Financial Services
  October, 2017

The IDBI Federal Transformation Story

Namrata Dhanak

Once upon a time, life insurance policies were sold only through agents. I bought my first policy eight years ago on 31st March. I needed a tax-saving investment; my trusted advisor sold me insurance. It took me a few years to realize that there were better options.

Life insurance is still sold through agents, but people have also started applying online. Which means, that as UX designers, we need to design for two kind of users – the ones who complete the entire journey online as well as those who are still adapting to the digital medium.

Designing for different customer maturities was one of our key objectives at the onset. We brainstormed heavily with stakeholders to identify different maturities and their needs. Following a prioritization exercise, we had a good understanding of the users we wanted to reach out to and what the users were looking for. When these insights were mapped to the old website, there were glaring gaps between what the user wanted and what the website served.


  • There was a pile of products but nothing to tell the user which product is relevant to their needs. If a user came to the website, looking for guidance on what to buy, they would look for a while, get confused and leave. Need analysis tool in the new website:

  • If a user came to the website to verify that the policy recommended by their agent was right, they wanted detailed information about the policy, its features and benefits, understand how many years they will have to pay premium and how long they will be covered, check if there are similar products suited to their needs and determine eligibility. While some of this information was present, it was in boring, lengthy text form without any visual hierarchy.
  • A customer pays premium to the insurance company for several years, purely on trust, hoping that their family will get the complete claim amount on time when required. Getting assured about IDBI Federal’s credibility is hence, a key step to conversion. While IDBI Federal has several impressive records, this was not highlighted well on their website. Establishing credibility and trust through our new design:

  • Over a third of the users viewed the website on mobile, and this segment has been growing substantially at a very quick pace. Yet, the site was not responsive.
  • Insurance is like toothpaste; there are dozens of companies selling similar policies. Without clear differentiators separating IDBI Federal policies from the rest, the user was confused and hence, prone to drop-off.
We explored ideas to achieve our larger objective of enabling higher conversions through a strong brand communication, usable products and superior service guarantee.

With our strategy defined, we collaborated with the stakeholders over several weeks, perfecting our design concept.

From the very beginning, when we studied the competition landscape, we were clear that none of the Indian insurance websites were close to what an insurance customer needs. There were some international players who were doing it quite well, but there was a huge difference between our industry, products, user needs and those of the international players. So we decided to innovate on our own, guided by user insights.

The brand plays a significant role during the insurance company evaluation journey. The ethos, legacy and claims guarantee are important in persuading the customer to shortlist one company over another. IDBI Federal had recently rebuilt its brand identity with core values of selling through positivity and showcasing a window of opportunity. We loved these values and took them forward in our design. The company is very active in organizing marathons, which resonates well with its positioning of selling insurance through positivity. Hence, we decided to give it reasonable prominence. Credibility and transparency run as an undercurrent throughout the website – reflected in the way information is presented and the ability to customize.

Analyzing user mindset while selecting a policy, we found that they need:

  • Complete information about the policy in a transparent manner
  • View similar products with clear differentiators to help finalize one
  • Ability to check eligibility and get a quick quote, with a possibility to customize

Building in these capabilities brought us close to insurance productization, with policies presented as products with USPs.

We designed a dynamic interface that made it easy to find the relevant product, keeping in mind different sources and reasons of visit.

User hand-holding from product discovery to information, customization and application ensures good service. The option to move between online and offline channels, whether the user seeks more information or prefers to connect with an advisor, has been created keeping in mind the behavior of the user who has started adapting to digital products but still prefers a human connect while making the final decision. Good service continues on to the post-purchase interface, ensuring retention.

There have been several exciting moments through the making of this website and my favorite is when we were appreciated by a competitor.

The client invited some user research companies for conducting usability tests on the new website. Upon viewing our design, one of them remarked that the website is so good, it does not need UT. This event was duly celebrated in our studio. is partially live and on its way to becoming a benchmark insurance website. We set out to create a beautiful website that is engaging for the user and brings in more conversions and leads for our client. We are closely monitoring feedback and analytics to validate our design strategy and welcome your comments.

The team from Think Design:

  • Mahesh Marath: Workshop Facilitator & UX Strategist
  • Namrata Dhanak: Lead Designer
  • Purushottam Kumar: UX / UI Designer
  • Aadil Nawaz Khan: Frontend Developer
  • KhushbooJethmalani: UX Designer
  • Neha Nagvekar: UX / UI Designer


IDBI Federal team for active participation in collaborative discussions, brilliant insights on customer mindset and above everything else, the enthusiasm to innovate.

Namrata Dhanak

Namrata Dhanak

Heads Design at Think Design. A Design Consultant and Strategist, with substantial experience in user experience design and management.


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