Modernising the trading experience for the motorsport industry
To create a new product and modernise the existing buying and selling experience in the motorsport industry
User research, Competitor audit, UX design, Prototyping, Digital branding, Front-end development, React, Ruby on Rails
The launch of a first release product with easy search, flexible filtering, seamless buyer-seller contact with simple and intuitive listing creation
On (and off) grid.
The beginning of the project took place in the initial Covid 19 Lockdown of 2020. We needed to explore a new market in the ‘What’ stage of our process whilst all working remotely. Using a combination of Miro, Notion and Trello extensively allowed easily collaboration between ourselves and the team.
We were able to validate Motorsport showroom’s hunches around existing features and the friction they cause users. We spoke extensively with a small group of potential customers of the new platform who were able to talk us through the industry and how the buying and selling process works for them currently.
Our initial findings led us to explore the competition and form a solid picture of the buying and selling processes that existed in the motorsport sector but also other industries. Learning from current products that have already solved some of the problems you’re likely to face allows us to use a common language and particular patterns and flows that might be helpful for us to explore.
This insight proved invaluable to the outcome. Whilst our internal experience gives us a great foundation with which to design and build products it’s not as vital to creating real-world products as listening to real customers about their experiences. These personal experiences are important in painting a picture of the world we’re entering on a macro level but they also form important personas for our designers and developers to hold to as they work. Having a real person and the job they are trying to get done in mind really changes how you approach a solution as a designer or a developer.
Making messaging easy
We heard consistently in the customer interviews the importance of being able to send and receive messages during any buying or selling process. When messaging became clunky, disorientating or error prone it really impacted the experience of using any platform. This strongly resonated with our own experiences and observations from using in-app messaging within similar market place style web applications.
There’s a reason that messaging systems are often left wanting – they’re complex to design and build! Our challenge became to see how we could meet the challenge of making messagings meaningful and easy to use without blowing the budget on one piece of functionality. The solution we arrived at involved a simple contact email from the product page but also the option for sellers to add the ability for enquiries through WhatsApp. We know a significant share of platform users will be mobile, working on smaller devices from garages, pitstops or the back of race team vehicles at the track. WhatsApp gives buyers and sellers the ability to communicate quickly and easily wherever they are.
What we heard: ‘Can’t messaging be quick and instant like modern messaging?’ What we did: Simple email contact on the product page and WhatsApp messaging for sellers who opt-in.
Meeting expected behaviour
We were aiming to get a first phase of the product into the market with limited functionally in order to learn and further validate the proposition. This meant certain bits of functionality needed to be considered but ultimately added to the backlog for another post-launch phase. One area that contained considerable complexity but did need to make it into the first release was the ability for users to upload multiple images for a listing. Because our benchmark was a product already in the market our image upload solution needed to be more fully formed than we might’ve normally considered at this stage of a project. It’s rare that you’re launching something into a vacuum and many times people’s expectations have to become the baseline. You can read more about our process for this solution ~getting Rails and React to play nicely here~.
What we heard: ‘adding pictures on [competitor] is horrendous’ What we did: Designed and developed a solution that matched realistic user expectations for uploading multiple images.
We made buyer seller contact seamless and quick → straight to inbox or WhatsApp
We made the browsing experience simple with good search and simple filtering
We made the listing creation process helpful with fewer options and useful prompts