Designing the buying journey
for an award-winning insurer



800+ employees



London, UK



UX/UI strategist


UX/UI designers

Aston Lark is one of the UK’s largest independent insurance brokers, with over 75 offices across the UK and a wide range of brands for both B2B and B2C markets.

Their range of insurance products is immense, covering aviation to fine wine and everything in between.

We came aboard initially to work with Haven Knox-Johnston, Aston Lark’s boat insurance brand. Our task was to create a smooth, self-service insurance UX flow for people to purchase insurance for their vessel in a series of simple steps.

This would replace the existing ‘get a quote’ process of phone calls, form filling and waiting for emails.

Not ideal for a modern business and a hindrance to increasing conversion rates.

Just a few of the brands in the Aston Lark family

An extensible onboarding process

The bigger picture was that this process would be a breeze to adapt and roll out across Aston Lark’s other existing brands, as well as future acquisitions as required.

The company’s existing brands use a mix of manual phone based quotations like HKJ and various online forms, but the longer term plan is to roll out a centralised common tech platform across the entire suite.

Whilst the insurance products themselves differ, the flows are likely to have much in common.

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Insurance UX research

Our first task was to understand the boat insurance marketplace – surprisingly enough, it’s not something any of our team have had occasion to buy before!

Running through the end-to-end process with other products allowed us to see what HKJ’s competitors do well and not so well.

Getting this direct experience of how the companies achieving growth in the sector manage their onboarding was a powerful learning experience.

I got quite attached to my imaginary boat as I gathered various quotes for insuring it ⛵️

We also gained insight about customer goals by leveraging the extensive knowledge and experience of HKJ’s internal team.

This insight enabled us to focus on a journey that reassured and motivated users as well as allowing the platform to painlessly gather the necessary information from them.

Insurance UX planning

Boat insurance is more complicated than you might first imagine.

There are lot of interweaving factors which go into calculating a quote, and insurers need to undertake what’s known as a ‘risk capture.’

We first created a process flow chart mapping out all the questions that form the risk capture, including all conditionalities and inter-dependencies. This allowed us to structure the questions in the most efficient and effective way possible for the user.

Data from the HKJ team showed that the majority of their traffic comes from mobile devices, so we focused on mapping out in detail how the steps of our proposed flow would work on smaller screens.

As well as review and testing by HKJ’s knowledgeable stakeholders, we shared our wireframes with Aston Lark’s development partner to get their feedback.

We always want to make sure that what we suggest doesn’t cause issues or an unmanageable backlog of work for engineers.

We made sure our designs adhered to form UX best practice, following principles such as removing distracting information around the form, providing clear wayfinding and progress tracking, and absolutely no hidden information in tooltips.

One thing per page is always the ideal when working with forms.

Insurance product UI design

HKJ are renowned in the industry, and have a strong visual identity that enables them to stand out from other boat insurance providers.

With the route through the form decided upon, we worked with the established brand guidelines to create full page layouts, backed up by a comprehensive design system.

The design system documents the various states of each component and element based on user interaction and device size, eliminating guesswork from Aston Lark’s development partners when the designs were implemented.

Future-proof design

HKJ now has a seamless flow for onboarding boat owners in just four steps – a far cry from the back and forth of the previous solution.

The new online quote and buy flow allows HKJ to capitalise on way larger volumes of insurance-seeking boat owners than their previous capacity would allow.

Users are easily able to get what they need, converting with far less time and effort from both sides.

The steps we’ve established with HKJ mean we’re primed to jump in and optimise the quotation and buying process for other Aston Lark brands, iterating on the design assets we’ve created in this project. 🙌