Debenhams had an existing wedding insurance e-commerce website but were keen to make improvements to the customer journey and ultimately increase sales.

Working on behalf of UK General, we began the process by performing a usability report; presenting our findings and recommendations back to the Debenhams Personal Finance team. Issues we found included:

  • Customers were unable to perform a side-by-side comparison of cover levels;
  • Page elements were low contrast and primary action buttons were below the page fold;
  • Page load and “click-to-quote” times were slow due to a large number of redirects;
  • The mobile experience was poor, and the overall journey was cumbersome;
  • The website lacked any customer feedback/reviews or social media integration;
  • The website used a “flat UI” design style which complicated the customer’s understanding of what was clickable and what wasn’t.

As part of our recommendations, we designed and built a clickable, high-fidelity HTML prototype which addressed these issues and also suggested further enhancements. We also proposed a completely new homepage design based on a soon to be launched Debenhams Personal Finance re-brand.

We love prototypes and to quote designer John Maeda, “If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a prototype is worth 1,000 meetings.”

Using a prototype, we were able to demonstrate to Debenhams how their website would look and function when built and quickly establish if we had indeed improved the customer journey. Debenhams could also include the prototype in their sign-off process, safe in the knowledge what they saw was what they would get.

Debenhams wedding insurance quote screen on an iPad and iPhone


Once signed off, the completed e-commerce website went live in just over two months – an accomplishment we attribute in the main to the power of prototyping.

The redesign included:

  • A responsive HTML table for easy cover level comparison and better user experience on mobile devices
  • Feefo customer reviews
  • Social media sharing
  • Gradients, shadows and other visual cues to clearly signpost clickable areas

An audit of the redesign confirmed that page contrast issues had been fixed, page elements were well structured and page load times were well above the acceptable level.

After launch, we closely monitored Google Analytics and saw a marked decrease in the volume of drop-offs throughout the customer journey. The e-commerce conversion rate increased and organic search performance improved.