Understanding Employee Engagement


Design consultant (me), visual designer


My Role

Designing the research study and interview schedule

Interviewing and info capture

Analysis, insights and persona creation

Client / stakeholder presentations – creating and presenting





The Challenge

Combined Insurance wanted to know how to support its distributed network of in-field sales associates and customers.  First it needed to understand their needs and challenges and then devise a comprehensive system of online tools that would ensure continued success.



Combined 360° was an outside-in look at Combined’s users through the creation of user personas of the four key site audiences:


1. Prospective Policyholders

2. Current Policyholders

3. New Agents

4. Current Agents


These personas were intended to help Combined strategically plan web projects and web infrastructure by providing a deep understanding of the online needs of Combined’s key site audiences


Interview and develop persona

During the interviews, I solicited both quantitative and qualitative information attempting to assess attitudes and behaviors about online use, lifestyle, and insurance awareness on a logical / detail level as well as an emotional / bigger picture level.


Persona Background

1. Gather general information

2. Wants, needs, motivators


Online Behavior

1. Level of online familiarity and sophistication

2. Current sites frequented and why

3. Current online insurance behaviors (research, purchase, maintain etc.)

4. Effective / Ineffective features


Experience and Knowledge with insurance / insurance tools

1. Level of online familiarity and sophistication

2. Research patterns / Behaviors

3. Sales Behaviors (if applicable)


Feature Ideation

1. Rate a list of features (both existing and potential) based on “usefulness”

2. Allow for free flow of conversation around functional needs of the customer

3. Feature list generated from current Combined site, competitive / complementary audit, internal discussions and stakeholder conversations.


The results of this effort were incorporated into the persona documents in order for Combined to do the following:

1. Bring Focus

2. Build Empathy

3. Encourage Consensus

4. Create Efficiency




By giving representative faces and personalities to the different types of users within these four groups, Combined is better able to articulate, analyze, and meet these users’ needs when interacting with Combined online.  The project created a better understanding of Combined’s current and prospective customers and sales agents while providing a clear sense of urgent customer and recruiting requirements that Combined must meet to remain competitive.


I also provided key information to drive decisions regarding the development of Combined’s web properties, including functionality, integration, and supporting platforms and infrastructure.


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