CarDomain Network Website Redesign and Brand Refresh

Project Details

Client: CarDomain Network
My Role: Creative Director, Art Director
Budget: N / A
Design Time: 5 months
Tools: Photoshop, Illustrator & PowerPoint
www: cardomain.com

Services Provided

  • Concept and Ideation
  • Creative and Art Direction
  • Competitive Analysis and Usability Testing
  • Creative and Art Direction
  • Wireframes, Mock-ups & Prototypes
  • Design Guidelines & Standards. Brand Book
  • User-centered Design and Testing Methodologies

Project Take-Aways

This was a wonderful collaborative effort between every functional group and stakeholder in the company.- Dale Cody (Creative Director)

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Holiday Hackeraoke

The challenge

Redesign the largest social media site for auto-enthusiasts on the Internet (2.2 million members). Ensure that it includes all the features and functionality possible to allow community members to share and interact effectively.

On top of this, we had a request from the Accounts Team to increase screen real-estate and other opportunities for advertising revenue on the site. It was important that this did not adversely impact user experience in any way.After conducting an exhaustive competitive analysis, I also wanted to refresh and update the brand for stronger overall positioning.

Action

After careful analysis and consideration we decided to work the site and brand concurrently. We also identified and prioritized a breakdown of individual components to be redesigned so that we could add the most value for the user in the quickest manner possible with the least disruption and easiest learning curve.

We did a lot of user testing and surveying at all points along the process to ensure we stayed on the right track. Our solution increased site width to better reflect current larger screen resolutions and this gave us more real-estate to work with right away. We created a grid that was proportionally pleasing and scalable, but also accommodated a maximum range of highest value IAB standard ad units. We added a proprietary 990px wide expandable ad unit and the ability to completely skin a Home Page Takeover for special promotions. Low value or user unfriendly advertising products such as interstitials were removed and we baked in our own Atlas Ad Server platform.

We redesigned the IA and site architecture to a hub and spoke model with Ride Hubs for make and model at the center to better reflect user needs. I redesigned the logo so that it still paid homage to its roots, but also gave it a more contemporary aesthetic and improved its functional properties. Our new navigation scheme improved usability and was a vast improvement in terms of reduced footprint. This created more content area and pulled more items of interest up above the fold.

We gradually introduced new features and improved functionality around Video, 2-way Friending, Groups, Blog, Ride Pages, New and Used Cars for Sale, Search and many other things the community really wanted.

Result

The project was a massive success for the community and enhanced our ability to attract bigger advertisers with bigger budgets and keep more of the creative in-house.

Our ad sales revenue increased vastly and margins were higher. All KPI's and metrics around page views, uniques (3.9+ miilion per month), new members (15,000+ per month), time on site, ads served (500,000+ per month) were significantly and demonstrably improved. Our new look and feel also distinguished us in the market and better reflected the tastes of our target demographic.

Image Examples

CarDomain Wireframe

CarDomain Wireframe

CarDomain Wireframe

CarDomain Wireframe