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Dealermatch

Background: Dealer to dealer transactions

Team: Intern at Dealermatch

Role: UX Design Intern

Date: June 2014 – Aug. 2014

Deliverables: Customer persona, task analysis, style guide & pattern library, and tested wireframes.

Dealermatch was a (now defunct) startup company under Cox Automotive. The startup created a web and mobile application that allowed dealer to dealer business with no transaction fees, contracts, or auctions. Subscribers were allowed to buy as many vehicles as they wanted for a flat monthly fee. The company enabled a B2B process without the hassle of physical or online auctions. At Dealermatch, I was a UX Design intern from June – August 2014.

The Problem

Auto auctions have been the main process of trading, buying, and selling for dealers. These auctions can be costly and usually restrict dealers to buy at retail prices, leaving them to purchase one vehicle at a time instead of utilizing the benefits of the wholesale market. This also leaves a limited network between dealers with very little interaction to conduct buying and selling procedures.

Along with the cost and time-consuming policies associated with physical and online auctions, many dealers feel restrained by the limit on trading and trade fees, which can add more stress especially on smaller dealers who may only sell 400-500 cars per year.

Reducing the need for the auction middle man and developing a strong business relationship between dealers.

My role & process

I was in charge of creating the style guide and helping with front end web development within the agile development team. I also kept a log for all updates to the web application and participated in stakeholder meetings. Under the guidance of the UX manager, I followed a simple design process that included task analysis for users, ideation, wireframes, and design validation.

*The final mobile UI design screens are attributed to former teammate Matt Wolpers.

Research & customer insights

During my timeat Dealermatch, I was able to participate in weekly design meetings and present any ideas from the previous week about incorporating the latest design trends, how to effectively organize the style guide for the application, and work closely alongside the development team.

After taking part in stakeholder meetings, I learned that the user’s main goals were:

  1. No auction fees and a possible low flat monthly fee.
  2. A strong network of dealers where buying and selling can happen instantly.
  3. Allow high visibility of cars in a dealers inventory.

After gathering this information, I created a user persona and task analysis to narrow down the main pain points and motivations of a potential user of the application.

Preliminary Tasks

Since the majority of the UI design was already established, my first task was to create a living style guide to ultimately organize all application elements and keep up with new additions. During user testing, manynew design elements were requested to accomodate the growing need of our intended user.

Starting the design

After creating the style guide, I was tasked to create simple wireframes before adding new UI elements to the design. It was important to track the needs of the dealer industry with insight from auction siblings Manheim and the mass inventory of Autotrader.com. This would ultimately help to further determine the needs of our target users and what usability elements to add to the application.

Login Screen

Individual Vehicle Screen

Vehicle Search Screen

Web application screens

The home screen (bottom left) primarily showed an introduction to the company’s philosophy and goals for the intended user. The main principle was to keep the design simple with easy access to company information, demo videos, mobile app download, testimonials, and more. The focus was on having the user be well informed on how to use the service and how to get started, keeping complex web interactions to a minimum.

The individual car screen (bottom right) focuses on a vehicle’s information including it’s exterior and interior, the dealer, pricing and other pertinent information.

Home Screen

Individual Car Screen

Final results & what I learned

Always be as thorough as possible when brainstorming any new ideas and present them in a concise manner during team meetings. During team and individual meetings with the UX manager, I learned to not be nervous about expressing any new ideas because it can be a solution to a design problem that could save time.

A great product depends on consistent and comprehensive UX and a strong team comradery and vision rather than a larger focus on visual design. Although a product’s visuals will attract target users, the backbone is contingent on exceeding the user’s needs and conveying that within the application