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Co-op Wills

A digital-first service that helps every adult in England and Wales get a will that's right for them. We developed a user-centric alpha that demonstrated an improved business model over the existing phone-only service.

The challenges

The broad problems identified early on include: user apathy around thinking about wills and their own mortality. Most people don't understand the archaic language used in a will and often think they need to speak to someone in person.
“Helping every adult in England and Wales get a will that's right for them, easy to update and backed by the Co-op for life."
Jamie Arnold, Product Manager for Wills

The process

Our user research guided us. Every two weeks we delivered working software and put it in front of people to observe what they did with it. We asked them questions like “what do you think happens next?” and where we reached the edges of what we'd built we used paper prototypes or mocked-up service.
This helped us better understand people's actual needs, fears and motivations—even when they were only using a partially developed prototype of the service.

Exploring early design hunches for the interface

Top left: Family-tree based thinking. Interface revolving around the users and their relationships. Drag and drop your personal assets to family members.
Top centre: Sentence-led structure of creating a will. Fill in the blanks.
Top right: The will and its associated documents as a zoomed-out dashboard of items (ZUI).
Bottom left: Sketches around the idea of offering different levels of support within the prototype.
Bottom right: Sketching a concept that describes a seamless conversational interface utilising both AI and a real operator helping the user through the process.
One theme considered the importance of having a personal touch: What level of access to help would be appropriate at which points in the process?
Operationally it's attractive to lean less on traditional phone support, but our thinking was informed by observing user testing of early stage prototypes: where were the pain points? And actually, how could we design the service in a way that reduced those needs for support in the first place?
We arrived at an interface pattern that 1. Improved comprehension of concepts like ‘executors’ and ‘estate’ by decoupling the copy from the action. 2. Gave a sense of working towards a real ‘thing’ the user would eventually want to pay for by introducing a consistent and reviewable will document. This also served a reflective purpose: we found that users wanted to feel like they'd been ‘heared’ correctly and understood.
These interface elements behave differently enforcing their purpose: Intro Sheets swipe horiozontally giving a sense of progression, while Action Cards move vertically feeding into the Paper which appears at the top of the screen.


James Rice

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  • Digital Product Designer

Project Tags

  • Digital Services
  • Digital Products
  • Digital
  • Alpha
  • Prototype
  • Consumer service

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