Building a crystal clear broker platform for Harukey
In 2013, Harukey approached Craftzing with the request to support them in the design and development of e-GOR, an online software platform for the professional insurance broker. In an interview, Stéphanie, Digital Architect at Craftzing, and Joeri De Greef – CEO at Harukey and one of the driving forces behind e-GOR – shed light on how the platform came about. ‘Craftzing has succeeded in building an online broker platform that does not need a manual.’
e-GOR has come a long way. Recently, for the 3rd time in a row, Vivium proclaimed your platform the Belgian leader in life insurance. Much more recently, you announced the acquisition by Portima. Can you tell us a bit more about how the e-GOR story got started?
Joeri: In 2013, I joined Harukey as CEO. Maarten Dom and Gert Van Meerbergen started e-GOR one year before with the ambition of making the life of the professional life insurance broker easier by means of technology. We wanted to build a high-performance digital tool to act as an extension of the life insurance brokers for the follow-up of their life insurance files with independent company managers and self-employed workers.
"We started e-GOR with the ambition of making the life of the professional life insurance broker easier by means of technology. Craftzing's challenge was to translate our proposition into a clear, intuitive and simple platform."
At the same time, e-GOR also had to be very accessible and visually clear, so that the client as well as accountants and insurance companies could easily find their way through this complex matter. We called in Craftzing's help in 2013, asking them to translate our proposition into a clear, intuitive and simple platform for the broker, his client, the accountant and the insurance company.
Where do you start when a client comes to you with such a challenge?
Stéphanie: We always start with an exploratory talk or a workshop to get a good idea of the client's needs. On this basis, we then put together a dedicated team that will supervise the project. For e-GOR it was myself as Digital Architect, Gwendolyn (UX/UI design), Jonathan, Adriaan and Wout (front-end development), working closely with the Harukey team Kristof, Maarten, Gert and Joeri.
What process was followed to ultimately arrive at e-GOR 2.0?
Joeri: At the start of e-GOR, the tool was built around 3 themes: pension, disability and death. At that time, our target audience was still limited to the self-employed. More and more, however, customers were asking their brokers if their partner or family members could not get the same insights. So, over time, we started targeting private individuals as well. Finally, a few years ago, we further broadened the tool with the addition of a fourth theme – investments.
"The platform had to be really clear and simple, for both the broker and the customers. That's why we really spearheaded an intuitive user interface."
What was Craftzing's role in the design and development of the platform?
Stéphanie: We started with a number of brainstorming sessions during which we, together with Joeri and the team, defined the modules and functionalities that were needed to reach their goals. Because it is extremely important to get good insight into the needs and behaviour of the target group, we analyse the various user flows from multiple use cases in this phase of the project. Then, we can start working out a concept and the designs.
Were there certain aspects of the application development that needed extra attention?
Joeri: We absolutely wanted brokers to be able to get started with e-GOR quickly and independently after a short training. The platform had to be really clear and simple, for both the broker and the customers. That's why we really spearheaded an intuitive user interface. We get very few questions about the user interface, and so we can devote all of our energy to new functionalities.
"The advantage of working with a design system is that you can work with components during development. This not only provides a recognisable and consistent user experience but also ensures that our front-end developer can work faster and more efficiently in the development phase."
Stéphanie: In order to provide a solution to this, our designer translated the various user flows into a design system. In short, this is a kind of digital library in which all of the elements of the design (colours, fonts, components, etc.) are stored. The advantage of such a design system is that you can work with components during development. This not only provides a recognisable and consistent user experience, but it also ensures that our front-end development team can work faster and more efficiently in the development phase. In turn, the front-end development team creates templates that can be easily integrated by the back-end team.
How intense is such a collaboration?
Joeri: We’ve been collaborating for several years now, and we are well attuned to each other. Depending on the roadmap, periods of intensive collaboration alternate with somewhat quieter periods. As a customer, you also have a major role in the result, so in the beginning such a collaboration is quite intensive because there are regular brainstorming sessions.
Stéphanie: Once the big conceptual questions have been answered, the Craftzing team can start working behind the scenes. But even then we have our weekly check-in, where the short-term roadmap is discussed, wireframes, design and front-end templates are presented, and so on. Sometimes this only takes fifteen minutes – but this way everybody knows what the state of affairs is and what will happen in the short term.
"Craftzing has succeeded in designing e-GOR in such a way that the client does not need a manual to find his way in this rather complex matter."
What impact has Craftzing had on e-GOR?
Joeri: Craftzing has succeeded in designing e-GOR in such a way that the client does not need a manual to find his way in this rather complex matter. For that, you really need great expertise. And that’s also why we love working with Craftzing. They have guided the platform through its growth: from the very beginning to where we are now 10 years later.
About Harukey & e-GOR
Harukey is the company behind e-GOR, an online platform designed to help professional brokers manage their life insurance contracts. By using the same online platform, the client, the accountant, the broker and the insurance company always have access to the correct and most recent data. This makes optimising life insurance files a lot easier and more user-friendly. Very recently, e-GOR joined forces with Brio by Portima – this represents the next step towards more efficiency gains and added value.
By Michele Stynen