HackUX, banner, UX

We are excited to announce the next hackathon #HackUX in partnership with Aviva, which is taking place the 24th/25th November with the theme ‘Future Empathy’. Participants will create tools to help with better decision making about the future. Learn gow we can make people better understand, how their decisions today affect their long-term future. The goal of the Hackathon is to create innovative products and solutions, as well as gain knowledge about the issues and to make valuable connections.

Hackathon, UX, UXevent, UXdesign

Studies have suggested that we think about the future three times more often than the past. Some of our cognitive biases mean that we tend to favour what benefits us now rather than what benefits us in the long term. Often we lack empathy with the future versions of our families, our communities and ourselves.


We asked Dylan Connerton, Head of User Experience at Aviva, a few questions regarding Aviva’s participation in the Hackathon. Here is what he had to say.

Q1: How do you in Aviva create a good user experience?

It requires a mindset shift. We now create our products to solve real customer problems. To be effective, this mindset needs to be baked into the core of the business. It’s not enough to design user centred experiences, we need to change the way we measure and report the success of the organisation. This is happening now, but as you can imagine in a 320 year old company with 30,000 employees and 30,000,000 customers, this shift takes time.

Q2: How can an insurance company benefit from hosting Hackathons?

Part of the process of development in an organisation like ours is developing an expertise in the sector. Our designers really get to know the nuts and bolts of how financial products work. And we need to, to design effectively. Through this process, you tend to absorb some of the assumptions of the industry. And it’s easy to fall into the trap of accepting these assumptions. So our hope is that we can get some new perspectives that can help us understand our design challenges more effectively. And inspire some great work. And help people do a better job of managing their future.

Q3: The theme for this hackathon is ‘future empathy’, how do Aviva help people better understand how their decisions today affect their long-term future?

All of the products you buy from Aviva are designed to provide you financial resilience. Insurance products are designed to help you recover from large financial setbacks. Investment and retirement products are designed to grow your wealth over the long term. The challenge we face is that for most people, thinking about and making good decisions about their future is tricky. Particularly when it comes to money. You really hit a lot of our cognitive limits. We ask people to make decisions about an abstract thing, a pot of money that only exists in the future. Our brains aren’t good at this.

The challenge for us, at Aviva, is how to create experiences that help people become awesome at making long-term decisions. However, no one really knows how to do that. And it’s quite difficult to prove the effectiveness of a solution that has a 20-year time horizon. It becomes more complicated when you come up against cultural norms that discourage people from talking about their finances. And laws, which are very precise about how information can be displayed. But if you’re after a really complicated, interesting design problem, then we have a bunch of those that we work through every day.


Click here to learn more about the Hackathon. Also, check out the previous Hackathon we ran with Orange around VR.