As most people were sound asleep at 4am one late September morning, user researcher David Drew and I were on the M4 and heading north of the border.
We had two days scheduled with Arnold Clark in Glasgow, one of the largest motor dealer groups in Europe. We were hoping to gather their feedback on a prototype for one of our digital exemplars – Personalised Registrations (PR) Online – and another system we’re working on, View Vehicle Record.
By the time we arrived at the Arnold Clark training centre in Glasgow, we were bleary eyed but raring to go and the days we had didn’t disappoint! We were lucky enough to be able to meet with a great range of staff members, from lease managers to admin assistants – all of whom would be end users in one capacity or another for the PR retention and fleet view services.
Getting out on the road is great as we’re able to gather feedback from a wide pool of users. This was just the latest in a series of tests and site visits that we’ve done over the past few months. With well over 50 visits to motor dealers, auction houses, fleet companies and individual customers under our belt with refinements being made through each sprint, these services are certainly being developed with the user at their heart. Our walls are covered with task flows, index cards of feedback and design solutions, but far from being just pretty decoration, this collection of information is invaluable in the project as it helps us understand exactly what users are saying and how we should progress.
We learnt some really useful things from this particular trip - there were elements of payment, confirmation and security that we furiously captured on post-its and video.
Before returning home, we started organising our thoughts and collecting the feedback into themes that could easily be translated into user requirements and needs. Within the space of 72 hours we’d visited the site, gathered feedback and ensured the project was sighted on further requirements for consideration.
We’re looking forward to our next set of sessions which will be a day of testing with fleet management companies from the south west, to be held at our user testing lab in Swansea. There are exciting and challenging times ahead as we build a comprehensive view of our users’ needs for these services.