After packing up my life & moving half way across the world, I found myself in a little city on the west coast of Sweden called Gothenburg, working on-site at Volvo Cars. I was the sole designer on a team called the Car Info team. Volvo have had success in the past using product teams focused around digital products & I was to join the newest team – The Car Info team.
In order to start defining some territories that we would focus on, we began reframing the brief as a series of ‘how might we’ questions to try and unpack what they were asking us to do vs what we felt were some opportunity areas. The brief posed a few areas that they wanted us to focus on: functionality, navigation, usability, structure/layout & visual expression. We spent some time researching beautiful and functional brands within the home decor space – but also different industries to find experiences that hit the mark on the pillars above in interesting and intuitive way.To help guide us during the pitch, we spent some time unpacking the H&M Home brand and what makes it unique. Not having an already existing strong brand articulation documented, we spent some time auditing the existing executions of the brand – pulling together word clouds, excerpts from brand messaging etc. We used these to help guide some principles that ultimately mapped some traits of the Home brand from the rational/utility end of the spectrum through to a more emotional/future driven set of perspectives.
The Car Info team had two streams of work running in parallel. One part of the team were rebuilding the front and back end architecture of the Volvo international site to migrate away from the current CMS, which was constraining us form innovating in many areas of the digital experience.
The second stream of work, which I was involved in, were more focused on honing in on user insights and improving our customers experience on the product detail page. We took a scientific approach and used experimentation as a method for iterating on our products. By experimenting it freed up our thinking to allow for more innovative or risky ideas on a small scale in a safe space. We used controlled a/b testing + multi-variant testing.
Each experiment we would use a template to record our thinking and approach so that our work was documented and measurable. Our template contained the following:
We categories our experiments as either regular or mini size. We differentiate in Principal and MINI experiments and established a process how to execute them. A regular experiment requires all disciplines. A mini experiment is generally achievable using Google Optimise and only involves design, data & the product owner. Below are some visuals of some experiments we had prepared.
Using Google Optimise, the data analyst and I, would setup targeted experiments. It allowed us to write out own custom HTML and CSS to alter the interface and create new components that could be pushed onto the live Volvo cars international site.