This area is dedicated to UI design and a few of the prototypes I have put together for either Usability testing or general proof of concept.
Client: The Cobalt Group
The Cobalt Group, a major automotive OEM and dealer marketing firm, recognized a problem with the system they used to create websites for their dealer clients, so they brought me in to find the solution. There was a lot of paper, notes, multiple trips to dealer locations and confusion that overall took far too long to turn out an auto dealer site. The successful solution shaved weeks off the production time.
After getting an understanding of the problems with the system they were using, I spent a few weeks interviewing auto dealers to define the content they needed. Concurrently I had the templates rounded up and began looking into the features clients were actually buying. Once the data was collected and the information was organized into a logical breakdown and flow, I organized the templates into the Design Gallery. With the gallery in place, it was easy for sales people to show a dealer client exactly what their site could look like from a template preview, giving them a far better understanding of what they would get, and giving the production department a clear win by not having to build new designs each time. The templates could always be added to at an extra cost, and the design farm continued to add new templates and interchangeable tools and sections. From there, I drove the interaction and design for the next part of the solution, the Sales Center. Having collected the information detailing what dealers wanted on their sites, and wrapping in the innovations Cobalt was producing for the tools dealers could access, it was time to come up with an easier way to get the content into a site. The handwritten paper notes and forms were not working, and it was just too clear that direct input could be the key. I came up with a system of web forms that would guide a salesperson or dealer through the process of entering all the information needed for the features they chose for the site. The system allowed them to view the progress in a few different ways, and to see a preview of the site at any time. Since it was web based, the salesperson could save their progress and come back to it later or assign the dealer a login and give them an assignment to fill in content themselves. This cut down the number of trips back to the dealer and freed the sales force to make new clients while giving greater service to the current client base. In the end there was drastic reduction in the time it had taken and a severe increase in the ease of creating websites for the dealers. Cobalt was happy with the reduction of overhead and increased productivity, and the dealers were happy to see their site up and running as within days not weeks.
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