Role: Research & Design Lead, Design Sprint Facilitator
heycar was the new player in highly saturated market of second hand car platforms in Germany competing against giants such as Mobile.de & AutoScout24. The product & services were launched on a responsive website, which was mostly attracting visitors who were viewing the site on their mobile devices.
Why & the Goal
Studying user metrics on the web platform and examining the competitive landscape, we’ve determined that the next big step for heycar’s growth would come via building a mobile app providing superior user experience than the current web platform and the competition.
First, I partnered up with Head of Strategic Design on conducting research regarding user metrics, competitive landscape, and explaining our leadership team why we should invest in a mobile app today.
Once, we’ve received green light from the managing directors of the company, we kicked things off with a Design Sprint (Jake Knapp et al.) and decided to iterate upon prototype(s) until we gain confidence on a validated solution meeting the product KPIs. The primary KPI was based on the lead generation – prospective customers contacting the dealerships via the platform.
Designing and facilitating a five-day-long Design Sprint (as suggested in Jake Knapp’s Sprint book) was not an easy task in a team with super important and relatively busy people. Especially, since the CPO and Head of Strategic Design were also members of the core team.
Therefore, we decided to split the sprint into two:
- Core-team members go through the initial 3-day phase together and determine the winning storyboard and prototype requirements
- heyLabs team takes over these requirements and finalize the prototype then go through a series of usability studies
As always, it was super fun and challenging working together for three full days until we came up with the winning storyboard. We’ve mostly sticked to the book but also utilized Sprint Hack we’ve learned from other teams.
- More direct and intimate communication between customer and dealerships
- The dialog takes place on the platform (at the time, after leads were created customers and dealers were talking to each other over the phone or via email)
Turning the winner into prototype
After the team detailed the storyboard on a whiteboard (remember the video on top?), I documented the decisions in a lo-fi to brief the UI/Visual Designers.
The Prototype & Usability Study Highlights
We partnered up with Schlesinger Group and conducted three of our studies at their facilities. They provided the lab and helped us with recruiting. We were planning and conducting the studies ourselves.
We prepared Facilitator’s Guide for our team to be able to conduct the interview. We wanted everyone in the to get to speak with our users, and help document the findings.
After each session we documented the learnings, and quantified the learning to inform the team in the best way possible.
Overall, we’ve revised the prototype five/six times and conducted 5 studies.
In the first usability study, while we were validating a category page, three out of five participants indicated that they should have landed on this page from a filter flow rather than being prompted with categories out of nowhere. We understood that the users needed to express themselves initially to have a better suggestions experience.
The most engaged users at the time on heycar were the ones who selected filters then reduced results to a minimum, and finally they signed up for email notifications for new cars matching their filters.
User feedback combined with user metrics helped us rethink the onboarding experience in a way that helps users get to know the platform and express their needs from the get-go, then find the opportunity to allow notifications to receive updates for the search results.
After many iterations and usability studies, MVP scope & user stories map were finalized and turned into userflows.
The final designs of the app were candy-like, super slick, intuitive. Also, the limited color palette coordinated well with the company brand and app logo.
Doubling both as a product owner & design lead also helped me support the product owner of the mobile app, our CPO at the time, with prioritization, user story mapping as well as dependency table as tech leads coordinated efforts towards the execution on the final designs and requirements.
The team successfully released both IOS and Android apps in the market. The primary KPI of the platform was surpassed and the mobile products performed superior than the responsive platform. This validated our bet on the onboarding experience combined with the subscription flow providing better user experience and reaching business goals.