Ideation workshop, personas, user stories, business stories.
Userflows, sketches, prototype & wireframes, user testing.
Brand identity design, UI design, design system, collaborate with developers.
Gather data throughout the project to iterate design.
Firstly, I ran an ideation workshop to help stakeholders define the overall value proposition for CarGuide. A huge amount of data can be gathered for each vehicle, but what is actually valuable to the user? By encouraging the business to bring users to life with personas, we can understand (or at least make some assumptions) around their motivations. That helped us to decide how much (and what) data to display to both petrolheads and less experienced used car buyers.
We collaborated remotely on card sort sessions to define the MVP. By creating user stories, we could reference the personas to validate that the MVP functionality met all of their needs. We also set the business needs alongside these.
Creating these cards in Trello, meant that the whole team could contribute, comment and add their own user story. In effect, we were developing the functional spec of the product.
Whilst we were focussed on the customer needs, it’s also important to remember the business goals and objectives and aim to balance the two.
I started the define stage by generating userflows to describe and optimise the paths taken for users to perform the key tasks within the site: Add a vehicle / Compare saved vehicles / Buy credits / Buy a report.
Userflows allowed us to focus on the users experience and not the design details on the screen. A flow should show the number of decisions required to perform a certain task. It therefore shows us where we can optimise the journey and reduce friction for the user.
Next, I created interactive wireframes in Adobe XD, to better understand the userflows and to start to bring the solution to life. These are extrememly useful for early user testing and A/B testing of key pages (mobile-first). We conducted a live test in order to gain feedback on the following:
• The overall proposition
• Value (cost per report)
• Usability and intuitiveness
• Tone of voice
I designed a brand identity that gives CarGuide a personality to fit with their brand values: “A friendly guide helping motorists every step during the used car buying cycle, helping them to make the right decision, avoiding unnecessary trips to view dodgy cars”. The smiley ‘saintly’ car logo was created to give CarGuide a device which can be used on social media channels and throughout the website as a visual guide.
The launch website introduced users to the CarGuide proposition and brand for the first time. It was important that we had clear messaging and brand guidelines to follow, so that their first impressions would be positive.
With the style now set in place, I could design the functional pages that were created during the ‘define’ stage. I adopted a mobile-first approach to design as we had identified this would be the main use case for CarGuide. Together, we explored UX solutions for the detailed report pages and key functionality such as ‘Compare favourites’ ‘Buy Credits’ and the ‘Buy Report’ journey.
To enable CarGuide to iterate and introduce new features, each of the elements are archived into a library or design system. This system is an important tool to ensure that the established design is maintained, going forward. By creating the design system in Sketch, developers can access and inspect all the elements using Zeplin.