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Virtual Room:
Designing a Real-World Digital Experience

In six weeks we have gone from concept to a functioning Virtual Room for Lloyd’s. And we’re pleased to say we couldn’t be more excited to welcome our first users into the room this month.

Sam Irving & Fiona Manders

September 2020

How has collective remote working influenced our approach?

Working remotely has levelled the playing field in terms of how we think about work and professional productivity. Collaboration has typically biased those working in person, while working virtually has seen millions worldwide adapt into a ‘new business normal’.

New tools and processes have quickly emerged to support the challenges that remote working brings, but it has also brought new opportunities and a sense of possibility around smarter ways of connecting, collaborating and conducting business in the insurance marketplace.

This is something Lloyd’s was already piloting at a macro level.

Now, we’re taking this thinking up a gear in our testing for Virtual Room too. We’re currently focused on driving connectivity and a tangible sense of community across the market, in order to sync up the Physical Room with its digital equivalent – Virtual Room.

Short experiments will enable us to trial enhancements around user connectedness, while refining transformative physical room experiences powered by digital and data. Two particular areas of focus include:

Connect Bar – providing information and support to help you stay connected (in the Physical Room), but also virtual support to our digital release 1 users too.
Digital Booths – different sized booths will allow those outside the room to meet and connect. These are purely in the experimental phase to see how we can adapt the room for increased remote working in the future.

Other key release functionality for Virtual Room will involve offering users the tools to quickly and easily find a broker or underwriter, search their profile to assess their risk appetite and also book their availability. Chat functionality lets users liaise in a real-time conversation or arrange a more formal online or in-person meeting.

"Our week-long sprints and weekly testing and building approach really paid off. It allowed us to focus on the most important features for our first release. In six weeks, we’ve achieved a lot."
Deepak Lad, Senior Business Analyst, Lloyd’s

At present, we’ve launched the Lloyd’s Virtual Room with one class of business and only a small number of firms. Our cohort of market users covers Carriers (20%) and Brokers (nearly half) who work within the US Property market. We chose US property with guidance from LMA, LIIBA, COO forums that have a focus on the following criteria:

  • Transaction Volume
  • Common Class
  • GWP
  • Room Use
  • Cyclical Peaks
  • E-trading Uptake History

But this is only the beginning.

Future iterations around the design development of The Virtual Room, including increased functionality and scalability, will be rolled out in the coming months. We’ll be continuing our testing and feedback sessions with the help of selected users involved in the initial release one. These insights will play a valuable role in how we move Virtual Room forward to become an unrivalled digital workspace for the marketplace, and one that caters to multiple classes of business over time.

Testing continues to play an important role in how we iterate our design and development based on direct first-person feedback. If you would like to take part in the preliminary stages of testing Virtual Room and share your feedback as we launch each new release, register your details.

As always, a huge thanks for your expert input so far. We look forward to collaborating on the next phase of Virtual Room soon.

Please visit the Virtual Room webpage for the latest news and developments.