Mercedes EQC
A mobile app that shows the users how the new e-vehicle Mercedes EQC can fit their daily life habits.
UX RESEARCH, UX CONCEPTUALIZATION
Year
2019
Role
UX Designer & Researcher
Introduction

Mercedes Benz, the historical German automobile brand, presents its new electric car entering a sustainable and competitive market. Mercedes EQC is proof that a dynamic and innovative lifestyle through mobility, at the same time taking care of our environment, is possible.

Problem

To promote what Mercedes can offer to potential buyers of EQC, I’ve been asked to develop an application that shows the users how this car can fit their habits in a smart tekki life-style as a realistic proof of concept for them.

High-level goals
  • Define exemplary use cases, different scenarios, and situations, in which EQC could be a part of the daily life of the users
  • Provide information about how to find dispensers in their cities
  • The possibilities of travel with EQC - show to the users how far they can travel by car
  • Show to the customers why using an electric car is up to date and has a lot of benefits
  • Explain how to move in a sustainable way, respecting the environment
  • Lead the users into the sales process and guide them to buy the car
Benchmarking

General Analysis

I have started by making a general analysis to evaluate how the other brands producing e-vehicles promote and persuade potential buyers to make a change and switch to electric cars and buy their products. I selected 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 promote their e-vehicles in the best way.

Conclusions

Once I finished the general analysis, I came up with 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, which are crucial to understanding how the product can adapt to different lifestyles making the product 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 the main criteria why e-vehicles are different from conventional combustion cars.
  • Some brands are not offering a Route Calculators which are crucial to understanding the possibilities and the limits of the e-vehicles in our daily life.
  • There are common points which are always coinciding: aesthetics, charge possibilities information, technical aspects, safety & comfort, pricing and store locations.  

Specific Analysis

In my specific analysis and research, I downloaded different Apps to know the characteristics of the competitors and to get along with their way of solving certain concerns.  
In this specific analysis, I mainly focused on the design in general terms: the user interfaces, UI elements, and intuitiveness in use. I took some time to understand the navigation of the Apps, the Menu and the how these Apps are defining the main features.
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 for a usability test my partner and friend.

After testing different products, I have done a global summary of the analysis, picking up the most remarkable annotations in terms of design and user experience.

The Apps I analyzed are Smart Experienc-e, Explore, Die Autosuche (Volkwagen), GO I-PACE (Jaguar) and EQ Ready.

Key Pain Points

  • I couldn’t find in any analyzed case possible to get psychologically attached with the product by more personalized approach by present the usage of the car by different lifestyles.
  • Examined applications are focused on the technical presentation. The future potential customers distracted by specificities and features cannot identify themselves with the product and imagine as future car owners.
  • There is no way of “shopping basket” options to lead the user into the sales process and guide them to buy the car.

Conclusions

  • I understood what are the main ways of the Apps to convince a high number of potential buyers by informing them about the benefits of acquiring an EQC.
  • Technical aspects are needed. But if we want a higher number of buyers, we have to get closer to the users giving them more real User Stories/Use Cases, increasing trust in the product.
Understand our users and potential buyers

Someone said «Designing for everyone is designing for nobody». It doesn’t mean that the product won’t be useful for everyone. It means that, in the process of analysis, conceptualization, and development, I will focus on the target group, strong potential buyers. In this way, I make sure the App will cover - at least - the needs of this group.  Following the information I was provided regarding the target group, I could investigate the kind of potential buyers of EQC by building with precision two Personas. I used for this quantitative and qualitative information I’ve got thanks to my research.

Context Scenarios

Marina is actively looking for her first new car. As a technology lover, she is happy to use an App to discover more about this e-vehicle. The App has to convince her to make her final decision. She will pay special attention to the smart UX features this car is offering, making her daily life easier.

Andreas is just curious about the e-vehicles. He wants to know more but he doesn’t want to go to any shop to ask directly to the seller. He is not looking for a car but with the app we want him to feel attracted and consider the possibility of buying a new car which is matching with his sustainable-lifestyle. The App should show enough information to convince an introvert person like Andreas to buy the car without the need to go to the Dealer shop.

Conclusion

Thanks to this Personas, I could go deeper and understand the needs, the attitudes and behaviors of the potential buyers and what they will expect from the Application. Also, thanks to this exhaustive research, I could understand their behaviour patterns and this will help me to define scenarios and map their journeys while using the application.

Solution

After understanding the main criteria of the competence, I have a clear idea how to define the main features of the app, at the same time clarifying navigation and helping users to get along with EQC benefits.

UX concept

Having in mind that the main goal is to let the users know how the EQC can fit their daily-life habits, I developed the main features which can communicate how the e-vehicle can be used by other drivers. Also, I defined the other basic features to provide the user more specific concerns about the EQC.

Main feature: User Stories

The main goal of the App is to show the users whether the EQC fits their habits. The main feature will present different user stories explaining how they are using e-vehicle in daily life and sharing their experiences. At the same time, the user will discover technical aspects of the car according to different cases (energy consumption, charger methods…). Also, User Stories will embrace trust and feeling of individual identification with the life-based examples in which EQC and personal stories are used.

Technic aspects: EQC

This is the overview presentation about the vehicle. Here the users will find all the informations they need to know Mercedes EQC, from technical aspects to smart UX features. Also, the user can check the nearby Dealer and make an appointment to test the car.

Route Calculator

After see other User Stories and get familiar with different ways of enjoyable using the EQC, the route calculator will help the customers to test if the car fits their lifestyle. They can define a route and see energy consumption and other influencing factors. Also, they will be able to see how many charging points they can find along their routes.

Charging Points

This feature will offer an overview of the loading points via maps. The users will be able to see what are the closest charging points according to their current location, filter different typologies of chargers and save prefered chargers.

Register for EQC

With this feature, the users can become a part of Mercedes vision of electromobility.

User Flow

Once I defined the structure of the App, I defined different users flows with the help of the Personas I developed previously. My two personas have two different goals. The main goal for Marina is to buy an e-vehicle, while the main goal for Andreas is just to get to know better the benefits of e-vehicles. That’s why their app journeys will be different.

Persona 1 - Marina Vilalta

The User Journey of my first Persona is focused on the sales process. In the next flow diagram I defined the two possible journeys the user can take by using the App.

Persona 2 - Andreas Schulz

The User Journey of my second Persona is based on need for understand the benefits of having an e-vehicle by testing all the features the App offers.

Conclusion

This flow diagrams helped me to understand the user behavior while using the App and how this one can fulfill their needs depending on their needs.

Final Proposal

My proposal is based on the idea of User Stories to generate trust in the potential buyers of EQC. I have developed a low-fidelity prototype with the first wireframes to visualize the main function of the App.

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