Mercedes-Benz presents its new electric car, the EQC. To promote what this vehicle can offer to potential buyers, I’ve been asked to shape an application that shows users how the car can fit their daily habits into a smart-tech life as a real proof of concept for them.

Make a change, be more sustainable, now is the time to switch to an electric vehicle.

The challenge was to define an Application that could convince the skeptical buyers and lead them into the sales process. Electric cars are the future, but at the moment, they are a new thing. Buyers are concerned about how far they can drive with the car and whether it suits their own life model.

The aim of this project was to get closer to these buyers, so they would identify themselves with an innovative lifestyle while using the EQC.

or keep reading some research below

What I made

User Research
Prototyping
UI Design

When

2019

Some research and discovery

In order to better understand the universe of electronic vehicles, thorough research was conducted to evaluate how other brands that produce electric vehicles, promote and persuade potential buyers to make the switch to electric cars. I began by selecting 5 electric cars from different worldwide brands which are considered the best choices in 2019. Then, I analysed the criteria these brands are using to best promote their e-vehicles.

Once the general analysis was finished, I came to the most relevant conclusions which are directly applicable to the future EQC App:

Most of these brands are not showing different user stories and driving experience.

User stories are crucial to understand how the car can adapt to different lifestyles, making it more trustful for potential future buyers.

All the e-vehicles are describing the main smart mobility experience features.

This is an important point because electric cars need to present modernity and future beyond conventional combustion cars.

The competitors are not giving too much importance to sustainable mobility and the responsibility of taking care of our environment.

This is an important criteria why electric vehicles are different from conventional combustion cars.

Some brands are not offering a route calculator.

They are crucial to understand the possibilities and the limits of the electric vehicles in our daily life.

What are the others doing?

Right after that, I downloaded different applications to learn about competitors' features and to understand their way of solving certain design problems.  

When analyzing those applications, I focused mainly on design in general terms: user interfaces, interface components and intuition in use. I took some time to understand the navigation, the menu and the way the main features were defined.

Also, it was important to understand how other users, with a different point of view and non-UX designer approach, value these Apps. That’s why I asked three participants for a usability test.

I couldn’t find in any analyzed case the possibility to get psychologically attached with the product through a more personalized approach presenting the use of the car with different lifestyles.

Examined applications focus on the technical presentation.

Potential future customers are distracted by the specific features and cannot identify with the product and imagine themselves as future car owners.

There is no form of “shopping cart” options to lead the user into the sales process and guide them to buy the car.

The general conclusion is: yes, technical aspects are needed. But if we want a higher number of buyers, we have to get closer to the users by giving them more real use cases, increasing trust in the product.

Understand our users

Following the information I was provided regarding the target group, I was able to investigate the type of potential buyers of EQC by accurately building two personas. I used both quantitative and qualitative information that I gathered from the previous research.

Thanks to these Personas, I was able to go deeper and understand the needs, attitudes and behaviours of potential buyers and what they will expect from the application.

Also, I was able to understand their behaviour patterns and this helped me to define scenarios and map their journeys while using the application.

The application shows users how the EQC can fit into their habits. The main feature will present different driving stories that explain how real owners are using the electric vehicle in their daily life.

At the same time, the user will discover technical aspects of the car according to different cases. Also, the driving stories will embrace trust and feelings of individual identification with the life-based examples using the car.

The driving stories aim to approach potential buyers from a more realistic point of view. More than a commercial spot. No film sets or unrealistic scripts.

The user will be able to understand how a normal person uses the vehicle by watching a story of no more than 30 seconds. The stories are intended to generate influence and attachment.

This feature is set in a 5 slide-stories that the user can choose. Each story covers specific topics: efficiency, aesthetics, innovation...

From driving stories, where we catch users’ attention, to the technical aspects of the vehicle. It is crucial that users have the essential information of the vehicle at their disposal.

Besides having all the characteristics of the vehicle, the user can find out the charging time of the electric vehicle. With the distance calculator, the user will be able to make an estimate of the KM to be driven and the charging time that the vehicle will need, either if the charge is made from home or from a charging point on the go.

Another important feature is the test drive booking. From the application, it is not possible to purchase a car since this requires going to a dealer, but to lead the user to the sales, we offer the option to test the car at their nearest dealer.

We offer the option to test the car at their nearest dealer to lead the users in the sales.

The booking flow for testing the car is designed in 4 steps. At first, we offer the user a dealer search in both map and list. Once users enter into the booking flow process, they will be able to choose the available features of the vehicle to be tested. Following this step, the user will be able to choose a day and time. As a final step, the user must complete his

personal data and once the reservation is completed, he will be given feedback that the reservation has been made successfully. This flow is designed to always assist the user in the booking process. That is why the feedback or progress line is essential so that the user does not feel lost in the 4 steps of the flow.

Design system

The application required 37 screens, considering the 5 driving stories and their technical details, the technical aspects of the vehicle and the booking process to test the car.
To ensure the visual harmony of the app, maintain its consistency and make sure its development will be feasible, minimalist components have been designed keeping the elegance and aesthetics of Mercedes Benz.

Project learnings

1. Research is a must

It doesn't matter if it's a PoC or a real project. As a product designer, I am obligated to investigate and experiment beyond my assumptions. Without the research, the project would be very different.

2. Build trust above everything

Being close to our users will make them trust our product. Offering them realistic use cases will make the product better understood.

3. Simplicity keeps consistency

At first, I came up with 5 features for a single app, the final result has been very different.

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