The Car People - Case Study
Written by Barry Briggs / Date: 21/10/2010
In early 2010 Code Computerlove began a full research, design and development project to build The Car People a new website.
The project was run using Agile methodologies and my key activities included a content audit, competitor analysis, personas, scenarios, customer experience journeys (showing the handover between on-line and off-line parts of the customer journey), process flows, sitemap and a full set of wireframes.
The project was, in my opinion, one of the most collaborative and most successful Agile projects I have worked on.
The Car People are a regional chain of car supermarkets, selling nearly new and used cars. They are very proud of their "no hassle" approach and their brand proposition promises customers "a positive car-buying experience with no pushy salespeople, no inflated prices and no nonsense".
They wanted to offer a very different customer experience compared with other car supermarkets, and their new website had to reflect the "no hassle" and "here to help" propositions and communicate them effectively.
Research and Definition
As sole user experience architect on the project I carried out a detailed content audit of their current site in order to understand what content they had and evaluate it's merits. I also produced a competitor analysis document which evaluates the client's main competitors' sites.
I combined my findings from this research with existing market segmentation data provided by the client to create a set of detailed personas and accompanying scenarios.
Using this combined information I created a set of user journeys to satisfy the new scenarios, which then fed into the creation of a site map and a set of process flow diagrams.
The diagrams identify key paths through the site (including the "happy path"), which informed the subsequent design and development process.
The project ran according to Agile project methodologies, and involved myself working collaboratively with key stakeholders and our creative & technical team to incrementally create a complete set of detailed interactive wireframes which outlined all pages within the site, and demonstrated key functionality and interactions.
Microsoft Powerpoint was used to create the expert reviews, competitor analysis, personas and scenarios, and Microsoft Visio was used to produce the sitemap and process flows. The interactive wireframes were produced using Axure RP Pro.
Update 2nd November 2010
The site won Car Supermarket Website of the Year at the Auto Trader Click Awards 2010.
Update 30th November 2011
The site won Car Supermarket Website of the Year for the second year running, as well as winning Best Used Car Locator at the Auto Trader Click Awards 2011.