The brief was to create an intuitive and task focused renewal process. The new journey would need to support the 225,000 AXA Home insurance customers.

Business requirements and objectives:

  • Needs to be optimised for mobile and touch devices.
  • Needs to provide more clarity and transparency around the elements of cover and options available to the customer to allow for simpler comparison and more informed decision making.

The approach

A user-centred design approach was adopted to make sure the final solution was designed with the end user in mind.  Research and analysis was carried out followed by a design and validation phase.


The first stage was to carry out user research to identify customer behaviour and any pain points at renewal. Listed below are some of the research areas and techniques which helped to gain this insight.

Identifying high frequency tasks and scenarios

From a research gathering perspective, a big frustration was the lack of any tracking, analytics or session recording software implemented on the current journey and within the customer account portal.

This meant there was no data to conduct a deep dive analysis into what tasks customers were performing.  It was important to find another way to identify key customer tasks at this stage to help aid the requirements gathering.


AXA has a call centre team dedicated to Home renewals and retention. We compiled a list of all tasks a customer could complete at renewal. The agents were able to rank them in order of how frequent customers were to carry out the tasks over the phone.

Based on feedback from 40 call centre staff, these were the top three tasks:

  • Renew my policy and change my payment card details
  • Renew my policy and change my payment option (eg. Monthly to annual payment)
  • Cancel renewal as found cheaper quote with a competitor

 “Customers want to be able to choose between annual and monthly payments at renewal. Just because they choose one option at new business doesn’t necessarily mean they want to continue with this option at renewal. We have a lot of customers whose personal circumstances change meaning they may not be able to afford paying out a lump sum and would prefer to break the payments down into monthly instalments…” Call Centre Staff member, 2015

The feedback from the call centre team helped to form the basis of our prioritised set of customer requirements.

Storyboarding the research findings

Once all the research had been gathered and validated, it was important to find the best approach to communicate these findings to the wider business and stakeholders in a visually and engaging way. Storyboards were created to highlight the most common and frequent pain points experienced by customers.


Renewal behaviours and beliefs

  • As long as the price is competitive and they have not had a bad experience with the provider, customers are generally happy to renew.
  • Changing providers is a frustrating experience that customers would rather avoid.
  • Customers have already decided whether they are happy to renew before they get to the online journey.
  • Unless an automatic renewal customer wants to make a change to their policy they are less likely to access their renewal online than a manual renewal customer.


Creating personas

To aid the design phase, task based personas were created to help communicate the research insights and user goals. They are an important tool in helping to remember the end user throughout the entire design process.


Identifying the primary persona from research

It’s important at this stage to identify who are the primary personas. The needs of a primary persona will not be met if you design for someone else, whereas the other personas are likely to be satisfied with the primary personas screen flows and interface.

The primary personas were:

  • Claire – Claire is a manual renewal customer who wants to renew and change her payment details
  • Louise – Louise is a manual renewal customer who wants to renew and change from annual to monthly payments

Design principles

Design principles and customer requirements were created to ensure the final outcome was an intuitive and task focused user experience.

Overarching design principles for the new journey:

  • Avoid a prolonged journey by allowing customers to access their renewal from their renewal reminder email in 2 steps.
  • Ensure that the key tasks identified at the research phase could be easily completed.
  • Create a clean and clutter free interface to allow the user to quickly and easily digest the relevant information.
  • Reduce the amount of steps in the process for a customer to complete their renewal.
  • Help to guide the user through the journey with clear and concise messaging.
  • Offer incentives to customers looking to cancel their renewal to help drive retention.

Prototyping and iteration

Interactive prototypes were built to test the concepts. The prototypes included all interactions to allow us to see in usability testing how a user would interact with the screens.

Usability testing the prototypes
Usability testing the prototypes

The final concept

The final concept was a fully interactive prototype based on insights from research and iterated on based on several rounds of usability testing.