Next Gen, CDK Global’s newest website CMS, was focused on increasing sales and lead generations for automotive dealership clients. Next Gen offered dealerships modern and fully-responsive website designs that were fast and flexible.
I was tasked with providing design solutions that increased sale conversions and lead generations for GM’s dealership websites.
My primary focus was on improving the user experience, conversion rate, and lead generation for the Vehicle Search Results (VSR) Page and Vehicle Details Page (VDP) – the two highest trafficked pages.
With the launch of the new Content Management Software (CMS) website platform, the opportunity arose to redesign all dealership websites. As the biggest client, GM received the highest priority and was also first to pilot the conversion focused design.
Design directly impacted over 30,000 dealership websites, and more than ten automotive companies including General Motors, Toyota, BMW, Nissan, and other renowned automotive brands.
MODERN CAR SHOPPING
GM’s websites feature a leading-edge design that incorporates modern web design best practices from across the Internet – taking cues from some of the world’s most admired consumer-facing brands, and applying them in an automotive context.
In addition to a good desktop experience, the new design is optimized for smartphones and tablets using a mobile first approach to accommodate the majority of traffic (74% mobile traffic) and help dealers stand out from their online competition.
Create a user centered design by utilizing the latest design principles and divergent thinking, while staying within CRM Next Gen platform development boundaries. All proposed design solutions passed through a rigorous usability testing.
FLEXIBLE AND CUSTOMIZABLE
The all new site editor and intuitive content management tools make Next Gen websites far more nimble – allowing dealers to customize and make site-wide design changes in minutes.
On business KPIs, goals and ROI objectives.
INTERVIEWS & REQUIREMENT GATHERING
To set a base for understanding the project requirements, KPIs and business objectives, I conducted interviews with stakeholders, SMEs, and dealership clients.
IDENTIFYING THE USER
With a base understanding, I identified all of the users and departments involved in the car buying experience.
Participants were involved in the primary user research
PRIMARY USER RESEARCH
Using addresses collected via an email lead form on the dealership websites, I reached out to real-life users through an emailed “car shopper” survey. The survey was successful, and data was collected from over 1,000 participants.
COMPETITIVE HEURISTIC ANALYSIS
A competitive heuristic analysis was performed to establish the functionality and usefulness of the features within both direct and indirect competitor websites. Each feature was recorded and later reviewed by the team.
In order to further understand the automotive shopping experience, I recorded the total number of monthly visitors, including both incoming and outgoing traffic, for each competitive website.
At this stage, I compared the components of current website pages to the components on competitors’ pages. From this comparison, I presented what competitors were doing successfully to the product team and drew ideas that could be incorporated into later designs.
Example of CDK websites mathbox and comparing it to Dealer Inspire and Joyride.
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE & PERSONAS
The websites’ information architecture provided a holistic, architectural view of the desired goals and needs of the users.
User personas helped the team and I establish empathy for our primary users – automotive consumers and dealers.
USER JOURNEY MAPS
I created two user journey maps – one for the consumer and another for the automotive dealer.
These user journeys visually conveyed the steps that consumers and dealers undertake on the website in order to purchase and/or sell vehicles. This helped myself and the team identify the necessary page components and pain points from the perspective of both consumers and dealers.
USER EXPERIENCE MAP
Experience maps helped me recognize the experiences and emotions of the users interacting with the dealership websites. After presenting my findings to the team, these experiences were acknowledged and the user pain points were collaboratively addressed with UX solutions.
With Facebook’s Oculus team to create a first virtual car shopping experience.
CREATIVE CONCEPTS – VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE
I explored many creative concepts that were focused on improving both the user experience and website conversion rate. Some of the notable concepts included: collaboration with Facebook’s Oculus VR, and a creative concept that aided in acquiring Nissan as a new CDK Global client.
Wireflows were created to highlight and identify the functionalities within the design – which aided in obtaining stakeholder buy-ins.
A functionable, high-fidelity prototype was created for user testing.
Before any design could be approved, it had to go through several sessions of user testing to ensure that the provided solutions solved user needs.
Components were implemented one-at-a-time into the Next Gen CMS. This required me to collaborate closely with the engineering team.
Implementing a component followed a three stage process, based on its development level of effort (LOE) – low, medium, and high.
“CDK Next Gen websites are a game-changer in automotive retail, providing consumers a premium experience that connects them to dealers in ways never before possible. Our 100% responsive platform built on 20 years of automotive retail experience delivers the speed and flexibility needed for dealers to have their own next generation competitive edge”
PMAX STECKLER – PRODUCT OFFICER, CDK GLOBAL