General Motors’ customer support was having to address numerous requests due to the confusing design of the End of Term Options section. This is the section that manages options for a dealer when a vehicle lease ends.
Additionally, DealerSource had a dated and legacy look – and it could only be used on desktops, making it inaccessible on tablet and mobile.
DealerSource is a platform for GM Franchise dealers to appraise and shop off-lease vehicles and manage their maturing lease portfolio.
Dec 2020 – Jul 2021 | 8 months
To uncover the exact issues the business was facing with the vehicle return process, the User Research team at Openlane conducted interviews with 15 stakeholders from General Motors. This included members from the Operations and Customer Support teams.
We also interviewed 12 franchise dealers from different sized dealerships across Texas, Michigan & Ontario with the goal of understanding how they use the software, identify any opportunities and validate user personas.
The current design of the End of Term Options page lacked clarity and transparency – which resulted in mistakes that GM Customer Support would have to correct. When a vehicle’s lease has matured, the lessee and the dealer have multiple options for ending that lease.
Selecting Option 2, Turn In or option 3, Purchase for Market-based Price from the End of Term Options takes you through a multi-step form to gather information about the vehicle’s return. However, this was the exact same multi-step form, which begged the question whether we needed two separate options.
General Motors’ legal team mandated lessee and dealer signatures be captured on odometer disclosure to prevent fraudulent readings.
In total, the UX Research team had identified 6 personas that interacted with GM DealerSource. However, for this section, there were two that interacted with this flow the most: Grounding Manager and Used Sales Manager. Our next steps were based on finding a solution for their pain points.
To identify where exactly the issues were in the workflow, we mapped out the journeys of these users. This enabled us to get a wholistic look at their overall goals and how the End of Term options page fits into that journey. Three journeys were identified for these two personas.
To give the dealer more time to decide about which end-of-term option they would like to choose, we introduced a process called Vehicle Check-In.
This separated the capture of information from the end-of-term decision. This information was previously captured as part of grounding.
Once the Vehicle Check-In was complete, there was no immediate pressure to make a decision.
Enabling a mobile workflow also ensured that the process can be completed anywhere in the dealership. For example, in the lot right next to the vehicle. It also allowed us to enable features such as capturing signatures from the lessee.
The design went through a few iterations internally with stakeholders from Openlane and General Motors, before arriving at a workflow we were all aligned with.
There were many small enhancements added to the design, which contributed to the overall goal of creating clarity and transparency in the process. With the Vehicle Check-In process, the main goal was to be able to capture the signature of the customer.
In the existing design, there were 3 options that a dealer could choose from. However, the second and third option took the user down the same exact path, and it was only after completion of the grounding process that the user could avail option 3, i.e. Purchase for Market-based Price.
In the new design, we reduced the options from 3 to 2. What was option 3 before, i.e. Purchase for Market-based Price – we offered it on our page as Option after Grounding.
With the goal of creating clarity and transparency, there were many small enhancements added to the design. With the End of Term options, the main focus was to add details that reduce user error and clarify next steps.
We conducted moderated and unmoderated usability testing sessions with 16 users from various dealerships including the ones that had previously been engaged in the user discovery phase. We used Maze to test our prototypes which allowed us to get a good understanding of where the problem areas may be in the design.
As part of the usability tests, we asked questions about what caused confusion in the previous designs and we saw a huge improvement from the confusions of the previous design. The implications of choosing each option were clearer, and users were less confused about who the payee was for each payable amount.
As one of the goals of the redesign was to make the design responsive, all components and pages had to be built with three breakpoints. Non-critical information was hidden behind collapsed cards on smaller screen, utilizing progressive disclosure to provide primary information first and secondary information, only when needed.
There were 4 scrum teams involved in the development of the new design. To ensure there were no discrepancies in the way the design got implemented, detailed design documentation was prepared that included design specifications, annotated mockups and interactive prototypes. The aim was to ensure smooth transition from design to code, promoting consistency and fidelity in the final product.
This was further cemented by regular communication with the engineering team – addressing questions, providing clarifications and adapting to any technical constraints.
The redesigned End of Term experience was launched in July 2021. There were some initial feedback about the change, however after a couple of months of use, we saw the inefficiencies reduce.
in incorrect cheques received by General Motors
in Dealer Payoff payments received for already grounded vehicles
in printed screenshots received by General Motors
in customer support requests for reversing grounded vehicles