Dealer locator is one of the most frequently used sections on Cat.com. Users are able to search for dealers using a number of criteria including product sold, services offered, and location.
Based on the most significant challenges revealed in our research, we sought to improve the usability and utility of the Dealer Locator tool by:
- Making the dealer search interface easier to understand and navigate.
- Providing more relevant dealer matches based on user criteria.
- Updating dealer listings with a new layout and additional dealer information.
Pre-Discovery – Prior to this project kicking off, I gathered details about the current dealer locator tool and it’s challenges. This involved conducting interviews with the tool’s technology owner, business stakeholders, and dealers. Additionally, I reviewed several years of analytics data.
Discovery, Design, and Development – Using insights from the pre-discovery effort, I organized and oversaw the discovery, design, and development of the tool. Multiple researchers, designers, analysts, and developers were involved with the effort, which included global user research and internal stakeholder research from multiple product groups and regions.
- You can’t have too much dealer input. While there was some lite dealer research conducted here, I should have allocated more time and budget for deeper dealer input. Especially considering that this was the primary tool that Cat.com users used to find them.
- Thoroughly understand the technology and data available. In the design stage, we’d made assumptions about what the technology could do and what data points would be consistently available across all dealers. We later learned that the design vision could not be accomplished without a significant effort and had to change directions.
- Where possible, leverage external services for the heavy lifting. We used an external service for this tool’s core functionality. The discovery effort included getting a better understanding of the tool’s native feature set. We were able to leverage features not being utilized with minimal technical effort.