Toward the end of 2019, I was transferred to a new team at Toyota Australia, the Toyota Used Vehicle Platform. I would be the Scrum Master and UX Designer. We were tasked with bringing an improved experience to our visitors, and look to incorporate financial repayment options for these used vehicles.

The used vehicle site had been suffering from neglect. A product with great potential, but little attention.

I was incredibly lucky, the Product Manager involved gave me, and a super talented full stack developer(Andre) pretty much free reign, under one constraint; all vehicles that would be eligible for a finance option, i.e. a weekly repayment cost, needed to be live by March 2020. Whatever we wanted to do to improve the experience at the same time, we could.

So, Andre and I took huge advantage of this. We story mapped the exisiting site, using the Information Architecture as our starting point. From there, we could easily prioritise the biggest opportunities, and make plans on reducing risk and increasing our delivery speed.

The biggest question on our mind, was, how could we quickly and easily give visitors a weekly repayment option, if not on all cars, but a small subset? There was some complicated criteria for some of the vehicles, as to whether they were eligible, so we needed to find the quickest way to market.

We looked to firstly consider the user journey, make it easier for the user to “window shop” cars. We then considered what the business wanted, which was essentially more email leads being sent from our site straight out to all the Toyota dealerships around Australia. Finally, we thought about how we could pair back the design, only give the user the basic/essentially details, and in turn, make space for the financial repayment data to come into the design.

This was what we started with:

Our main assessment of the experience, was how unclear it was for the user. What were we asking them to do next? Once a user was scrolling, did we want them to click on a car, get their own car valued, or what?

We paired the UI back. We focused on making it clearer what we were asking the user to do. Essentially, we wanted them to enquire about a vehicle as quickly as possible, or look into the details of a vehicle a little more closely.

Once we arrived at the above UI, we got to work on the financing options available for our visitors. We wanted to get this out safely, but fast. We assessed our options and decided, the first release, would have the financing option display only when a user clicks on the “View details”. Through this approach we would test the stability a new API to one car at a time. If we could get that reliably working, we could increase the capability from there.

As we increased the financial repayment options on the UI, we continuously refined the experience, continuously stripping out unnecessary features, making it much more succinet and less demanding.

After testing our approach on a subset of vehicles, and increasing that subset incrementally, we built confidence in our product. If we caught bugs, wrote tests and ultimately released a stable new Used Vehicle experience.

All of this resulted in some amazing analytical results for a team of essentially two. Over a 6 month period, from Jan 2020 – June 2020 we saw a 97% increase in traffic and a 35% increase in user generated enquires as compared with the same 6 month period in 2019.

It astounds me what you can do with a tiny team, some trust from above and autonomy to get the job done.

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