Going behind the scenes with UI Lead, Rocio Garcia

Posted on 19th July 2021

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Going behind the scenes with UI Lead, Rocio Garcia

Posted on 19th July 2021

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Joining initially as a web designer in 2014, UI Lead, Rocio Garcia has been with INSTANDA almost since the beginning. It has been an incredible journey. We couldn’t wait to sit down with Rocio who could talk forever about usability and why, in her own words she feels “empowered” in growing a platform that “never forgets function over form.”

Rocio, before we start, could you tell us a little about your role?

Sure. I head up the UI team that works on client delivery. Essentially, I oversee and provide structure and process for the team, while ensuring we maintain a flexible approach. The rest of the time I work within the solutions team..

This places me in quite a unique position. I experience the platform through the eyes of the client and take this learning back to the solutions team to sharpen usability. As a team, we immerse ourselves in and implement the client’s vision for the customer experience of their digital insurance products.

My team is engaged from design and discovery sessions all the way through to launch. We work to marry the customer and business needs with our technology.

My work with the solutions team, on the other hand, involves reviewing and growing the platform. With the help of the engineering team, I focus on enhancing platform usability and organic growth, reviewing functionality and ease of use.

Rewinding a little, could you tell us how you arrived at your current role?

I initially joined INSTANDA at the end of 2014 as a web designer where my focus was on implementing the look and feel of client projects. This was when INSTANDA was taking its first steps and the breadth of flexibility and functionality was in its infancy.

I soon developed a keen interest in working closer with software development. Instead of being constrained by certain technology, we were creating our own, and that brings an enormous amount of flexibility. The empowerment and decision-making that this entails was very attractive to me and what led me to this role.

Rocio, as UI Lead at INSTANDA, what would you say are the key characteristics for a strong user friendly interface?

How our clients interact with the INSTANDA is just as important as the technical capabilities of the platform itself. That’s why we’ve introduced four core principles that our design improvements seek to achieve, and these are:

1. Navigation – users always know where to find the tools/functionality they need

2. Comprehension – users understand what features and functions mean

3. Usability – users can easily configure and validate rules

4. Relevance – making sure the platform is relevant to the users’ needs and their business goals.

Great design should seek to remove barriers to digital transformation. Essentially, it’s about making sure that everyone who uses INSTANDA enjoys a frictionless journey in creating and launching insurance products.

We have a broad range of global user types – from large insurance carrier innovation teams right through to brokers, underwriters, and smaller insurers. Therefore, any changes we make must work for everyone.

We’re conscious of not just adding ‘blocks onto blocks of functionality’. INSTANDA must be configured in a relatable way so that it neatly fits into a bigger insurance ecosystem.

Are there any design considerations that are unique to INSTANDA?

Yes, most definitely. It’s difficult to apply the general rules of design to INSTANDA. As a B2B SaaS tool, it has its own set of UI/UX design guidelines.

Our clients (users) already have an advanced knowledge-base and so this needs to be factored into the design. There’s a lot more functionality to the platform than what you would expect from other software.

That’s why INSTANDA’s user interface is very much an evolving, living breathing entity.

What do you most enjoy about your role?

I’ve been working at INSTANDA for almost seven years now and in that time the platform has been on a remarkable journey. The possibilities are incredible, and its future looks even more exciting as we make the platform vastly more accessible to our global users.

It is very satisfying to change the way things work for the better and to be able to see that in action. As new functionality is added, it’s interesting to analyse how users interact with the platform, and in ways that I might not even have thought of. It’s this constant learning and iteration that means INSTANDA will never stand still.

Are there any projects that really stand out to you?

I am proud of quite a few projects but there are two that are especially relevant.

The Hiscox Germany Professional Indemnity project is the first that comes to mind. The relationship and engagement with Hiscox was amazing; we worked incredibly hard to create an outstanding digital offering.

The update to the INSTANDA platform interface has been great to work on too since it’s a continuous journey and I know that it will only grow in its ambition. As UI lead, that’s incredibly exciting. It gives us a chance to rethink what we do well as a SaaS platform and what we can improve; all while keeping our client needs at the forefront.

What advice would you give to someone looking to enter UI design?

My advice would be to train your eye to notice design in the world around. Any designer should ask themselves whether they’re forgetting function over form. You need to make sure that design is an enabler; that through its introduction things are made easier to achieve the desired result.

If a new starter asked you for advice in their first month, what would you say?

My advice would to be enthusiastic about asking questions and bringing new ideas to the table.

If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask. Ask for the ‘why’ and not just the ‘what’ and ‘how’. Then, when you have the understanding, you can challenge and bring new ideas and solutions of how to move forward. We can only grow with ideas and collaboration!

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