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Cars for Sale

Used Cars sales site

RAC Cars: Filters, SEO and low-fi, functionally annotated frames

I worked in house for RAC - a British Motoring company best known for their breakdown products.


Alongside these they also offer a wide range of products and services that aim to secure their place in the market as ‘The Motorists Champion’, while utilising their established and trusted reputation.

The trusted reputation is what RAC planned to utilise when they asked me to create a used car website for them under the sub-brand, 'RAC cars'

I worked with funders, product development teams, defined a product owner and agreed key stakeholders, including; Business Analysts, Development Teams, Designers, Content Creators, third party data and digital agency suppliers to provide a great user experience that reflects the RAC brand vision online.

Step 1: Business buy in and user understanding

RAC cars was a new proposition from the business. With a lot of Top Gear fans and C-suite stakeholders on the project (who, I'll be honest, drove pretty good cars), it was really important to establish the end customer on this project, not to reflect the needs of the people in the room.

I worked with project sponsors, designers and development teams to ensure the project met user need, and was technically viable.

Before getting in to the detail of the online journey, I created a tone of voice guide for RAC cars as a separate sub-brand, and as a new product offering. With limited budget for user testing, I created an online response form, and tested tone of voice with respondents.

    RAC user testing.png

    Step 2; Sketching, journey mapping and agency management

    Initially I ran a sketching workshop with the main stakeholders and product owners in order to ensure we were all on the same page in terms of journey.

    RAC had previously engaged an external design agency for this project.


    They had presented some very snazzy designs which pleased the bosses, including designs for tools showing depreciation of a cars value over time. These looked beautiful, however, from testing and agreeing target users, this wasn't something the intended audience would use.


    It was also technically a lot of development work to provide an unnecessary solution.

    I worked with the design agency, and internal stakeholders to decide which of the features and designs should be retained for the solution. 

    I created a journey map to explain the steps that users wanted in a simple way and agreed designs for the brouchureware and product landing pages, meaning an agreed approach to the UI design for the more detailed elements of the car buying/selling process itself.

      RAC site.png

      Step 3; Workshopping and flat, annotated frames

      I ran a sketching workshop with internal stakeholders to agree the more detailed and nuanced interactions within the journey.


      By involving stakeholders, agreeing a product owner and having already engaged the design agency at this stage, we ironed out many of the questions I knew would come up later in the project - saving time and money by agreeing a process, journey and outcome before speaking to development.

      I also ran a card sorting session with non-RAC members to guide the IA, and played the results back to the business.

      The workshop was all on paper (sorry trees!) and I stuck the screens we had drawn around the room and I walked both stakeholders and designers through the journey.

      After this was agreed, I began work on the annotated frames to agree the detail and discuss with development before creating user stories for each feature.

        rac card sort.png

        Step 4; annotated frames and build delivery

        Following the initial workshops, I had gained business buy in and understanding, knew I was designing to user requirements aligned with business requirements, and felt confident to frame the detail.

        For this project, the devil was in the detail, rather than the design (which could come later, working with the design agency). SEO, filtering and user account creation were paramount. I created flat frames with detailed annotations for the development team before engaging design.


        The ability to save and favourite cars in the solution, and work with SEO and PPC teams to target advertising was a large part of the agreed .

        I find these elements of a project incredibly satisfying - though they don't look super shiny on the surface, but it's like putting a puzzle together.

        RAC frames.png

        Let’s chat!
        If you would like to talk about any of the projects mentioned here, or any other projects I've worked on, please feel free to get in touch. I'd love to hear more about the opportunities you have in store!

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