Feature Design - Research - Pro-bono as part of general assembly
"Fair offers a forward-thinking alternative to traditional car ownership with an app that lets you shop, get approved and pay for your next car — all on your phone." -fair.com
Our challenge was to research and create a new VR/AR feature for the fair application. My role specifically on this project was to research through user interviews and site analysis what feature(s) would be most effective and useful as well as synthesizing data to create the new feature and where in the current application to adapt it for the most effective use and outcomes.
Timeline: 2 Week Sprint on 3 person team
Roles: UX Research | Prototype | Wireframe
Platform: Mobile Only
Tools: Pen/Paper/Whiteboard, Adobe XD, Sketch, Photoshop
Heuristics + C&C Analysis, Persona, Sitemap, Task Analysis, User Experience Map, Wireframes, Low-Med-High Fidelity Prototypes, Clickable Prototype
The Research Process.
At the start of the project we were given assigned to create an Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality function for the application. Without any ideas on what features to include with this feature. Our team came up with some research and interview guidelines to probe the existing marketplace as well as potential users to find what they would want.
Competitive & Comparative Analysis
In order to determine what kind of features or areas the current market is successful with or lacking. We ran two analysis' one for fair's direct competitors and another for other companies currently utilizing AR/VR for retail/sales purposes.
Takeaways: Visually fair was well designed but in terms of features and use it was very different from it's competitors and was at a competitive disadvantage for lack of similar features. We concluded by using the 2nd C&C analysis of just the AR/VR features.
Who do we interview?
In order to figure out who to reach out to for research we had to first find out who and what the company does in order to find out who the audience may be and how to reach out to them. Conducting the business model canvass allowed us to find out fair's goals, outreach, target market, and value proposition.
We found it would be most effective to reach out to more tech saavy individuals that would need and want the convenience of an application only car shopping experience. We reached out to individuals who have recently purchased/leased a car and asked about their experience and what they'd like to see to make their car browsing experience better.
Affinity Mapping | Interview Synthesis
We conducted several user interviews with many open-ended questions focused on car purchasing experiences in order to see if we could learn how people behave during a car leasing or purchasing process.
We laid out our interview observations in an affinity map, helping us identify some key takeaways.
The key takeaways: Users wanted a personalized experience, were not too car savvy, users wanted to avoid dealerships and the pressure salesman give off, Users want a feel of connection and a visual shopping experience.
Users really relied on visual aides when shopping online for cars as it helps creates trust in the product and the company. People want to trust that if they’re purchasing a used car, that aesthetically it still meets their expectations.
Important Takeaway: We found after all the user interviews that both our persona's did not wan't a Virtual Reality Experience in this specific application.
After synthesizing our research we made this user persona to ensure that all our designs and ideas stay centered on our users on the way to the finished product. Initially we had collected enough data for two very different personas. However to keep the project within the scope and to ensure we are not overextending the design scope, we had to make the recommendation to stick with just one persona for the first iteration.
Customer Experience Map and Task Flow
- An important point to keep in mind during the synthesis was to examine the current flow of the application to find where this new feature would fit best.
- We found in order for a user to save a car in their favorites list they had to go through a very lengthy sign up process which included a soft credit check and required uploading a scanned image of both the front and back of a drivers license. No one we tested was happy or willing to do that just to simply browse cars.
- We used our user journey map to outline pain points and get a feel of the current site navigation. This process also allowed us to pinpoint where in the site architecture it would be best and most effective for placements of our new feature.
User Task Flow - Happy Path - Customer Experience Map - These tools help us determine how a user would navigate and feel throughout our website
The Design Process.
Wireframing an Augmented reality feature proved to be difficult to get across the idea and feeling of being able to move around in the current space. User testing proved us wrong and showed proof of concept. With low fidelity testing done we simply needed to build up the high fidelity prototype to make sure there would be no other issues or distractions to our users.
- With our user in mind we had to bring our features and ideas and scope them accordingly to our timeframe and feasibility.
Moscow feature prioritization - High Low Impact - These tools helped us focus our designs without skipping any key features
Initial Whiteboard Design Studio.
Medium Fidelity Wireframes.
Ideation of our final design through sketches and medium fidelity prototypes to test and ideate the product.
High Fidelity Designs.
The final prototype gave us great insight on future recommendations as well as the information architecture and current navigation. With successful testing of our prototype we were able to gain insight on how users interacted with our new feature, what they felt and though as well as confirm our research and recommendations would be useful.
Difficulties and Problems: Having only a few ways to access the AR feature made it so that during testing users had to go back and forth from product page to home page to select different cars. Giving users several options to access and add cars to the AR feature made it so users could use the feature no matter the path they took. We found that various users each had different browsing habits, so we designed multiple ways to access our new feature.
- I would like to test new features on the AR platform to provide more technical details on the cars, to be able to highlight the differences that make each car unique .
- Interactions with the cars to be able to see the interior and interact with the vehicle to create a more lifelike interaction with the car in the AR space
- Fair's business model is based around being able to interact with the vehicle from the comfort of your home, never having to step foot outside. By allowing users to interact with vehicles as if they were at a dealership would complete the experience of shopping for a car through the comfort of their homes.