, senior art directorDavid Chen
, user experience designersJun Ikeya
, designersVince Ku
, senior designersPelun Chen
, design directorsTim Shin
, associate creative directorAndy Hsu
, creative directorDavid Kim
, group creative directorMathias Appelblad
, executive creative directorPete Favat
, chief creative officerJustice Erolin
, technology directorsPam Scheideler
, digital production directorDeutsch LA
, project design and development/ad agencyPaige Parrent
, Volkswagen Group of America, clients
“This feels like a case study for best practices in user experience. It’s well organized, easy to skim, reacts nicely to user actions—and it looks good and clean.” —juror Eric Karjaluoto
“Car sites can be overrun with content. Volkswagen steers clear of the classic digital automotive traps by giving the user what they really want: simple navigation and access to real cars with the ‘find a match’ feature.” —juror Jon Jackson
Overview: You can shop for almost everything online. But a car? Not so simple. The new vw.com applies the ease of Internet browsing to the often confusing process of purchasing a vehicle. You can search for features you want, according to your budget, and find the actual inventory in your ZIP code, along with specs and images specific to the car you might actually test drive.
• The site was produced in eighteen months.
• A team of about 40 people at Deutsch LA worked with CG rendering company Mackevision and with data and integration partners in the United States and Germany.
• The site includes about ten million dynamically served 3-D vehicle renders, showing various angles and key features for every possible vehicle configuration and color combination.
Comments by Deutsch LA:What has the response been?
What was the thinking behind the navigation structure? “Most automotive websites are structured around their corporate organization. Product information, finance tools and inventory are all treated as separate sections, so users constantly have to jump from section to section and reenter the same information over and over. But vw.com is focused on the shopper, so tools either lead shoppers to inventory, such as the Find a Match function, or aid them in decision-making, such as the Payment Estimator. With this streamlined, contextual approach, the navigation is vastly simplified.”
“Because of our shopping focus, our key performance metrics are conversion-oriented. As of September 2014, new car inventory searches had increased by 100 percent, purchase-lead submissions had gone up 28.3 percent and handoffs to dealership websites had jumped 156.5 percent.” How did time constraints affect your solution?
“Many members of the team had worked on enterprise-scale sites, including previous versions of vw.com, and knew that a traditional waterfall approach always led to major delays. We met our aggressive time line by designing and developing together in sprints. We borrowed agile development ideas, which allowed us to identify problems and opportunities early and make substantial changes in response to early user testing of prototypes.”