EV MOBILITY IS THE NEW NORMAL 

In 2011, Nissan Leaf was a cool way to get around. By mid 2016, the EV trend starting to transform into Smart Mobility. Leaf was simply an EV, the experience was just a car with electricity. It desperately in need of a new strategy beyond just designing another car with battery

In late 2016, I build a project plan to regain Nissan EV leadership.

I proposed it with a HIGH LEVEL VISION to our Chief Planning Officer, I led a team and build a tangible Nissan Future EV VISION in 6 months through holistic UX process. The re-making of FUTURE EV VISION finally took off in early spring, 2017.

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study. All information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of Nissan

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study. All information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of Nissan

Nissan Leaf AD 2011

DESIGN BY SPECS

After 6 years, with more than 300K+ Leaf sold over 60 countries, it was a phenomenon. Not only Nissan is the biggest 0 emission mobility player but also accidentally shifted the idea of "MOBILITY" with few other EV makers. 

The spec driven EV Leaf hit the bottleneck 2 years after the launch with no upgradability nor connectivity but just an app for charging. Making a mass production EV was not an issue but the specs just wasn't supporting new digital products integration nor off-board solutions. Leaf could not serve as an IoT enabler to make a more seamless experience connecting to the outside world. 

EV is becoming the new brand power. 

Nissan Connected APP 2.0 still far from average (Source: Google Play Store)

Which official app should I download?  More is more but not necessary better.

THE CHALLENGE

 6 MONTHS INTO THE REMAKE

First: Build the right team members across the departments with new horizontal team org chart and report pipeline to enable AGILE process. 

 

Second: Define the goal of "THE PROJECT" & "THE PROCESS".

Our original premise was very simple: Enjoy the best EV experience. However, we weren't trying just simply redefine what an attractive EV is supposed to be. Our ambition is beyond the EV but starting with the ideal EV ecosystem that can enable infinite digital products & solutions integration, powered by USERS.

  USERS     >     EV ECOSYSTEM     >     EV PRODUCT   

MY ROLE 

 

I put together the project resources estimation, the schedule and the pilot team org chart formation to get the final buy off from Chief Planning Officer / SVP of design /SVP of product planning.

As the leader of this pilot team and acting product owner. I run weekly update meeting to key department's GM in Japan while kept the team independently moving fast pace in US with users.

I led the team on all project directions, decisions and hands on executions + facilitated all UX kick off workshops covering from:

-Persona / user screening.

-UX immerssive research (US & UK).

-UX vision workshop facilitator & lean UX sprint planning.

-User & product research report. 

-Weekly I.D. & UX design sprint & planning. 

-MVP log and tracking.

-External partnerships bidding and collaboration requirements. 

-Visual design direction and final visual experience design. 

-Technical requirements & tools setting with partners.

-High fidelity UX prototype specs and build follow up.  

-Final executive decision document and final presentation. 

the horizontal team & the product management

THE KICK OFF

LEARN THE UNKOWN "IN SITUS"

We didn't need to have a clear direction to start but we clearly

defined 3 personas in 2 metro cities and in 2 different continents. Off we sent the team to research at user's home. This research set up showed some pattern of challenges & opportunities for the team, in order to accelerate the process we also deployed very fast lean UX approach to test with users. 

27 USERS @ US: San Francisco (urban) / East Bay (suburban) - UK: London (urban) / Manchester (suburban)

EARLY INSIGHTS FROM THE RESEARCH 

 

At user's home, we went through questionnaire, we rode in their car and observe what, how and when. Goals were to understand their journey of owning and driving an EV, most importantly, what kind of walk arounds users deploy when issues arise and validate team's early UX concepts. 

in high level, there are 3 categories we learned from the users.

-Want TRUST.

  -People like to be in control. 

  -OEMs need to win consumers’ Trust. 

  -This OEM's opportunity. 

-Want CONVENIENCE.

  -Cost not only motivator. 

  -Range issues should be non-issues.

