Roles: Creative Lead, Experience Design Lead



During user interviews for our responsive redesign project, we heard from our customers how stressful and emotionally grueling the vehicle shopping process could be. We asked them to map out their emotional highs and lows during their research and shopping journey. The lows showed that interactions at the dealership; feelings of being rushed, pressured and confused, were amongst the most anxiety-inducing points in the process.

Based on these findings, we reimagined what it would be like to test drive a new vehicle, minus the stress. After all, how can we expect customers to make one of the largest purchases of their life based on a high-pressure 15 minute test drive?

What if we gave customers 24 hours to take a Camry home and learn about its capabilities and features? Would that change the tide of perception amongst potential and returning customers? 


Reduce friction and anxiety for new and returning customers

Dispel the negative perception around car shopping

Experience Maps

To gain buy-in, I mapped our initial idea and began looking at all the potential touch points and integrations it may involve, as well as what the level of effort for each might be.


Then I created a new map that broke down responsibilities by team/organization.

Program Ecosystem

Illustrating how the entire program will connect.

Initial Concept Flow

Transforming the experience maps into something more visually tangible for our stakeholders to gain buy-in.

Revised Concept Flow

Higher fidelity, clarified concept, stronger messaging.


Nine Months of Concepts, Waiting and Trying to Keep the Project Alive

During this time we had other projects take priority (like the responsive redesign and Entune and Local Specials). We also had to wait for several Toyota marketing initiatives and events to pass before we could approach the dealer partners with this program. We had to work out the logistics for how we planned to make this work and reduce friction, not only for our customers, but for the dealers and their employees.

We learned the best way to handle the test drive side was to leverage Toyota’s existing rental care infrastructure. We then reached out to potential vendors to understand the technology requirements and level of effort needed for integration.

We explored ideas like using beacons and geofencing within the dealership. We explored offering the cars off dealership property (think Starbucks, LA Live or Target) and allowing the customer to remote unlock the vehicle with a unique passcode. We looked at asking the customer during sign-up what their favorite coffee beverage was and having it waiting in the car for them. Ultimately, we needed to scale back all our “like to haves” and create a solid MVP.


Beacon Concepts


Dealership Visits


On-Site Research

Not only did we have to gain buy-in from the General Managers at each dealership, but we had to ensure the program could be effectively executed in each unique space to reduce shopping anxiety for customers without creating cumbersome work for the dealership employees.


First Pass Wireframes

Since our goal was to create a frictionless experience, we looked at in and out-of-market booking experiences as inspiration. Clear navigation, transparent terms and conditions and use of common language were three of our key experience needs.


Final Wireframes


User Testing

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Axure Prototype

User Testing + Affinity Diagram


Some insights from usability testing were that people thought this program was “too good to be true,” and they weren’t sure they could trust that a salesperson would not be in the car with them. We had to adjust our messaging to set our customer’s minds at ease and assure them that this is, in fact, very real and there were no strings attached.

Final Designs

ACD: Patrick Simkins, Marcus Silva
Art Director: Jeremy Little, Jennifer Ma
Sr. Copywriter: Molly McLaughlin


Email Targeting

For in-market and conquest shoppers based on lists Toyota and the dealers already maintain. Some folks were actively shopping and researching, some were coming off their lease within the next six months. We had to ensure they were geographically located close to one of the participating dealerships.



Similar targeting to the email blasts described above.

Tablet and Mobile

Desktop and Mobile


In-Dealership Experience



It was key to create signage and branding throughout the dealership to create a sense of consistency and trust for the customer that aligned with the digital experience.


Personalized Service

Additionally, by creating a branded uniform shirt, representatives were easily recognized by the customer. These folks were not salespeople, but concierges who were trained specifically for the Camry All-Access program.



The dealers loved the program and wanted to take it and customize it for their particular dealership needs and expand it beyond the Camry. They were willing to invest a great deal of money into the effort, since it required purchasing separate inventory to put into the rental car system.

Anything we can do from the OEM and dealer side to reduce friction and dispel the stereotype of the “hard sell” salesperson will reduce the stress and anxiety associated with purchasing a vehicle. As we know from current market research, shoppers desire a personalized experience which leads to more brand affinity and loyalty. Whoever can differentiate themselves for the better in the customer service space will stand to make positive gains.


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