Industry research has shown that automobile owners are looking to move through the steps of purchasing and financing their vehicles in one place. They are looking to research online financing options, select a vehicle, and determine the purchase price of the vehicle online, prior to visiting the dealership.
Challenge: The approach called for offering customers a more seamless buying experience that allows them to shop for and purchase automobiles more efficiently.
Opportunity: Based on existing Analytics, a growing number customers were accessing the site on a mobile or tablet devices. It was clear that the old Auto Loan Application that had been adapted from the desktop patterns did not provide an optimized mobile experience. The redesign of the Auto Loan Application to be more mobile friendly also served as an opportunity to enhance the Auto Loan Application process. Shopping features could also be potentially incorporated as a partnership with TrueCar was forged.
Goal: Based on the analytics stats of falloff as user moved through the Auto Loan Application funnel, reducing abandoned applications was pivotal. The redesign aimed to set user expectations about the process and next steps in addition to providing faster approvals. Existing Online Banking (OLB) customers accounted for approximately 85% of the auto loan applicants. To serve existing customers and prevent loan defaults due to missed or late payments, the lender offered a discount for using automated direct payments. The new application made it simpler for existing customers to select auto deduct as a payment option.
My Responsibilities: As a member of the three-person User Experience Team for the project, I conducted the competitive analysis, designed annotated wireframes and created a prototype for usability testing.
The first phase of the project began by gathering business requirements and getting an overview of the common offerings in the auto loan market place.
Market place competitors were identified through sources on Morning Star and Forbes. The competitive analysis focused specifically on the auto financing experience, from the auto loan landing pages, including the tools offered and the application itself.
The research findings were synthesized to narrow down the scope of the project.
When prioritizing the features that would be included in the project scope, each proposed feature was evaluated based on its prevalence within the market place (User Expectation), how it aligned with the clients goals for the project (Business Objectives) and whether the feature was an enhancement to existing functionality or had to be developed from scratch (Implementation Feasibility).
The next step was to design how the users would interact with the product in order to accomplish the various tasks that were needed to apply for an auto loan.
Wire Flows were developed to document the process that a user would go through to complete a common task within the mobile product.
The usability test utilized the production environment coupled with an InVision prototype displayed through UserZoom to walk the users through an unmoderated usability test and present them with contextual questions. Six participants, between the ages of 21 to 65 were recruited through UserZoom. Being a current customer was not a requirement. However, users were screened out if they had not recently applied for an auto loan or were not looking to apply for an auto loan within the next year.
Within the time constraints of the project, we were able to deliver a responsive web based application that was mobile friendly and included the priority features to meet user needs and the identified business goals.
Before passing the wireframes along to the development team, annotations were added to indicate functionality, User interactions, and content sources. The annotations followed the format of the corresponding User Stories, displaying the wireframes that corresponded to the scenarios.
- Continuing to Measure KPIs
One of the Key Performance Indicators identified at the start of the project was reducing abandoned applications. The Auto Loan Application redesign was released on a Friday. When the analytics were checked on Monday, it was found that there had been an almost 40% increase in the number of app completes compared to our previous 2 months.
- Expand Existing Features
Some features were implemented in their most basic form as part of the minimal viable product. In future Sprints, these features would be improved and enhanced for upcoming releases.
- Increased Functionality
Some functionality could not be implemented despite the benefit to Users due to time and budget constraints. Additional features would be identified for development in future Epics.