Otto challenges the status quo set by the automotive industry by providing car owners with a simple, seamless repair experience. Through automatic diagnostics, one-price guaranteed quotes and mechanic scheduling, it is easy to see why Otto is truly the next-generation car repair service.
My challenge was to develop a user interface and experience that embodies the service's convenience and simplicity, while creating a brand that sets it apart from the race.
Their main overarching problem was the painful scheduling experience. This includes having to take their vehicle to the repair shop, not knowing how much their problem would cost, and not having a car for an extended period of time.
Focusing on this sub-demographic, they felt particularly subjected to unfair treatment when taking their cars to repair shops. One interviewee claimed that she normally asks her husband to take her car in because of that.
Outside of working hours, a lot of them partake in moonlighting, meaning they do jobs that can be fixed without the need for a repair shop. They are more inclined to do this type of work.
Within Vancouver, repair shop owners are dealing with increasing rent, leading them to close down business. They also tend to take on jobs that require greater attention and prioritize those.
Our research showed us an opportunity to service both car owners and mechanics. Thus, Otto became a system that provides users with convenience, transparency and most importantly, trust.
Take users through the car repair procedure to engage them in the process.
Display information as simple as needed to encourage usage.
Communicate in a neutral and inviting way to provide value to all users.
Trust plays an important role in car repair services. With that in mind, Otto takes users step by step through the process in order to give users simplicity and transparency.
Vehicles are registered without the user needing to input any information. Once the diagnostic reader is plugged in, it automatically pulls the car registration information once a connection to a phone has been made.
Each card uses color to showcase the car's health status. This gives users the peace of mind knowing when their car has issues and when they don't.
Every time a car problem occurs, a diagnostic report is generated using the data collected from the car. The report is laid out to give the user a basic understanding of what happened.
Car owners are busy people. By giving them a way to input their available time slots, we eliminate the need to move around their busy schedules.
Because trust plays such a big role in the service industry, we gave our users the option to choose a mechanic that they can rely on. Every mechanic card is equipped with their qualifications and ratings provided from other users.
On top of simplifying the entire procedure, a touchpoint we wanted to address was the gender bias associated with the system. We knew that this was a big issue to tackle, and so the branding naturally gravitated towards solving this problem.
The company name Otto is a homonym on the word Auto, which is an informal derivative of automobile. On top of that, we wanted to embody Otto's personalised service and one-on-one engagement by using a person's name to inspire a personal touch.
With simplicity in mind, the logo uses the letters of Otto to recreate the outline of a car. This allows Otto to easily distinguish itself from competitors by creating a memorable connection between the name and logo.
We decided to use burgundy to show inclusivity for female users without subjecting them to a stereotype. This is combined with a dark grey to touch on the mechanical aspect of the service.
Overall, my experience with Otto has been something that I can take with me moving forward. Not only were we able to create something that people wanted, but we were also able to garner interest from local investors and compete and place in two competitions.
The journey we took with Otto was paved in user discovery. We had iterated multiple times over the 8 month period and were happy to solidify our user base towards the end. This was a result of focusing our efforts on user-centric design.
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I've learned the importance of incorporating the on-boarding process in design and how we can use that to simplify what we are to users. If you want to read more about my experience, I've written a Medium article about designing for credibility and making your UI stand out.