The Task-Based UX Benchmark Study

UserZoom ran a quick competitive UX benchmark study between Geico and Aflac, two well known insurance providers, to see how users experienced navigational and core tasks, as well as how they rate their overall experience on these websites.

  • We ran an unmoderated remote task-based benchmark study with 40 in-the-wild users on their own devices over the course of a single day
  • Participants were equally divided between the sites so that 20 went to each
  • They completed several tasks while on the site: a screenshot click test and a task-based test where we asked them to find and use the life insurance needs calculator
  • We also measured their brand perception and how they rated their overall experience

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First impressions are lasting impressions

We wanted to know what users’ first impressions were on both of the sites. We showed all participants Geico’s and Aflac’s homepage and asked them to choose which site they associated with several UX attributes.

Participants felt that Geico was more organized and easy, but that Aflac was more informational and trustworthy. Unfortunately, Aflac was also seen as being overwhelming by a majority of users.

Screenshot Click Test

To understand if visitors were able to easily find important information, we split participants evenly and asked them to complete a simple task while looking at a static image of a homepage: “Where would you click first to find an agent nearby where you live?”

Geico

Geico had 65% of their participants correctly click on “Find an agent near you” above the footer. You can see that the remaining clicks were spread evenly across different areas on the page with no particular emphasis on any one area.

Aflac

Participants looking at Aflac’s page focused on two areas: 45% correctly clicked on Find an Agent in the header and 20% on Contact Us in the footer.

Online Task-Based Test

Knowing how much life insurance you’d need to ease the burden on your family can be an unknown – many of us prefer not to think about the costs associated with our passing. That being said it’s an important item for consideration, which is why many insurance providers do their best to provide life insurance need calculators before getting a quote. We gave participants information to use to fill out the calculator and find out how much life insurance they would need.

To evaluate the success of the task we used validation through a questionnaire: based on the information we provided them, how much life insurance would they need? Users who selected the correct amount were marked as Success.

A Non-Success result meant that the participant decided to either abandon the task, which was marked as an Abandon, or they selected the wrong amount on the validation questionnaire, which was marked as an Error.

So, how did the two challengers do?

Success

Aflac’s users were 15% more successful at the task overall than Geico’s participants. Let’s take a look at the breakdown in efficiency.

On average, Geico’s participants were spending more than double the amount of time on the task than Aflac’s participants were. The amount of clicks can be attributed to, in part, the fact that Aflac’s calculator used sliders while Geico’s needed an actual click.

Non Success

55% of Geico’s non successful participants erred, meaning they chose the incorrect answer on the validation question, while 45% abandoned. We asked the participants who abandoned why they did so. All their responses can be summed up as:

“I cannot find the life insurance coverage calculator. All the calculator I got was either an auto insurance calculator, or a life insurance quote where I have to answer a bunch of questions in order to get a quote which seems not right.”

After watching the videos for Geico, we realized that participants were getting to the right place for life insurance, but weren’t seeing the link to the needs calculator (indicated by the orange box in the image below). You can see this happen in the Geico user session video below. This also accounted for several of the errors as participants filled in the “get a quote” information instead of the needs calculator.

88% of Aflac’s participants erred, primarily because they filled in the wrong information. Interestingly enough, it was evident in both the videos and in the problems & frustration questions that people were having trouble using the calculators sliders to input their answers. For example, in the snippet below the participant is trying to select $80,000.

User videos

Geico user session
Aflac user session

Ease of Use

After the tasks we asked all the users to rate how easy or difficult it was to accomplish, with 1 = Very Difficult, 4 = Neutral and 7 = Very Easy.

Problems & Frustrations

We asked the users which, if any, of the following problems or frustrations they encountered while on the site.

Geico

Respondents that chose “Other” were given an open ended comments box. These were their responses:

  • Could barely see the life insurance needs calculator on the quote page
  • I searched site for where I thought it would be, and then I used search bar, it provided me different information than I asked for. Finally, I spotted it by accident
Aflac

Respondents that chose “Other” were given an open ended comments box. These were their responses:

  • The slider control was either too sensitive or not sensitive enough, was hard to get the right number
  • Calculator was hard to use
  • Salary slider was annoying, wouldn’t stay on the number I wanted

Brand Perception

We asked participants to rate their perception of the brand before and after their experience with the site.

For the rating scale: 1 = Very Negative, 4 = Neutral, and 7 = Very Positive. We also included the option for participants to say they weren’t familiar with the brand before the task.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

After participants interacted with the sites we asked them to rate how likely it was they would recommend them to friends, family or colleagues.

This week’s group of participants were more likely to recommend Aflac’s site to friends, family and colleagues than Geico’s.

Conclusion

This week’s UX benchmark pitted duck against gecko in a wild UX battle for life insurance calculator supremacy. In the end, Aflac came out victorious with a higher success rate for the online task, faster task completion times, higher ease of use ratings, higher NPS and fewer overall problems & frustrations reported.

“Ever seen a duck fight? No way. Why? Because the other animals are afraid. They know that if they mess with one duck, they gotta deal with the whole flock.” Coach Gordon would be proud. 

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