Overview

product

Responsive website and rebrand

CLIENT

Jeff Wright, LuxVan CEO

my role

UX Designer and UX Researcher

LuxVan brings a booming trend to a new audience—baby boomers. I was hired to ensure their public image, information, and messaging was on point for their target market.

tool kit

Research

CO-CREATE EXPECTATIONS + SUCCESS METRICS

The vanlife trend has dramatically increased in 2021. Customers see custom vans as a safe way to travel during covid restrictions. Due to this increasing demand, most custom outfitters are backed up six months or more. This presents an opportunity for LuxVan to gain market share and establish itself.

I was hired to create a brand image and design a website that appeals to the upscale baby boomer market, is simple to use, and easy to understand for the target market.

COMPETITOR ANALYSIS

Utilizing secondary research and five comparison criteria relevant to LuxVan, I came up with three primary competitors. I did an analysis to determine each competitors strengths and weaknesses, as well as a chart listing out 30 other van builders, then did a deeper dive analyzing selected competitors with client.

STRENGTHS
Captivating founder video builds trust
Veteran owned
Informative blog
Thorough Q&A

WEAKNESSES
Scheduling build is 6 months out plus 8-12 weeks to build

STRENGTHS
Straightforward and clear
Only two purchase options
Extremely affordable for a new van

WEAKNESSESNo option for full custom build
Divided focus between selling and renting
Target only bohemian millennials

STRENGTHS
Beautiful, abundant product shots
Innovative option called ‘the first look club’
Clear on target customer

WEAKNESSES6 options for semi custom builds is confusing
No pricing listed
No information on lead times, where they’re located, founders or team

USER INTERVIEWS

Ten one-on-one in-depth video interviews resulted in four primary findings and two secondary findings.

Empathize

research findings

I built a version of an empathic affinity map, highlighting the four primary and two secondary findings, which I supported with user quotes. I chose this type of map in order for the findings to be useful in creating marketing copy.

A delightful finding was that many of the baby boomers I interviewed were nostalgic for the VW vans of their youth, but needed more comforts and security for their current life stage. We were able to incorporate the VW nostalgia into the new logo!

user persona

Lauren has extensively traveled all over the world. Two years ago, her husband passed away, which has given Lauren a big wake up call. She doesn’t want to wait any longer to fulfill a dream from her bucket list - to finally see the wonders of her own country!

Lauren reminisces of past road trips she took with her VW van in college. While there are some things she’d rather not repeat (Hello, breakdowns!), she yearns to hit the road again without an agenda. But this time, she realizes she’s not 25 anymore. She needs comforts, like a potty and comfortable bed, though she won’t admit it because she doesn’t want to seem fussy.

I can totally rough it, but that’s not my preference.

Though Lauren is tough, she does worry about being able to drive the van by herself. She’s also concerned about the systems in the van.

I want to push a button and it works. The last thing I want is for it to be complicated.

Once Lauren has her van, she will visit friends and family without imposing. She knows people all over the country. She will also head out to National Parks, especially Yellowstone!

Define

the challenge

Baby boomers want to travel by van to see friends and family without imposing and to fulfill lifelong dreams of visiting National Parks. The trendy competition leaves them feeling like vanlife is only for young, high adrenaline adventure seekers.

Their unique position of affluence and desire for comfort and trust needs to shine in their upfitter.

How might we ensure baby boomers know we understand them and will take care of their unique needs?

feature roadmap

Working closely with the client, we prioritized which features need to be on the website now, and which can wait until later, based on time and budget constraints.

site map

Based on the feature roadmap and secondary research findings, I created a site map as a guide for the wireframes.

Design

brand identity

In the research, 40% of participants mentioned a nostalgia for VW vans. We decided if we could capture a subtle VW feel to the branding, it would create positive feelings for the target market.

wireframes

Low fidelity wireframes created to ensure client was comfortable with direction. After client input, I iterated some of the wireframes in response to the client’s feedback. (details page, FAQ page, contact us page, and virtual showroom not shown.)

Because our client is a baby boomer, we kept the design simple with lots of white space and very clear cta’s.

We built this page focusing on first creating an introduction, building trust, and then getting more granular.

In the research, users wanted a clear description of how the build process works.

homepage

Our research participants preferred to have a phone conversation, so we made sure to include the phone number on each page, and twice on key pages.

workshop page

Part of LuxVan’s mission is building community. They build the vans in their community art space. We decided to highlight it with storytelling on its own page.

about us page

Because LuxVan is a new business, we chose to feature the founder story in order to build trust and connection.

high fidelity mockups

Since the client was not design-savvy, I mocked up all the pages for the website. They utilized the photography I sourced as a detailed guide for their brand photoshoot.

homepage

For copy, I took some of the quotes directly from the interviews. We wanted to create an aspirational and nostalgic tone.

Because LuxVan is a new company, we wanted to show they had happy clients, so we added a virtual showroom of past builds and client testimonials.

A clear 3 step process of how to get started was important to all we interviewed, and noticeably missing on some competitors sites.

After testing, we found out drop down menus are a challenge for some baby boomers, so we revised the FAQ section.

Mobile high fidelity mockups

Because many of our clients have impaired vision, we had to be careful to allow for extra room and text size in the mobile version for accessibility.

mobile FAQ page
mobile workshop page

Test

usability test


OBJECTIVE

Analyze participants’ responses of a first impressions test using Usability Hub in order to identify if the website met the end goals.

GOALS
‍1. Clear purpose: Users will be able to state what the business is about
2. Intended audience: Users are able to state the intended baby boomer audience.
3. Trustworthiness: Users state whether or not the brand felt trustworthy.

RESULTS
1. Clear purpose: All participants stated the website has to do with vanlife.
2. Intended audience: Results came back mixed - from ‘old people’ to ‘middle aged people’ to ‘adults with no kids’ to ‘20-40 year olds.'
3. Trustworthiness: 100% of participants said yes!

IMPROVEMENTS
‍Based on the study, if I had more time, I would go back to try to understand why the intended audience was

Results

Website was built out by a developer in Wordpress, and the rebrand completed. Client chose to keep their current logo since they already had branded merchandise ordered. They are in the process of scheduling a branded photoshoot based on the images from the high fidelity mock-up.

Reflection

final thoughts

Going through UX processes to design a clear, user-friendly website for baby boomers presented its’ challenges, but was a rewarding experience. I brought the brand and site to life in a way that resonated with the target market, and the client felt my work “beautifully fulfilled our goals.”

The biggest learning was time management, especially around interviewing and synthesizing the research. Next time, I’ll be better prepared for the time it takes to do the in-depth research.

Check out additional case studies.