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Setting up & scaling integrations

Research, product design, data visualization, UX writing

Archipelago gives commercial real estate insurance companies a place to clean up and enhance their property data. Owners and brokers can present insurers trustworthy information for better quotes.

I designed flexible user flows and UIs that can adapt to support more integrations over time.

The challenge

Archipelago has a new product offering: integrations with trusted software companies in the commercial real estate space. We can give users a more complete view of their portfolio by supporting new building resiliency data that we couldn’t before.

What I did

I started off conducting research with product and business development stakeholders. Later, I incrementally designed the feature, set up user interviews, and did QA as we scaled up. 


We piloted 2 integrations with 35 accounts, and we shortened their time-to-market by a few hours to a few days per portfolio. Our pilot also contributed to a ~$3M deal with a key broker customer. 

As of August 2023, Archipelago has 10 more partners in the pipeline, plus 3 new data types:
  • Event tracking for natural disasters
  • Climate change
  • Fire protection & manufacturing recommendations

Figuring out the product strategy

I joined the lead product strategist, product manager, and sales director to do some initial research. To gauge users’ data needs, we pitched integrations as a new product offering on customer calls and sent surveys. 

My role was to facilitate brainstorm sessions and create mockups to share with customers. Later, these early designs inspired the actual integrations we’d build. 

Scale down…

We started simple: build the feature to accommodate one data partner for now, and expand later. We also reduced technical complexity with a white-glove service approach. In the background, account managers configure integrations on behalf of customers.

Our first integration imports building valuation data into Archipelago. Users can compare their own values to market standards, which helps with price negotiations.

As we built the integration, we interviewed brokers. They were excited, since it‘d save them 6-8 hours preparing an account for the insurance market. After launch, we saw similar productivity gains among users.

… And then scale up.

Months later, we had a second partnership: the COPE prefill integration. This one automatically fills in missing building data as long as there’s a valid address. I future-proofed the design to support more configuration options and data types.

Our most frequent use case was asset owners acquiring new properties. They typically fill 50% of blank data per property with the integration. This saves them 2-3 days compared to manually inputting data.

Explaining API limits to users

One ongoing challenge was describing API limits to users, since integration partners have their own usage rules.

I made API limits easier to understand by:
  • Collaborating with our lead technical writer on terminology that fits users’ mental models.
  • Editing UI copy to focus more on impact and less on transactions.
  • Adding a history page to track usage.