General Motors – Websites

Meet modern car shopping

Overview

CLIENT

As of 2020, General Motors is ranked number 18 on the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.

General Motors

PRODUCT

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.

BACKGROUND

I was tasked with providing design solutions that increased sale conversions and lead generations for GM’s dealership websites.

PRODUCT STRATEGY

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.

OPPORTUNITY

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.

ROLE

UX & UI 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.

Desktop Prototype

Mobile Prototype

Features

MOBILE FIRST

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.

USER-CENTERED

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.

Planning

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.

Discovery

SECONDARY USER RESEARCH

Secondary research helped me understand car-shoppers’ buying processes and their habits.

Edmunds Car-Shopper Journey

Google Car-shopper Process

Participants were involved in the primary user research

PRIMARY USER RESEARCH

Using addresses collected via an email lead form on the dealership websites, I worked closely with the marketing team to reach out to real-life users through an emailed “car shopper” survey. The survey was successful, and data was collected from over 1,000 participants.

Car Shopper Survey Results

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. I recorded each feature and later reviewed with rest of 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.

Complete Direct Competition Heuristic – 1

Complete Direct Competition Heuristic – 2

COMPONENT EVALUATION

At this stage, I compared the components of current General Motor’s 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.

Complete Heuristic Mathbox Evaluation

USABILITY STUDIES

Usability studies provided valuable feedback directly from the users and helped me to identify usability issues.

Examples of usability studies:

Mathbox Cash vs Price

Inventory Search Placement

Hidden Price and Log-In

INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE & PERSONAS

The websites’ information architecture provided a holistic, architectural view of the desired goals and needs of the users.

User personas helped me to establish empathy for our primary users – automotive buyers and automotive dealerships.

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 me to identify the necessary page components and pain points from the perspective of both consumers and dealers.

Car-Shopper Journey Map

Dealer Journey Map

USER EXPERIENCE MAP

Experience maps helped me to 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.

Framing

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

I developed wireflows to highlight and identify the functionality within the design – which aided in obtaining stakeholder buy-ins.

PROTOTYPES

I created and used functionable, high-fidelity prototype for user validation.

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.

Desktop Prototype

Mobile Prototype

Usability Testing – Insights

Usability Testing – Results

IMPLEMENTATION

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.

Header & Nav Implementation Overview

Low LOE Math Box Integration

Mid LOE Math Box Integration

High LOE Math Box Integration

“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

MY MISSION & GUARANTEE

By removing barriers to launching digital products, I deliver design solutions that matter – transforming the way we live.

I put my name on the line with every project that I work on – as a seal of my guarantee to deliver the best possible results.