A few years back I remember reading an interest nugget that web User Interface designers would often build intentional “breaks” into their designs. For example, when entering a field and clicking “next”, there would be an intentional split-second pause built in before the result appeared.
Although the result could be instantaneous, users expect some “work” to be happening in the background, and if the result is too quick, users become suspicious. So designers make it appear that the machine is “thinking” so that the experience is more acceptable.
In other words, the experience is worse than it had to be, simply so people could lend credibility to what is happening.
After doing some extensive research with Sanlam Indie, we’re realised the same thing is happening with us. Some people expect insurance to be so much more difficult and cumbersome than we’ve made it, that they feel like we’ve done something wrong by making it too easy.
Some people have managed to get a product selected, have gotten through underwriting, and are ready to click “buy”, but they waiting for a phone call from us to interrupt the process, make it more difficult, and hence convince them we’re legit.
Basically, the insurance industry has given us all Stockholm Syndrome.
For those of you who haven’t heard of this before, Stockholm Syndrome is the feelings of trust or affection felt by a victim towards a captor. In this case, we human beings are the victim, and the insurance industry is our captor. And they’ve been abusing us for so long, that we have grown accustomed to the abuse, and almost long for it.
And so, we’re working on solutions where we don’t have to re-introduce abuse, just to make our clients feel more comfortable.