Serving as Product Manager, UI Designer & UX Strategist
In collaboration with Greenstone Media
Manheim Auctions, part of Cox Automotive Group, came to our agency with a unique idea. A trifecta of partnerships to serve their clients’ top car dealers. The director of National Accounts had a new idea of rewarding buyers with personal gifts and pushing inventory. The goal of this pilot program was to appreciate top buyers with a mobile application that tracks purchases, rewards redeemable points and provides an exchange for Cox Automotive or Major Retailer gift cards.
I was tasked to host the Research and Discovery phase that would outline the project’s feasibility, key features, and development budget. I was also tasked with managing the project from start to finish, coordinating development sprints, and hosting weekly client progress meetings. I created the prototypes, established the UI design patterns for the mobile app, and created the wireframes for the web portal dashboards.
1) Research and Discovery
Our team listened to the ideas of the client and what they envisioned for this application. It would depend heavily on access to the sales API which would deliver events to the web application. Our application would filter the events and store the qualifying, point-generating events. We also would leverage another API that would convert virtual points into monetary value for gift cards.
Through a series of 5 weeks, our team worked closely with the Manheim project managers to ensure that what they wanted was feasible. We put together wireframes and design concepts. We were delighted to hear that our proposal exceeded their expectations and we moved into the design and development of the full rewards suite.
2) Web Application Wireframes
One of the user types we were to satisfy were the administrators of delivery marketing content to the mobile applications. This intuitive dashboard gave full control to the admins to manage promotions, select gift cards, update settings, and invite buyers.
3) Mobile App Wireframing and UI Design
I worked closely with the Manheim team to provide a design that would satisfy both their client and the end user. We used the clients’ brand and conventional UI patterns provide by React Native Base to create a flow that was bold, clean, and intuitive. From wireframe to design, the Manheim team approved my UX flow and design.
4) Points Platform Design
It was a setback during mid-project that the API for the points and rewards provider was unable to deliver quality code for our application. Our team came to the decision to move forward and build a platform that would handle the exchange and scale for other point-generation reward services. We took a two-week sprint to design and develop the new platform and got it up and running so that we could continue the project.
5) Product Management
The product suite was intensive for a pilot. Our team worked diligently over several months to complete all the requirements laid from the initial scope. By leveraging JIRA to manage weekly sprints, epics, and user stories, I assisted the team to stay on track by breaking down the priority components. We implemented lean development practices, conventional UX strategy, and weekly development updates with the client. I helped lead the team to deliver a fully-tested suite of software products:
Web Application (Laravel Powered)
iOS Mobile App (React Native)
Android Mobile App (React Native)
Points-Reward Exchange Platform (Laravel Powered)
Event Listener for Manheim API
Connection to the Gift Card Provider API
The Learnings and Outcome
Our team created insightful solutions and executed quality code, but some of it came at the expense of some project learnings. One learning our team took away is to vet and pushback, if needed, on the partners that the client suggests. Ultimately, this worked in the favor of client, because the points-exchange platform we built better fit the needs and sustainable tools for them to grow the pilot program in the future.
We also learned that it is difficult to account for rare scenarios may occur. One example is that arbitrated sales do not have an event and so our system was not able to retract points in the same way it granted points. Our teams decided that to stay lean, we could manually monitor this situation and adjust points as needed. As for a feature release, we will create another workflow to handle the arbitration situation.
Our team’s delivery of the mobile application and the web application felt at times like a mountain, but in other ways, rolled out smoothly. With 4 platforms talking to each other, secure reward delivery, processing for sale events, and a dashboard that was easy to use, the Manheim team enjoyed working with our committed team members.
“The app is great. Everything is simple and easy to use. It allows me to do everything I need to do.” – Stuart Lake, Marketing Manager, Cox Automotive
I was so delighted to work with the Manheim team’s talent and ingenuity. We received a lot of positive feedback during the Beta phase and the iOS and Android App rolled out successfully in Fall 2018. The web application is easy to manage for custom promotions, points adjustments, and managing buyer invitations. Qualifying buyers are automatically delivered points for their purchases and can securely redeem for a gift card of their choice in just 3 taps.
All works are under the legal ownership of Manheim Corporate. This project was developed at Greenstone Media.