DIGITAL PLATFORM. BRAND DEVELOPMENT. SITE REDESIGN.
The Toyota Owners site is the premier, web destination for all Toyota owners. At its core, the site is a one-stop-shop to remove friction from the ownership experience, providing information and resources about each and every Toyota vehicle – all tailored to individual owners. In November 2010, I was recruited by Saatchi & Saatchi LA to head up the team tasked with rebuilding this experience from the ground up.
LOGGED OUT & LOGGED IN HOMEPAGE
The new Owners site is a revolution in car ownership, putting the customer first, in a way no other car manufacturer ever has. The entire site experience is dynamic and ever-changing, learning the owners' habits and understanding what they need along the way, from the initial unboxing process, all the way to the last day of ownership. Everything is customized to each specific user, creating an experience that is memorable and care free, leading to repurchase and brand ambassadorship. In collaboration with Scott Pargett, I set the overall visual aesthetic, I then managed a very talented team to flesh out the entire digital platform.
To best convey our redesign of the Logged In Homepage, we created an animated prototype that displayed key elements and events within the page. This was actually quite revolutionary at the time, in terms of design workflow – long before programs like Framer or Flinto existed.
A major request from the client, and huge component of our overall strategy, was to allow of user customization. To ensure our users had the ability to tailor their dashboard to their own personal interests and needs, we designed and built a flexible framework. Flexible widgets we designed, offering a variety of utilities – everything from How-To-Videos, to Twitter feeds, to Cheap Gas Locators. The user was given the ability to add or remove widgets, and even change the order in which they were displayed. All of these aspects were created out of empathy, with our goal centered around creating an experience that allowed owners to easily find what they were looking for, so they could get on with their day.
Cross promotional touts were placed at the bottom of select pages. This allowed users to learn about other vehicles within the Toyota lineup, translating to discovery and new leases.
USER INTERFACE ELEMENTS & STYLES
The UI and art direction that we established was very detailed and crafted. There was an elegant richness, common within the skeuomorphic design language, that feels dated now, but at the time was ahead of the curve compared to other automotive OEMs. I still have a soft spot in my heart for gradients, bevels, strokes, and drop shadows. It's quite nostalgic looking back at this body of work.
ICONS & ILLUSTRATIONS
To stay aligned with the overall design direction, I commissioned Soft Facade, a rebutable 3D design and icon production company from Russia, to create a series of detailed icons and illustrations that could be peppered throughout the experience. When high-quality photos weren't available, we created an icon to take its place.
MY ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
Creative Direction, Design Direction, Visual Design, Creative Strategy & Ideation, Team Management
Margaret Keene – Exec. Creative Director
Chris Adams – Exec. Creative Director
Andre le Masurier – Creative Director
Brad Burke – ACD / Designer
Matt Curry – ACD / Writer
Scott Pargett – Art Director
Abe Cortes – Art Director
Eric Hallmann – Art Director
Ethan Martin – Designer
Jeremy Little – Designer
Shaun Rance – UX Director
Whitney Spathelf – UX Designer
John Randall – UX Designer
Chris Kief – Tech Director
Dave Evans – Exec. Producer
Julie Notaro – Exec. Producer
Charlie Maas – Producer
Kristen Hoy – Account Supervisor