Mercedes-Benz.com

Mercedes-Benz.com

Last fall, while working for Scholz & Volkmer, I was an advisor for the relaunch of the Mercedes-Benz.com website, which is the international media portal for Mercedes-Benz.

The Website

http://www.mercedes-benz.com/

My Role

My role was User Experience Consultant and I was tasked with helping the designers and information architects repurpose the entire website using WordPress as a new content management system.

The topic of using WordPress was brought up by the client and since I am a longtime WordPress user, my role was to help the team understand the benefits of using it as a CMS, to optimize and streamline existing elements, as well as helping them to envision how to rework the original website using a blog style, long scroller for each new entry.

The previous website featured a lot of unnecessary pagination for each content entry, so the approach was to compress each blog entry into a long page to help with usability, to make the content much easier to consume and access, as well as to include and highlight more primary, sales focussed calls to action. These changes were also based on results from user tests that were previously conducted, which helped support my approach.

The result is what you see in the screenshots and you can check out the website. The screenshots actually feature new content. (I forgot to take screens of the site at launch)

Some key features that were added/changed were:

  • Redesign using WordPress as a CMS
  • The implementation of social media elements
  • Long scrolling, blog style pages, that are much more readable and easy on the eye
  • A reduction in pagination.
  • Streamlining unnecessary and distracting elements
  • More focus on calls to action and sales
  • Fully responsive

The project went flawlessly, and the team did a great job. Admittedly, there were a lot of apprehensions and misconceptions at first about using WordPress, due to the fact that it is still not such a common option for a CMS in Germany, but once in place, the team felt much more positive about it and it’s further use for other projects.

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)

Crytek’s GFACE Social Network

The project I was working on for the last year and a half is FINALLY LIVE! My “technical title” was Senior Information Architect for Crytek’s new social network called GFACE.

It is hard to describe all the roles and responsibilities I had on this project because I wore so many hats that covered so many touch points. I can honestly say that I have never put so much effort and personal blood, sweat, tears and great ideas into a project as with this one. I am really proud to have worked with such a talented team and I am really happy that it is now live.


This was a lead position acting as Senior IA, UX designer and marketing consultant, working closely with a creative director, biz dev, social game designers and developers with the goal of building: a gamer-focused, next generation social network that “Played Like a Game”

My Roles included:

  • User Experience Design
  • Information Architecture
  • Interaction Design
  • Creative Direction
  • Mobile iOS UX/IA design
  • Social Media Marketing Consulting

High level concept development for:

  • Social & viral advertising
  • Social & Brand Strategy
  • Game layer/gamification
  • Virtual currency & Economy
  • Achievement systems
  • Social & Casual Game conception

The service is now in Closed Beta release. Check it out!

Follow me: If you are a gface user, you can follow me there at: https://gface.com/seanearley

 

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.