  -Consumers want seamless solutions. 

-Want PERSONALIZATION.

  -High level of personalization desired.

  -Common actions most valued.

  -Mobility requires multiple personalized solutions. 

HYPOTHESIS IN PRACTICE: THE AGE OF CONVERGENCE

RAPID TESTING THE FUTURE 

Having research initiated, we kicked off VISION UX workshop in US and UK, our goal now is to envision tangible futures with the users and each regional teams, we explored all UX concepts & scenarios that can be quickly put on test during the research phase. IoT, AI, mobility, health & well being, retails, Insurance, etc.... Complex aggregates of features. We were eager to learn an early patterns and sense of directions in how people will think and use.

 

With 15 UX concepts in different forms of artifacts, we could validate with great certainty that not only the 3 categories were RIGHT ON but we also identified 3 core UX values that are the success factors.

1- PERSONALIZATION

2- CONTEXTUAL AWARENESS

3- ENHACED DRIVING  

UX workshop planning and moderating in US and UK

TESTING THE ELECTRIFICATION FUTURE

WEEKLY DESIGN SPRINTS & micro tests 

Making hero use cases real is exciting, we set metrics to define what is success/failure and value proposition map for the users and the brand, so that we can distilled the right data to prioritize concepts.

Our sprints proved the research findings and many hero use cases were in line with the "GOLDEN EV JOURNEY" the team envisioned, except 1 thing we were wrong about was the social entertainment priority.

THE 7 MOST: Re-prioritizing UX concepts with hero use cases:

1- Connected anytime anywhere.

2- Knowing me & welcome me.

3- Most common action first.

4- Frictionless smart charging awareness.

5- Sensory mode shift.

6- Contextual awareness.

7- It will only get better and...better.

After 4 low fidelity sprints with 24 internal users we were able to map out golden experience path, so we can draft out the Eco System and EV product's high level requirements. This essential info gave us hints of who & how many strategic partners for the next phase. We reached out and we were able to secure quickly the partnerships:

-Charging network supplier candidates.

-Map Navigation system / POI data provider.

-Tier 1 supplier. Physical & software/digital system integrators.

-Tier 2 suppliers. Technology, data & SW/HW providers.

-Start up with ID authentication proprietary technology.

Earlier design sprints with different artifacts.

target users testing the user/product journey 

GET REAL: PHYSICALLY BEAUTIFUL & DIGITALLY USEFUL

MAKING HIGH FIDEL. UX PROTOTYPE 

The USERS proved 7 UX concepts and their use cases are getting build for real. Design sprints just got even more real with partners collaboration. Cloud, data, API, digital and physical designs are getting built to support the NISSAN EV VISION JOURNEY. Perfection is the the team's belief. 

THE ULTIMATE FINAL TESTAlmost as it was real.

For a reliable user testing result we didn't had to build a high fidelity working prototype but we planned ahead and used production grade components and production software system in record 8 weeks time. We really meant to build a as close as possible true UX prototype to demonstrate that NEXT EV VISION JOURNEY, that can be translated into production smoothly. During this las 8 weeks, we had about total of 35 project team members perfecting the EV VISION UX prototype.

1- Connected anytime anywhere.

2- Knowing me & welcome me.

3- Most common action first.

4- Frictionless smart charging awareness.

5- Sensory mode shift.

6- Contextual awareness.

7- It will only get better and...better.

concepts WOWed users.

THE AFTERMATH 

CHANGING THE CHANGE

The biggest achievement in these 6 months; The making of new ecosystem and product with User Centered Mindset was 1 of them. The achievement that really made the team proud of is "CHANGING THE CHANGE" 

Our project was presented to more than 30 executives in Japan, changing the way for developing products powered by users, transforming how the team approach to solution from problems and leading the design from user's product journey instead of specs and styling. Able to influence and transform the organization is surely the biggest momentum the team had accomplished.

Our team structure and process are currently being replicated in Japan to many key projects kicking off in 2018.