Launching a greenfield project to disrupt the automotive industry.
I was the Lead designer responsible for the branding, rapid interactive prototyping, UI and UX design of Georgie.com.au, a car buying service disrupting the Australian automotive industry. Product Designer owning research and design of end-to-end experience and maintaining it’s design system.
As a new brand in a new evergreen market, we had many challenges to overcome, the first being to find out if anyone would even use our service.
Facilitating the design production of this service was definitely a career highlight. Experimenting and validating ideas and bringing this service to life with my amazing team was exciting, especially as I have now become a Georgie customer myself and can vouch for its benefits.
I have also overseen the the successful roll out of partnership campaigns with companies like Suncorp, RACV, Kogan and GraysOnline. All initiatives have engaged audiences producing high click-through rates and contributing to industry leading NPS scores and Trustpilot reviews.
Please read below for details on:
*Please note that Georgie has since rebranded to OnlineAuto.com.au
Recruitment and Team Leadership
2016 - 2020 at Eclipx Group
I worked side-by-side with these legends:
David Brudenell, Managing Director - Consumer
Angela Goodridge, Group Marketing Manager
Melanie Phelps, Marketing Manager - Georgie
Rajesh Ramanathan, Technical Director
Jenny Edmunds, Project Manager
Gi Singh, Business Analyst
Bruc Liong, Systems Engineer
Brett Davis, Editor - Performance Drive
Juliana Oh, Freelance Graphic Designer
Salvatore Cavallaro, Freelance Graphic Designer
Hannah Gibbs, Data Entry
Video Production: ScienceFiction
Eclipx Group specialises in vehicle leasing and fleet management services with arms for finance, trade-ins, insurance, fuel, accident support and disposal.
In an effort to raise revenue for the group's Consumer division, our team looked to leveraging our dealership network to bring significant bulk buying power to consumers.
Be the leader in the disruptive and emerging category of online car buying.
Buying a car and takes a long time and is a stressful experience.
The information people use to make decisions are biased and from multiple sources. This means people pay too much for cars that don't suit their needs.
Georgie is an independent car buying broker. We recommend cars that match lifestyle requirements (without brand bias), negotiate prices on our customer's behalf and deliver vehicles to homes or offices, saving our customers time and money when buying a car.
We wanted to revolutionise the way that Australian's purchased cars. The existing model of visiting a dealership was antiquated and the opportunity for online vehicle purchasing was now achievable.
Being a greenfield project we needed to understand the viability of such a service in our economic climate.
Several brands had emerged in US and UK markets (e.g. Carvana, CarGurus and CarMax) but there wasn’t a similar service in Australia at the time where customers relied on browsing vehicles on dealer websites, CarSales and Gumtree advertisements and physical dealership locations.
To better understand the appetite of Australian consumers for purchasing vehicles online, we ran focus groups and feedback surveys to a group of user from our sister brand, Carloans.com.au who were ready to purchase or had recently purchased a car.
intended to buy a vehicle within 12 months
disliked the dealership experience
would purchase a car online
We identified their pain points from traditional car buying experiences in our discovery phase to form the basis of our greenfield project.
The results gave us an insight into the stress involved with car buying. People were overwhelmed with choices;
And the list went on... and on.
There was very little trust in the transparency of the traditional sales process. Subjects reported biased reviews and recommendation from salesmen and people hated negotiating on price feeling they weren't getting a good price.
There were also numerous reports of buyers remorse - that the car they spent months deliberating over, failed to suit their lifestyle. Our CEO being one of them - buying a specced out new Range Rover for his wife, only to find it was too tall for their garage at home meaning she had to park out on the street.
From respondent feedback we developed personas, customer journeys and began affinity mapping a list of problems we needed to solve.
We set our goals as saving customers Time, Money and Stress by becoming the one-stop-shop for car buying.
Georgie would manage the end-to-end process for you (trade-ins, finance, insurance, negotiations) all from the comfort of your couch as we would bring test-drives and deliveries to your home/office.
And because the Group had strong dealer relationships, we could offer bulk-buying discounts to our customers saving them on average $5,000 off RRP.
Dealers also benefitted from the arrangement with a CPA model instead of the regular CPL revenue models from other online marketplaces like CarSales.
when buying a new car by leveraging our fleet discounts
when searching for a car with aggregated content in a single website and test drives/vehicle deliveries at home
Save the Stress
with informed purchases without having to negotiate with dealers
Using our affinity map as the basis of defining our design solutions, we moved into informed brainstorming activities.
We sketched ideas and design alternatives in white-boarding sessions before moving to Lo-fi wireframes and interactive prototypes to gauge user feedback.
Designed in Sketch and Invision, we gathered comments and feedback in cognitive walkthroughs and surveys to our original focus group participants.
Results influenced the design as we moved into high-fi design production as seen in the examples below.
Lo-fi and Hi-fi design iterations of home screen
Lo-fi and Hi-fi design iterations of lifestyle landing page
We utilised established design principles and patterns in our UX layouts and UI treatments
The customer experience extended far past our user's interaction with Georgie.com.au.
