The CarMax mobile app design concept was a four week project I completed for a User Experience and Information Architecture class (INFO 330) at the University of Washington. The goal of the project was to make the car selection process easier for in-experienced car buyers.
For this project, we were given three personas to design for:
- Michelle: A 26 year old female who works as an Assistant Manager. She’s had her current car since high school and is ready for something new. She knows that she wants a car with personality that reflects her attitude, something that is “cute” and “zippy”, but she is unsure on how to go about selecting a car.
- Vince: A 32 year old male who works as a Store Manager. His wife just had their first baby and he’s looking to upgrade to a bigger car to fit his growing family. It’s important to him to have a car that is affordable, safe, easy to get a baby in and out of, and has some of the modern features and comforts.
- Rodger: A 59 year old male who’s a small business owner. He has always owned a Ford, but now he’s having to travel much farther to reach customers and wants to look into getting a hybrid or something really efficient. However, he wants to make sure a hybrid is a cost-effective option.
Current Application Analysis
When looking at the current CarMax mobile application, we noticed that there were three different categories you could search by: Make & Model, Vehicle Type, and Price. However, for a user who doesn’t necessarily know what make, model, or vehicle type they want or in what price range, these search filters wouldn’t be helpful. There are some, like persona #1, who is unfamiliar with types of cars but can describe the car they want using adjectives. Therefore, we had an idea to allow users to search for the car by choosing up to three adjectives describing the kind of car they want. Secondly, we thought the users should also be able to search by different car features, like a sunroof or a smart key.
First, we did user interviews to get an idea of what people look for when buying a car, how they go about the process, and how they would describe their current car. From our interviews we found that when buying a car, people often look for features, and very few have a Make/Model in mind when beginning their search. Also, for the people who haven’t bought cars before, the process seems like it would be overwhelming and stressful. Therefore, by allowing the user to search by description or by features of the car, we would hopefully make the process less stressful for someone who doesn’t know much about cars.
After compiling our findings from our interviews, we designed user flow diagrams to analyze how the three personas might interact with our redesigned application:
Next, we created wireframes of all the main pages we wanted to have on our revised application.
For the last step, we created a hi-fi prototype of the revised application using Justinmind Prototyper.
We received positive feedback from the class and the instructor and completed the assignment with 44/45 points.