Elevating FSLSO’s Digital Presence: A user-centric approach to information architecture and design
Surplus Lines Insurance is a segment of the insurance market (<10%) that deals with coverages that fall outside of standard insurance markets.
The Florida Surplus Lines Service Office (FSLSO) steps in to connect agents with the resources they need to estimate fees, file, and comply with regulatory laws.
By serving as a resource to insurers, agents, and regulators, FSLSO had amassed a large content set that served a multitude of audiences. Little was known about the performance of the site and users’ information needs. The organization’s primary online property appeared dated and difficult to navigate.
It was time to rethink how users interacted with fslso.com.
We saw an opportunity to elevate FSLSO’s presence in the market as a modern service provider and improve the interaction its users had with the brand.
FSLSO asked that we redesign fslso.com to create a more accessible experience for their users and to develop a content strategy for manageable content upkeep.
Led by our senior business analyst we launched an audit and research phase where we examined years worth of content entry to discover a treacherous information tree: dead links, missing or inconsistent structures (labels, headers, sub-headers), outdated and duplicate content.
A content audit gave us a true understanding of the breadth information on the site and allowed us to catalog and eliminate redundancies.
We sought direct end-user feedback by launching a survey campaign on the existing FSLSO website. User input filled gaps in Google Analytics reports and helped us discover desired features.
A series of card sorting exercises would become the foundation of a new navigation structure for their users.
We encouraged FSLSO’s subject matter experts to arrange and rearrange our audited information tree with the goal of finding common groups (categories) and clear, concise labels (menu items) for a new navigation structure.
1. Card deck from our audited list of pages.
2. Desk of sections and labels to group the first deck.
3. Blank cards to allow FSLSO’s team to create new labels and sections in case the existing one no longer applied.
Our team listed every page on the site and requested that FSLSO’s content team fill in the blanks: title, subtitles, tags, downloads, links, body content, author, expiration date, etc. Assigning an author and and expiration date would help our client stay relevant.
Armed with a new, more concise, information architecture, I began an iterative design journey. AB-Testing concepts ensured that design choices were sound and tested positive for findability (can users find it within 3 seconds) and expectation (can users accurately infer where they are going after each click).
Informed by three months of research and exploration we set out to create a user-centric roadmap to redesign: first through thorough content auditing, and then by analyzing behavior, roles, needs, and existing information habits.
The new fslso.com supported our hypothesis: our audiences ranged across demographic and specialization, but their information needs were related to tasks, not role. They all need to estimate coverage fees, learn about ways to file their policy documents, and review compliance forms and procedures.
Our training ensured content entry matched our recommended content strategy with the goal to ensure FSLSO stays a key resource for surplus lines agents.