kmh@kayremichelle.net

Kayre Michelle Hylton, User Experience Researcher and Usability Professional





Simulation

The Goal: Understand the end-to-end experience a customer has with Nationwide across policies and channels, from an internal process perspective.

Additional Team Members: None

The Approach: My clients had a newly developed system that had been thoroughly tested on a task by task basis, but not in an end-to-end way. I created scenarios that simulated the duration of a customer's relationship with Nationwide, over ownership of three key products (Auto, Homeowners, and Umbrella). The scenarios covered purchase, various policy changes, and cancellations. The scenarios also covered the customer performing these actions in various channels (call center, personal agent, online).

I set the study up in a Usability Testing Center facility that had three separate testing rooms. The customer was in one room, and was the only participant given a script or instructions. All other participants represented Nationwide agents or employees, and cycled through the other two rooms as needed, depending on the task. Participants who interfaced directly with the customer (e.g., agents) had their tasks triggered via a telephone call from the customer. Participants who did not interface directly with the customer (e.g., underwriters) had their tasks triggered by system notifications, caused by the actions of other users. Some tasks required the passage of time, and I was able to advance the date at appropriate times as we were in a testing environment.

This study allowed the team to validate how the new process worked across channels and roles, and over the passage of time. The team was also able to see any usability issues relating to the overall experience or transitions, and business partners who had previously worked on one section of the process would be able to appreciate how they fit in to the larger picture.

Outcomes:
While the simulation was planned out and a few dry runs were done, the official study was postponed due to other project constraints and has not been run yet.