More than Just a Pretty Face
one site, but it can be more difficult to
implement because you have to be sure
it meets the needs of all devices,” says
Rixford, adding that ITC can support
The design strategy is more important than the technology method used.
For instance, while much has been
made of the mobile-native capabilities
of HTML5, it’s entirely possible to code
a mobile site based on HTML4. HTML5
does enable CSS3, the third version of
cascading style sheets, and allows the
ability to display Flash-type animation
on iOS devices that don’t support Flash.
However, browsers are not equal in their
support for all of HTML5 functionality.
“The industry is trying to get to a
solid standard, but it comes down to
the willingness and ability of device
manufacturers to support the standard”
Rixford says. “In some ways, HTML5
creates its own problems for insurers
because you need to test it on multiple
browsers and devices to see what fea-
Progressive uses responsive web
design. “The primary strength of our
mobile website is we’ve built it respon-
sively with pages that dynamically flex
for form and function. Our objective is
to be sure we’re effectively
meeting our customers’
needs regardless of how
they choose to interact with
us,” says Fulford, adding
that staying current in mo-
bile is a constant challenge.
“We‘re always trying to
keep up with the proliferation of phones, browsers,
and operating systems. It
take diligence and a lot of
testing on our part, but it’s
vitally important to ensure
our experience works for the vast majority of our consumers,” he says.
Esurance is evolving its mobile
website toward responsive web design.
“With mobile now exceeding PC usage,
and screen sizes continuing to be offered
in a wide range, responsive design allows
us to serve content customized for an
individual’s screen size while enjoying
the efficiency and continuity of a single
site,” Silvey says.
Mobile Marches On
Influenced by their experience in other
sectors, consumers will expect more
capability from insurers’ mobile websites
“What we’re seeing in mobile, specifi-
cally, is an increased appetite for breadth
of interaction and simplicity of design,”
“[Consumers] expectations aren’t
necessarily set by our competitors or
others in the insurance space. They’re
driven by all of the companies they
interact with digitally every day. Think
about purchasing something on Amazon
or reserving a car on Uber, for example.
Those experiences influence how we cre-
ate effective points of interaction for our
shoppers and customers,” Fulford says.
Expanded device functionality will
also shape consumer expectations of
insurers’ mobile sites.
“As technology and browser capa-
bilities improve through tools such as
HTML5 and CSS3, you will see respon-
sive websites become more prevalent
and their functionality
will expand,” Rixford says.
“Coming soon will be
uploading photos from
your camera. Although
insurers have provided the
ability to do that via their
own apps, consumers will
be able to do that from
within a regular browser
In expanding their any-
time, anywhere, any-device
connection with customers,
insurers need to keep in mind that an
effective mobile website is more than just
a pretty face.
“There aren’t too many insurers that
would argue that [mobile] isn’t a need.
Companies definitely understand the
importance,” says Pauli. “They just have
to resist the temptation to visually execute
but not execute on the back end.” ITA
“The primary strength of our mobile
website is we’ve built it responsively
with pages that dynamically flex for form
Andy Fulford, Progressive Insurance