Shopping for a new vehicle (as well as ownership) is accompanied by an emotional rollercoaster – spanning excitement, anxiousness, confusion, frustration and even boredom. Not a surprise to most, but a fair amount of those emotional lows occur when on-site at a dealership.
This was no different for Hyundai shoppers, so we set out to reduce areas of friction within that journey – with a core focus on improving the test drive experience – reducing [unnecessary] time at the dealership and making it easier to evaluate vehicles of interest.
Serving as a UX Engineer, I provided guidance through UX design and the prototyping of a native mobile application used to bring this concept to life, to test with consumers and dealers, and within the pitch to our clients to get this project off the ground and into production. (Yes, most projects naturally start with a client request; however, this initiative was a little different. As Hyundai's AOR, we worked hard to research, conceptualize and validate our approach before pitching it to our clients, so they had confidence in pursuing this solution, which ultimately was green-lit and is now being used by consumers and dealers across the United States.)
Research approaches included initial friends and family sessions, as well as a cross-country research study facilitated at dealerships throughout the United States – including 55 consumers and 19 dealers. (Internal User Research was not formally established yet at the agency so we partnered with a research vendor while assisting in test plan development and moderation of the study.)
Although similar, the prototype and launch version of Hyundai Drive differed slightly, mostly through the lenses of scale and focus. Respectfully, Hyundai Drive scaled back to only including capabilities that aligned more closely with the core functions, like remote test drives.
To ensure we were architecting the experience effectively, we thought through various userflows, based on role, through the lenses of acquisition, activation, conversion and retention.
Through research we identified and created key personas – including prospects, owners, sales reps, sales admins, partners, agency/operations, and corporate – to help the teams understand each users' needs, behaviors and goals.
As we conceptualized and developed a solution around remote test drives, the prototype (built with app.js and PhoneGap) naturally included a collection of peripheral ideas from the teams involved – to further evaluate consumer interest through further concept testing. Included were such additional capabilities as:
Granted, some of these were more applicable than others, but we took this opportunity to validate various hypotheses, resulting in a more focused purpose as reflective in the launched version.
Hyundai Drive is a B2C and B2B platform, where for dealers, transparency and management was key. We made this possible by designing a robust dashboard where they can see such details as previous, active and scheduled test drive, plus consumer and salesmen ratings.
App download behavior has changed overtime, where two-thirds of the U.S. market download zero apps in a typical month, so we wanted to ensure access wasn't restricted to requiring an app download – thus the development of an online destination that facilitates all test drive requests, whether at the dealer or remotely.
The one area of concern we had while designing this solution was in relation to remote test drive fulfillment – where dealers may not want to risk "wasting" drive-time to a prospect (for they could be missing out on an on-side sale). Candidly, we learned pretty quickly that this concern was valid post-launch. We quickly worked with both Hyundai and the dealers, having success in finding ways to encourage fulfillment.