This national insurance company is an industry leader with nearly 15,000 agencies across North America. They currently sell many major lines of insurance, including home, life, auto and several investments products. The agents were struggling with many old systems that hindered their ability to manage business and generate business for the insurance company. Though the company has a number of initiatives to collect agent feedback, they felt that they weren’t hearing or addressing the agents’ true needs. Knowing that they were moving both to a new platform and to a new business model they wanted to use a process to redesign the whole human-technical system.

Over several projects, InContext worked in multiple cross-company teams where the insurance team members were trained in Contextual Design and worked and learned alongside InContext team members. InContext managed the project and ensured quality deliverables on time. Together the whole team gathered field data to understand the work of agents’ selling insurance and financial products. This included their relationship to each other, their clients, their staff, and to the company.

From the initial strategic project, the overall workflow, access to information, and use of technology was understood and redesigned to address key issues. For example:

  • How to get and track all customer information in one place
  • How to access and monitor the health of the agent’s business
  • How to simplify getting quotes and closing deals

With this strategy in place we worked together on follow-on projects to flesh out the detailed requirements and to validate the process, function, and user experience through iterative testing with agents. Finally, we worked on the first release specifying the specific function and user interface design fitting it to the requirements of the portal platform.


Initial review of the direction by the agents received rave reviews. They were especially excited about being able to more easily get their business metrics and basic customer and policy information needed on a daily basis. The company is currently following a roadmap to slowly achieve the rest of the goals identified through these projects.