Agent Portal Redesign Case Study

Making Stillwater Insurance Group more competitive by integrating multiple policy management tools in one place.  


The agent portal, aka FIRST, was in desperate need of an design overhaul. Many independent agents had complaints that the interface was difficult to use and a confusing place to get around in. An additional problem we needed to solve was that internal portal users (e.g. customer service) had to navigate multiple systems to manage clients – we intended to bring everything under one roof for our agents and customer service reps.


Created a web portal for agents that allow  a one-stop place to manage Stillwater Insurance Policies as well as book new customers. Most enhancements were a direct result of conducting extensive user research and analyzing competitors. For example, agents can now access relevant policy changes directly from their portal dashboard as well as having access to special alerts and announcements previously only accessed via email.

It was time for a change…

Here’s how I did it:


Research Methodologies

  • Contextual interviews with agents
  • Business unit stakeholder interviews
  • Competitor audits – State Farm, Esurance, and Farmers
  • Usability studies conducted with agents and customer service

Feedback from Primary User (agent)

  • Difficult to navigate and find relevant information
  • Really need enhanced search features
  • A way to see policy update notifications (currently receive email updates on policies)

Project Stakeholder Input

  • Enhance ‘Stillwatery’ incentive engagement
  • Easily afford agents to initiate quotes for both new and existing customers
  • Allow for easily accessible repository for policy notifications

Competitive Audit

  • Viewing competitor agent portals indicated that Stillwater web portal UI was a liability to retaining and attracting independent agents to sell and manage policies


Original Search Function…

Common pain-point for agents is the Search feature whereby they have to select the search criteria first (Name, Policy/Quote Number, Zip Code) then enter corresponding search inquiry.

original agent portal search feature

Improved Search Functions

  • The main improvement to the search function was to allow the agent to simply enter the search inquiry into the search input field and search. The agent can enter policy or quote number, a first or last name, or an address
  • Additionally, we provided the agent with an “advanced” search function that would allow them to refine their search to a more granular level 

Original Navigation

  • Broke up navigation into logical order and labeled accordingly
    • Admin functions were grouped with product guides and reports in a non-structured method
  • Card-sorted with analysts, agents and product owner
    • Agents and product owner hashed out navigation structure – tested with low-fidelity wires

Improved Navigation

The solution I arrived at based on input from agents and product owner along with some low-fi usability testing was to break content into navigation tabs and incorporate standard utility navigation with key functions such as live chat, contact us, and logout.

  • Once the agent logs in, the default tab is the dashboard
  • Provide clear selected, hover, and active states for global navigation
  • Internal pages have secondary navigation column on the left

Original Start a Quote

FIRST Start a Quote – user has to decide which product to quote, then select a state from the drop list menu whereby they are then directed to enter zip code to start the quote

New & Improved Start a Quote…

Step 1.

User selects either a new or existing customer

Step 2.

Enters Zip and then is served a drop list with available products for that area

Step 3.

User is now able to Start the Quote directly from dashboard

1. Alerts

The alerts section was a feature requested by the agents. The idea is that the agent would be able to see alerts specific to their market displayed on the dashboard. Alerts typically include prohibition on policies being written in certain zip codes due to natural events, i.e. hurricanes, wildfires, etc., or other pertinent notifications. Previously, agents received alerts only via email – and ALL agents received alerts regardless of their market.

2. Bulletins

There are frequent changes to insurance products and coverage details. These changes have to be documented and provided to the agents. Before the redesign, the agents would receive these product updates via email, typically with .pdf attached file. Additionally, the business required a repository – covering three years – of bulletins to be available to the agent.

  • Agent is notified that one or more of his/her policies is currently in cancellation or non-renewal status and Policy Report link is provided.