Automated marketing through Hubspot was delivered to prospects depending on what stage of the user journey they were at, including emails, sms, social media advert remarketing and call schedules.
Building trust and authority in a new brand is difficult, especially when paired with a new greenfield market.
We commissioned production company, ScienceFiction with the creation of an introduction to Georgie video to quickly portray the process of buying a car online to new users. Results showed that this video was the most affective tool we used to describe our service to users.
Over time we could start integrating other proof points which helped validate the Georgie promise as well.
All Georgie customers are asked to review their experience on TrustPilot or NPS after purchase. After a few months in operation we had enough content to publish these TrustPilot reviews on our website.
Verbatim testimonials of real customers legitimised the brand to prospective customers.
Originally we published an average savings figure across all Georgie past sales. This figure was a little deceptive as certain price points and manufacturers skewed this result.
Once we started making more sales and recording savings across a range of makes and models, we could update our savings figures on the model level.
Indicative savings values for each make and model set the expectations of users more accurately. We reported less complaints over price discrepancies when this feature was added to the website.
As the lead designer on this project, I was responsible for building and maintaining the following assets;
As with any project, not everything went to plan.
Here are some examples of the things that weren't as successful in the market, but that we took a lot of lessons from.
Of course there are many more but there's only so much dirty laundry one should air ;)
Our early strategy centred around attracting visitors to Georgie via customised vehicle recommendations on landing pages based on the needs of groups with specific interests or lifestyle requirements.
For example, New Mums who's buying considerations included:
Our SEO optimised landing pages included insights from users who had been in the target market's shoes and could speak from experience.
The idea proved popular in focus groups for those with little knowledge about cars.
We were starting with the customer experience and were working back toward the technology. For example;
We received sample data of around 100 cars, and used that data to build rules about which specifications were required for each lifestyle group.
We decided on our launch MVP, wire-framed, designed and tested prototypes and moved into production.
The vehicle data from RedBook was late to be delivered due to negotiations over licensing agreements being expanded to other business units.
By then it was too late. The live data feeds only included 25% of the information provided in the test data. Without detailed specifications for all manufacturers, makes and models, we were unable to populate enough recommendations for our landing pages based off the rules we had created.
In a mad rush at the eleventh hour, all recommendations were manually assigned to groups by our experienced editors at sister brand, Performance Drive (a vehicle review blog) in order to get our site deployed.
This was not a viable long term solution, as without being able to populate content programatically, this strategy was very labour intensive and wasn't scalable when new makes and models were released. Instead we shifted our lead generation strategy to a partnership focus. Read below for details.
Compiling the three most popular vehicles in a category (ie. small sedans) at a popup showroom in shopping centre carparks.
Customers could test-drive multiple makes at once without having to book and visit multiple dealerships.
They could directly compare the size, features, feel and drive of these three cars side-by-side and because these carparks were open 24/7, they could view cars at a time that best suited their schedules.
Although this strategy had high impact for customers to directly compare cars in a time efficient manner, this idea had a low feasibility due to the logistics involved with orchestrating three dealerships to release vehicles at the same time, insurance liabilities and the problems associated with gaining shopping centre authorisation.
Because there are so many vehicle categories, it would also be difficult to match the right selection of cars for such a broad audience that visit shopping centres.
In 2018 our Content Marketing strategy was switched to a Partnership focus. Instead of focusing on attracting prospective leads through lifestyle content, the business focused more attention into building brand partnerships.
I was involved in the business development and pitch work for these partnership agreements.
We created co-branded and white-labeled websites for multiple national brands to great success tailored to our partners’ customer needs.
For example, Kogan Cars have extremely savvy customers so all messaging around lifestyle matches was replaced with hard sell promotions. We launched this site in 30 days and quadrupled our lead volume - a great success.
Click to read my Kogan Cars case study
Customers who had experienced Georgie raved about our service. Recommendations on NPS (80 score) and TrustPilot (4.6 rating) were extremely positive, putting us in the top 98% of all TrustPilot reviewed companies.
Our business set a new record for revenue and deliveries from our Consumer division - up 176% from the same time the year prior.
Constant iterations to improve the layout, features and messaging of our landing pages translated into conversion rates of over 22% - a 64% increase from early landing page releases.
The modular structure of our webpage templates allowed us to quickly implement new features to the website, for example adding demo and used car inventory, as well asproviding a solid foundation for our partnership a
We would go on to use our established design system for future projects, such as our B2B trade portal, and self-service application for both customers and dealers.
"Car buying is a nightmare, especially for women. The [Georgie] process is brilliant.
I got $1500 off the price. I would never have had the chance to negotiate that."
"Makes buying a car easy. No need to do your home work on what you want first, just sit back and enjoy the experience."
"Buying a car was painless. They delivered on everything they said they would.
Will probably never buy a car the traditional way ever again"
Together we can turn your highway to hell into a highway to sell.Let's drive