Mercedes connect me Adapter

Mercedes connect me Adapter

A project that I worked on last winter for Mercedes-Benz called the Mercedes connect me Adapter was recently announced at the IAA 2015 Auto Show in Frankfurt.

Product Link:

https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-me/connectivity/adapter/

Product Overview:

Previously, Mercedes connect me services were only available to owners of newer Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Now, with the new Mercedes connect me Adapter and app, millions of previously, non connect me-capable vehicle owners (2002 and up), can take part in the connected, digital lifestyle offered via the new Mercedes me, premium services platform. The product uses an OBD2 stick that plugs into the service port under the dashboard of the car. The user then uses an app on their phone to connect to the stick via bluetooth. To use the app, users must be registered via the Mercedes me portal to connect their data. The app allows the user to get a basic diagnostic overview of their vehicle. It provides a list of last recorded vehicle status: fuel level, mileage, parking duration, a photo of your vehicle, insurance data and registration number. The app is especially useful for business travelers who can record their trips. It provides a parking locator, parking timer, parking time reminder, as well as an easy way to contact the dealer or service center in case of breakdown or emergencies.

My Role:

My role was strategic consultant for the high level concept, to brainstorm new and innovative product features, competitive analysis and to provide a basic wireframe and UI concept to kick off the process. Having previously worked on the strategy and concept for the Mercedes me platform, my task was to figure out how to further integrate the device and app into the existing platform.

Project Overview:

There were many challenges with this project, primarily due to a complex combination of connectivity & usability issues related to the OBD connector, bluetooth, mobile app, and getting them all to work seamlessly. There were many ideas and feature suggestions that were made that the team felt could augment the product from both a usability and a business focus, but unfortunately, did not make it into the first release. As a result, the product offers a very basic set of features which the client felt very strongly would be enough for a first launch. Overall, I felt that the final product, although limited in scope, is solid and meets with the business cases proposed by the client.

Mercedes.me

Mercedes.me

The connected vehicle project I have been working on for Mercedes-Benz over the last year and a half has now launched and is slowly rolling out with more and more features and services.

Presenting the Mercedes.me platform & portal.

Link to the Portal: https://me.mercedes-benz.com
Link to the main info page: https://www.mercedes.me/

What is Mercedes.me?

Mercedes.me is the new service brand from Mercedes-Benz. It bundles all existing and future service offers into one, consistent brand experience, based around a digital platform. Above are some screenshots I took from the live website.

“Mercedes me” is broken down into five areas – “move me”, “connect me”, “assist me”, “finance me” and “inspire me” – and takes into account all product-relevant areas such as the purchasing, financing and servicing of vehicles, as well as Daimler’s internationally acclaimed mobility services.”

The portal is open for anyone to join, so sign up and let me know what you think. If you are a Mercedes-Benz customer and own a new vehicle, once you register, you can connect your vehicle for access to additional features.

Here is a video from the 2014 International Motor Show in Geneva that describes the service:

Roles

My primary focus was high level concept, strategic consulting, UX and information architecture for the “Connect Me” platform, which integrates with new Mercedes vehicles via the online, responsive platform, and allows customers to remotely connect to their vehicle from anywhere using their mobile device. The user can then have access to vehicle info, status, remote functions, etc.

I was brought in based on my previous experience creating social platforms, mobile applications and sales/customer service focussed ecosystems, which helped to take the project to a level of being a much more rich, connected brand ecosystem, instead of just another “mobile remote control” app for your car. My role was to step in at an early stage to create a functional, high level concept and kick start the user experience, based around a responsive, touchable, future focussed web interface.

Approach

It was quite a challenge integrating all of the various connected features into one, easy to use, touchable, responsive platform. My approach was to create not only a responsive website that would provide an informative web experience, but also act as a control surface for all the various connected features that would work on different devices, both existing and future. It was also challenging to develop content strategies that take advantage of all of the various aspects of the MB experience, that integrates all of the various scattered services and content, as well as to provide a valuable, engaging, service based ecosystem for MB customers as the brand moves into the future.

WordPress & Front End

One exciting aspect of the project was the decision to use WordPress as the CMS for the front end promotional sales portal to the service. The topic was brought up by the client, and being a long time WordPress user, I had a large part both pushing for it’s use and consulting the agency in regards to the design and implementation. As a result, they did a great job of redesigning a nice, parallax scrolling template for the site.

This was a huge project with many touch points, involving many teams of very talented people and I am very proud to have been a part of it. I’ll be sure to write more as things roll out.

In the Press:

mercedesme_tor

Bayer 04 Leverkusen HEIMSPIEL App

One of the projects I did this past fall finally launched this weekend and i’m really excited about how it turned out.

Working as senior concept for the digital media agency Scholz & Volkmer, I provided UX consulting and information architecture for the Bayer 04 Leverkusen Heimspiel iPhone and Android App for the Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fußball (soccer) Team.

The team was having a problem with wireless connectivity in their stadium. As a result, the fans were missing out on a lot of game related mobile and social experiences.

The Heimspeil app was created to provide registered fans free wifi connectivity while in the stadium network. Via the app’s timeline based UI, they could experience realtime game updates, stats, streaming video and participate in polls and other social activities.

The result was a more rich & engaging experience for the fans as well as a more focussed marketing and communication platform for the team and stadium.

Congrats to a great team who worked really hard and did an awesome job!

The Promo Page for the App – Click Here
German iTunes Page – Click Here
Google Play – Click Here

Update June 2014:

The App was featured in the June 2014 Issue of Sponsors Magazine, a leading German-language producer and provider of information in the sports business industry.


Update July 1, 2014:

Here’s a nice review video of the App. (In German)

Nokia Ovi Maps 3

Nokia Ovi Maps 3

nokia-ovi-maps


Via my position at Fjord Berlin, I worked on-site at Nokia Gate 5 as a Senior Interaction Designer.

The scope of the project was to develop the user interface and wireframe specifications for the next generation of Nokia Ovi Maps 3, which is currently in beta release and both align it across multiple devices, mobile and web, according to the Symbian S60 touch and scroll and click framework requirements as well as act as a UI coordinator and consultant for multiple sub teams, product owners, UX managers, visual designers and developers.

The project began with various brainstorming sessions, whiteboarding and paper prototyping, followed by a functioning UI for one target device, flash prototypes were built and usablity studies were conducted. The project was then approved and pushed forward though a staged, agile SCRUM development process to include more devices and features.

It was quite an extensive project and a great introduction to working with mobile touch screen devices, navigation systems and map based social services.