✈️ To travel insurance or not to travel insurance? That is the question.





UX Research Usability Testing

Travel comes with a lot of stress. Would purchasing travel insurance ease a traveller's mind? Read more about my role as a UX Researcher as we tackle offering travel insurance options for travellers.

Research Introduction

The UX Research team and the flights team had collaborated to conduct research about travel insurance. This project was divided into two parts:

  1. The flights team wanted to discover the level of awareness customers (focused on customers based in Saudi Arabia) have towards travel insurance and its benefits through a survey.
  2. The flights team wanted to test the proposed solution with customers to ensure their understanding of the process of buying travel insurance.

We first released a survey to customers that have previously booked a flight to ask them about their awareness and in turn, the flights team has taken the survey insights and created a prototype of the proposed solution. The prototype was tested with a group of customers to ensure a smooth experience.

I have handled the entire research process from start to finish, from planning out the research, formulating survey questions and conducting the usability tests with our customers. As well as analysing the insights from the survey and usability test to formulate a research report.


Identifying through discovery the needs and expectations users have when it comes to travel insurance and misconceptions they might have regarding travel insurance. Understanding these points through discovery, would help the company develop a cross-sell travel insurance service that users would actually use and in turn increase revenue.

Survey purpose:

To figure out:

  • The general awareness of travel insurance and how it works. 
  • Customer's needs of travel insurance based on destination and customer persona.
  • Methods of obtaining travel insurance in Saudi.
  • Customers experience with the company's products and how it would affect their consumer behaviour.
  • Customers expectations if they buy insurance from the company.
  • When would customers like to buy travel insurance in their customer journey.

🔍  User segment

We sent the survey to customers that have bought flight tickets from 1 June- 31 July 2022.

🕵️‍♀️  Number of responses

We received a total of 479 responses

👀 Survey Questions

The survey aimed to understand customers' perceptions and behaviours related to travel insurance. Participants were asked a series of questions to gauge their awareness of travel insurance and its benefits, as well as whether they had purchased it for their recent trips. Details about their travel destinations, trip duration, companions, and the purpose of travel were also collected. For those who did not buy insurance, reasons for their decision were explored. Additionally, the survey investigated customers' likelihood of purchasing insurance for upcoming trips, even if not required by their destination. The research further gathered insights on expectations if the company were to offer travel insurance and preferences for obtaining it. Through this comprehensive survey, valuable data was obtained to inform the development of tailored travel insurance products and services that align with customers' needs and preferences.

🔬 Important survey findings
  1. There is an almost equal split between customers that understand travel insurance and its benefits and those that don't.
  2. The majority of customers did not buy travel insurance for any of their previous trips, making up to 67% of the total responses. While customers that bought travel insurance make up 33%
  3. When asked why customers bought travel insurance, majority responded that it was ‘Mandatory for their visa application’
  4. When asked why customers did not buy travel insurance, majority responded that it was ‘My destination did not require travel insurance’
  5. Customers who did not buy insurance were least likely to buy insurance.
  6. Customers who did buy travel insurance previously were not sure if they’d buy travel insurance again.
  7. Customers that mentioned that they are least likely to buy insurance if it was not required by their destination mentioned that they won't buy it unless required, traveling with family members or carrying valuable items

Although the survey findings did not show an optimistic view to adding travel insurance as a revenue stream, we still wanted to see if we somehow could build and propose a solution that would help customers that do need insurance buy it whether it was for their visa application or if they were travelling with loved ones.

The Flights UX team has then moved to design a proposed solution.

Usability Test

After understanding customer awareness towards travel insurance, as well as their expectations and needs, the flights team has created a prototype with a proposed solution. The proposed solution was to be tested with customers to ensure a smooth and easy experience.

Usability test purpose:
  • Determine whether testers can complete tasks successfully and independently.
  • Assess their performance and mental state as they try to complete tasks, to see how well the design works.
  • Identify problems so we can iterate on it.

Things to observe during the usability test:
  • Natural behavior of customer
  • Visibility
  • Content
  • Usability
  • Desirability

🔍 User segment
  • Customers that travelled with a group.
  • Mix of customers who previously bought insurance and customers who did not.
  • Mix of non Saudi expats living in Saudi and Saudi nationals.

🕵️‍♀️ Number of sessions
  • We conducted a total of 15 sessions with customers.

👀 Usability test

To start off the usability test, we asked customers some opening questions based on their survey responses. We wanted to know more about the experience they had when buying travel insurance and if they did not, we wanted to learn more about the reasons that made them avoid buying travel insurance.

The usability testing segment involved two tasks: the first task required participants to demonstrate how they would book a trip from Dubai to Brussels with family or friends, while the second task tested their ability to remove travel insurance or change the selected plan. By conducting this comprehensive usability test, valuable insights were gathered to enhance the user experience and optimize the booking process for customers planning their trips.

  1. Content (Arabic)
  • Users had the most trouble understanding content, especially jargon such as curtailment and personal public liability.
  • Users thought that travel cancelation meant that they might compensated if they miss their flights on their own accord, instead of understanding that insurance covers cancelations or delays made by the airlines.

  1. Visibility
  • Not all users were able to tell that prices were different depending on age group as it was not stated in the prototype.

  1. Usability
  • Initially users thought that they would need to go back to the first page using the back button to remove or edit travel insurance.
  • They would’ve been able to easily remove or edit by clicking on the ‘added’ button.
  • This has been changed to an edit button which was more understandable for the users.

⏰ What happens next

At the time that this is written, we have gathered the insights from the usability test and refining content since content seemed to be a crucial pain point that was mentioned during the sessions.

📋 This is what I learned from this experience

  • How to formulate questions whether they were in the context of a survey or a usability test
  • How to create surveys (seems easy but getting customers not to drop off from the survey was an iterative process)
  • Conducting usability test and how to formulate non leading questions. As well as adapting the session on the spot.