) most info except for the e-mail address is filled out.


Again, ideally most info (including the fact that Alex has only one car) is captured. All he needs to do is add a bit of info.


I extracted this information from the first screen in order to ease Alex into this experience by gently getting him to put in a little bit of info at a time instead of bombarding him with many empty fields from the outset.


If this was interactive, depending on Alex’s answers additional fields would be revealed through progressive disclosure.

Final Quote

Final compact screen which highlights main info and reveals the rest through progressive disclosure.

Next Project
CMU Software Prototyping class

MindMappr 2016

Mindmapping web app to help students organize their notes.