The importance of great user experience (UX) – and why you need to ask your digital partner about ISO 9241.

I’d be prepared to bet that everyone reading this will have had an interaction with a product or service that didn’t work the way they wanted it to. You’ll have been left frustrated, angry and confused.

74% of businesses believe user experience is key for improving sales

Econsultancy March 2013

Neither you nor I want your customers to feel this way about your website. During testing and development, the Quotall platform underwent various usability studies over a period of 18 months.

Would-be purchasers of business insurance for a range of different businesses were asked to navigate their way through a website and attempt to get a quote, buy and manage a policy.

We used technologies such as eye-tracking and heat mapping to identify which parts of the page got most eye contact, and which parts were ignored.

Further, we undertook user surveys to get a sense of what customers liked, disliked or just didn’t notice in terms of all their website experiences.

All of this work was undertaken with reference to ISO 9241. Before your eyes glaze over, don’t worry, I’m not going to cite chapter and verse from what is a rather big document. Just the top line stuff.

ISO 9241 covers the ergonomics of human-computer interaction. It looks at three key parameters:

  • Efficiency – How long does it take a user to do something, and in how many clicks?
  • Effectiveness – Was the user able to do what they wanted?
  • Satisfaction – Did the user have fun doing it?

I’m slightly paraphrasing the summaries there – but you get the idea. With a number of brokers and their digital partners now busy integrating the Quotall e-trade platform into their websites, I’ve received a number of emails and phone enquiries asking for advice about what I’d describe as ‘contextual integration’ and how to deliver the best customer experience.

  • Best practice navigation around and to the platform
  • Formation of words and how they provoke a user to respond
  • What ‘furniture’ should be on the page with the actual quote any buy platform

You need a digital partner who knows about ISO 9241.

If mention of it draws a blank look, concern yourself.

For someone paid to create the optimal user experience, through whatever device, ISO 9241 should be front of mind. If you are responsible for your own web design and development, and you’re not familiar with this stuff, you need to consider the benefits of professional insight.

If your users have a bad experience on your website, they won’t come back.

So not only have you lost a customer, you’ve increased the likelihood that your customer will go to a competitor. If your user has an okay experience on your website, but a better experience on your competitors website, they’ll go back to the competitor.

You can add all the features and functions you want but when it comes to customer loyalty and delivering a return on investment, the user experience offered has a far greater impact. All your new fancy features and functionality won’t bring a customer back to your website – but a great user experience will.

The difference between getting this stuff right and wrong can be massive.

One anecdote I found in our own user study acts as a microcosmic example of the impact little things can have.


The question ‘Could your business suffer from staff theft or dishonesty’ was rephrased to ‘Are losses from staff theft or dishonesty something you wish to cover?’ The answer to both versions of the question was unanimously ‘yes’, but only through asking the question the second way round did the tills ring for a sale…

So, I’ll ask you a question now.

Could your business benefit from professional digital marketing advice? No, wait, let me put it another way round. Would you like Quotall’s insurance marketing agency team to help you get the best from your e-trade investment?

Please contact us for further information.