A subsidiary of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), InMotion explores the mobility landscape, identifying and developing companies that could prove vital to JLR’s diversification strategy. Liquid came about from the desire to create a company that could create a shift towards mobility in a wider context than the sale of cars and capture inner-city audiences.
As lead digital designer, I worked on the project from concept to the launch of Liquid. My primary responsibilities were designing the brand, landing page and iOS app as well as marketing and service materials. I also had a major hand in ideation of the business model, working closely with our service designer on research, proposition development and the design of the service itself.
Seeking market understanding, we commissioned quantitative and qualitative studies on London mobility, using them to define segments of interest and understand travel habits. Working with a service designer, we defined the opportunity, described internally as ‘Escape the City’.
I could never envisage owning a car for the everyday – for me that’s always been a way to escape the city on weekends
Urbanites who don’t own cars still want access to them for weekends away and getting out of the city. Unfortunately this experience is blighted by a broken relationship with rental companies, something we felt there was a great opportunity to improve.
When renting a car you’re always afraid they are going to find some extra charges when you give it back
Constantly course correcting with digital appetite tests and research, we fleshed out the proposition to vastly improve the rental user journey. We would allow on-boarding to be completely digital and paperless, deliver and collect the vehicles, include all costs and extras as standard, charge market rates for petrol, help the consumer log damage before and after a trip and be as transparent about our fees as possible.
Based on our proposition, we defined a set of values that would underpin the service and allow us to make decisions about its delivery.
Easy to book and work around your trip. Not only hassle-free, but worry-free.
Align with JLR's premium nature, more like a lifestyle brand than traditional rental.
Understand you and your needs, constantly improving to fit around your life.
Enable spontaneous trips and reduce the preperation required to rent.
We decided to launch an iOS app to test the market. This provides a high income, early adopter user base and was the most common platform of our waiting list signups. A native app also gave us the tools to greatly reduce barriers in on-boarding such as using the device’s camera to upload documents and OCR technology to approve them.
To begin designing the user journey, I worked simultaneously on the marketing website and app, wire-framing how users could book their first rental, as well as what would happen before, during and after rental and how this would differ for repeat bookings.
Testing with users, I realised that reducing the friction point of having to download an app during on-boarding should be an immediate focus. I designed a flow that allows a user to get to a quote and understanding of availability as quickly as possible. Aligning with the approach of e-commerce stores rather than apps (which often require registration up front), the user can enter their dates and location immediately to view the available car. This is done through a dynamic, streamlined form initiated by the simple question of ‘When would you like a car?’ Registration is then a natural part of the booking process.
Using image recognition technology and optical character recognition, I designed an on-boarding process that would allow us to quickly and smoothly approve users based on photographs of their driving licence and passport documents. This greatly reduced user barriers as well as our operational costs and any potential for human error.
INFO WHEN IT'S NEEDED
The ideal companion to your rental booking, the app aims to make managing your booking - before, during and after - as easy as possible. To do this, the dynamic home screen automatically presents the most relevant information at a particular time and allows users to easily take important actions straight away.
With multiple projects on at the same time, requiring both product design as well as a wealth of marketing, print and service materials, I hired the ever-reliable and talented Lucinda Scholey on a one-month contract to help build out the brand. With my domain and research knowledge, I art-directed and co-designed the brand alongside her. We developed a visual language that combines social approach-ability with luxury and modern minimalism.
Leaving Lucinda to roll out marketing and print documents, I focused on translating the brand to a digital context. Having previously laid out an organised, symbol-based structure to my wire-frames based around a pattern-focused design system, which our front-end development team had been building, I was able to quickly update the style and build guide to complete visual design for the app with minimal development disruption.
A TOUCH OF MOTION
After hearing research participants express how much they liked the 'sound and feel' of the door closing on a Jaguar, I had long believed that the digital interaction and motion of the brand and product would create a mark of premium quality. Using Framer to prototype, I tested many approaches to animation, settling on fluid motion transitions that click solidly into place.
While enhancing the quality and attention to detail of the brand, the main purpose is still to improve the usability and experience. To that end, the animations are quick enough to not create a distraction. They feature most prominently on high impact screens and take a step backwards when the user is focused on intensive tasks. The animations also help draw user's attention to the current area of focus or alert them to the effects of their actions.
THE END RESULT
The Liquid service is now live in its soft launch phase. We took the company from inception to minimum viable product launch in a mere 6 months and it's received incredibly positive feedback, including a 4.3 star rating on the app store.
Our primary goal was to achieve a vehicle utilisation rate of 40% to allow us to develop operational learnings around delivering vehicles and managing the fleet. This was achieved and the digital channels I've designed provide the sole conversion funnel to create these bookings.
The project has achieved the full backing from JLR on the basis of these efforts. The team is currently learning more about the market, analysing data, testing further with the audience and fine-tuning the app towards a full launch and aggressive scaling in 2019.
Read more about the service and download the Liquid app at liquid.auto
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