tailor-made gps app
Cover-More is a global travel insurance provider that covers over 9 million customers every year. Many of which are business travellers, who require corporate insurance cover for their frequent business trips.
Cover-More approached us with an app idea to improve their process for calculating corporate travel dates. Previously, their system consisted of many manual processes, that were heavily paper-based, and lacked meaningful statistics about corporate traveller trips. Itinerary travel dates for business travel had to be estimated at the start of the insurance cover and then reconciled at the end of the policy year to calculate final premiums due.
Cover-More proposed a mobile app that could leverage GPS to track the days a traveller spent in each country. This data would enable Cover-More to accurately calculate premiums based on actual travel dates, without all the extra admin tasks of the paper-based processes.
We worked with Cover-More to expand their core concept and brainstorm ways that their solution would provide further value to the user. This included real-time travel safety alerts, instant access to Cover-More’s 24hr emergency assistance team, and a simple way to lodge claims within the app.
As user privacy has become a growing concern, transparency was also very important to us. So we made sure to include a history of stored tracking information in the app, easily accessible under each recorded trip. This level of information can only be accessed by the traveller and Cover-More’s admin team.
The result of our brainstorming and ideation was an end-to-end solution comprising of an iOS app, Android app, web portal, and cloud back-end which LWA would design and build from the ground up.
We began by creating low fidelity wireframes. Primarily, to show the user-flow and page layouts, but also to clearly outline the intended feature set. Visual aids and flow diagrams removed any ambiguity around the complexity and functionality of the solution.
The mobile app consisted only of a few simple features, and was designed according to best practice user experience. Features were clear and easily accessible, and appropriate hierarchy was applied throughout.
Admin portals tend to take a back seat when it comes to user experience and design, but at LWA we approach all interfaces with the same user-centred mindset. Cover-More’s web portal was designed to require minimal training and accomodate for the variety of users — from HR managers to advanced administrators.
Next, we transitioned to high fidelity designs, where we closely follow the design guidelines provided by Apple and Google.
Because travellers would be using their personal devices, it was particularly important to provide a consistent and familiar experience on their chosen mobile platform. Additionally, from a technical perspective, the use of platform-native controls makes development more efficient by eliminating the need for custom elements.
The web portal also followed Google’s Material UI guidelines, which allowed the web development team to utilise a popular React UI framework with all the necessary components available out of the box.
Finally, the high fidelity designs were used to produce interactive prototypes using Marvel. Marvel prototypes don’t require code, and can be accessed by URL on any device. Prototyping provides a unique opportunity to validate design decisions with end-users before starting development.
Cover-More stakeholders also preferred to discuss designs using the prototype instead of the classic design documents. We put this down to the natural feel of clicking through the app, and the ease of navigating to specific screens in context.
For such a comprehensive system, it was important to tackle the feature set in phases. After each phase we would test and validate with the stakeholders. We used story mapping to lay out all the required features and assign them to phase 1, phase 2, or a future release.
Story mapping also gave us the opportunity to define all the specifics of the app (for example, what constitutes a “valid” policy number?). We brought our team and the project stakeholders into one room to go through each page of the app to flesh out exactly what would be required.
The biggest challenges we encountered during development were round-the-clock GPS tracking and the large scale cloud back-end. This provided a great opportunity to expand our team’s expertise. By utilising an agile development process we were able to gradually roll out — and thoroughly test — the extensive project.
From the iOS app, Android app, and web portal — to the database, API, and user management — the end-to-end solution took the skills of our entire development team to put together. Cover-More is now rolling out the system to their New Zealand customers, with plans to go international.