Product definition, information architecture, user research and synthesis in collaboration with a UX researcher, workshop facilitation with stakeholders, requirements documentation and prototyping.
Most people looking into purchasing a new car tend to focus on which model is right for them, narrowing their choices to a few models, ignoring trim in the beginning. Once they’ve settled on a model, their focus will shift to selecting trims and options. Another observation revealed that car researchers are in a mode of constant compare, hoping to validate that the choice they’ve made is the right one.
Consumer Reports car testing and reporting is second to none and a major driver for new signups. Despite it being one of the biggest franchise areas for the non-profit, there were many holes in the user experience that didn’t match how the target audience does car research. We were forcing them to decide on a trim or to draw their own conclusions when comparing models by jumping between tested trim pages in the interface.
In comparing the user’s research journey with the strengths in CR’s car testing , we came up with this statement: “We test cars to report on models.” This means, we can’t test every trim in a model, but we can use the data we have in the trims we do test to inform our reporting on a model. In aligning our focus with the major pain point of comparing and deciding on a model, we can be a better serve our members during the car research process.
To support the mental mode of constant compare, we represented every model with 3 data points: overall score, MPG and price, making it easier to compare models at every step of the journey. These were the three most important factors in beginning to compare models.
- streamlined user experience that aligns with how members do research
- turned a hole in the experience (the fact that we can’t test every trim) into an opportunity
- removed a lot of redundancies
- this architecture stemmed from my work with the mobile apps team, but soon after was adopted by the website team