UI and UX Done Right != Customer Satisfaction

Oscar is a health insurance company in New York that is essentially putting a beautiful front end on what turns out to be a fairly standard health care back end, leading to VC money and tech-press adulation. First, what do they do right?

The home page starts with a positioning statement that, within two sentences, tells you they're bringing something different (without being jargon-y). Continuing this friendly tone, each of their sections starts with "Your...," personalizing the healthcare for the user.

Impossible to make this look any friendlier

Impossible to make this look any friendlier

As you scroll down, their phone # is always at the top, obvious but unobtrusive. Very few sites do this well.

The product benefits are somewhat novel (e.g., free generics is uncommon, but it's not an innovative stretch considering the nominal copays most plans have). But again, how they're presented is friendly, non jargon-y and intuitively valuable.

If only they did the maps for every retailers' site

If only they did the maps for every retailers' site

Their map of providers is awesome because there are no inside-baseball terms that force the customer to figure out what preferred in-network means vs. non-preferred in-network. It's simple: is your doctor part of our plan or not?

I love the way they solicit information for a quote: it's a sentence that you modify with your high-level details (Beats Music also does this pretty effectively). No filling out a standard form and then waiting to be contacted, you can see plan pricing immediately. And the plans don't list every single term, just the high-level features that are consistent with the product page and you can click through for more details. This puts the first stage of the selection process on the potential customer, not one of their agents, likely yielding a better quality ratio for their leads. They also did some really nice UX work with the ability to side-scroll through the carousel of products that show your monthly premium without forcing you to reenter form information.

Just about every company with a service to sell could emulate this approach

Just about every company with a service to sell could emulate this approach

BUT!

Attractive UI, friendly UX, simple quoting system. This gets you $150 million in funding and guaranteed success! Apparently, yes, at least if the extent of your model is signing people up for health plans. But what was lost amidst all the design work and coding was...you have to do all the mundane, tedious work of actual healthcare once you have customers.

Stories are dribbling out of incorrect provider lists, nonsensical billing practices and inconsistent customer service. Their Yelp reviews are filled with 1-star horror stories that would be hilarious if there weren't people writing them whose lives are adversely affected. Nicely designed provider network maps are only as useful as the data underneath them.

The moral of this story is, by all means hire the designers and coders to help build a company that applies tech solutions to archaic services, but don't forget to also use some of your VC money on people who actually know how to succeed in that industry.