Like all projects, we began with research.
Discovery & Research
I collaborated with our strategy team on existing data and analytics to identify known and unknown pain points. From there I created a component decomposition document, stakeholder interviews, journey maps, a site map and the overall information architecture.
Wireframing & Prototyping
Based on the discovery work I began creating wireframes for each page and category of the website. I worked with the content strategy team in order to determine what type of components would be needed to make the pages easy to use.
Since time and budget was an issue, we conducted internal user testing with stakeholders who worked within each business unit in order to identify problems and expectations before launch.
Solving the Homepage Challenge
Like most websites, Bridgestone’s past experience had a laundry list of content on their previous homepage. The challenge was to figure out the best use of the homepage for users while keeping the business unit stakeholders happy.
Through research I discovered their old homepage had several problems:
- The business units were all fighting for attention
- According to a heatmap and watching users live on the homepage, I noticed people were not scrolling to the bottom of the page
- Page load time was slow
- Users seemed to click on elements of the page that were not clickable
- Most traffic went directly to the products section or the find a dealer page without scrolling down the homepage at all
- Color contrast did not pass accessibility tests
- Users were not clicking on the promo boxes that would lead them to the business unit they needed
What Was The Homepage Solution?
I architected a homepage intended to use either a full screen image or background video that progresses to the next slide when the user moves the mouse up or down. This way users were able to focus on one business unit promo at a time. It also gave each business unit a chance to have an immersive promo that couldn’t be missed.
This resulted in more traffic across the website coming directly from the homepage. We were able to track user flows through analytics that showed how they would start from the homepage and finish on the find a dealer page which is the overall KPI for the website.
Below are some screenshots of the additional image and video slides that trigger on the user’s mouse scroll (very different than a traditional carousel experience).
Creating an Intuitive Global Search
Since there are 3 different primary types of users, the website needed a global search that could adjust to the needs of everyone. In addition to using a predictive search, the user is able to filter results by industry (Agriculture, Off the Road, Trucking, etc).
Executing The Global Call to Action: Find a Dealer
This component was the main KPI for Bridgestone. Ultimately the goal was to drive all traffic to this page so the users could contact dealers affiliated with the business. It was important to improve this experience from the previous one in order to help the company reach their goal.
Users are able to do things such as:
- Filter by industry and other important criteria
- Get detailed information from dealers
- Save their favorite dealer
- Schedule appointments online
By creating an intuitive framework with reusable components, Bridgestone was able to launch all new brand sites with a higher ROI.
UX rule of thumb: More options more problems.
Being as our agency created the website framework and development, ultimately we handed everything over to the client in order for them to have full control of their content. The concern here was that eventually, their content authors would abuse the components once they got full creative freedom and control.
As digital partners, we created best practices for each of the components and examples in which they should be used. This document served as a reference guide for the client in hopes they would abide by it to maintain the design and user experience integrity.