Intelligent Car Finder: Research/Scenario
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  • 1. Intelligent Car Finder research process and scenario Stephanie Louraine November 2013 Most of my tasks for this project involved research, persona creation, and scenario creation. This document outlines my general process. My teammates and I referred to our persona when designing, and the scenario shows how our persona would use our system.
  • 2. Secondary research: Review of Watson white papers To begin my research for this project and get my head into the space, I looked through these white papers to research Watson and its capabilities: • The Era of Cognitive Systems: An inside look at IBM Watson and how it works • IBM Watson Ecosystem Program
  • 3. Primary research: Two interviews with car buyers who have different needs in a car Interview 1: Bought a car last year. Interview 2: Bought a car five years ago. Search lasted a month. Search lasted a day. Most important factors in purchase: • Number of seats • Fuel economy • Reliability • Experience with driving the car • Is it comfortable for taller people? Most important factors in purchase: • Cost • Fuel economy • Wanted an auxiliary jack to plug in phone and listen to music • Needed to buy a car in one day (This person is 6 foot 4 inches tall) The combination of factors meant this interviewee had to compromise. Didn’t get the auxiliary jack because he was in a hurry, and the only car he found with a jack was out of his price range
  • 4. Secondary research: Review of existing car review systems I analyzed a number of existing car review sites and services to see what’s already out there, and what could be improved on.
  • 5. Edmunds.com allows search for make/model and a number of categories spread along the bottom of the page.
  • 6. Cars.com has several ways to look for a car: by make/model, price range, body style, and others.
  • 7. The Carmax recommendation tool asks users to rate their car usage on a number of criteria using slider bars. This can help users get more personalized recommendations, but still relies on preset criteria.
  • 8. I also looked at what sort of things people write in reviews. The highlighted items in this screen capture include parts of the car experience that I realized aren’t captured outside of text reviews, including the body size of the user, previous cars owned, and details about the sound system and quietness inside while driving.
  • 9. Key insights from my research • It can take a long time to research cars • Existing searches almost always require the user to know the make and model before they start searching • Some car preferences can’t be found by just looking at car specs • Users can’t set all of their own personalized criteria • Sometimes people have to compromise on what they want because urgency doesn’t allow them time to research extensively
  • 10. My research informed our persona: Jane Samson Age: 28 Hometown: Columbus, OH Occupation: Hospital Nurse Husband: Charlie Two children: Annie, 5; Jack, 3 Height: 5’0” Pain point: Current car breaks down; heat doesn’t work; no time to research cars Goal: Buy a new car with as little hassle as possible, then get on with her life
  • 11. Scenario I created the following scenario to show Jane using the Intelligent Car Finder. Our service is a standalone service provided by our (fictional) startup. There is no signup process, and the service is funded by advertising revenue. This creates a low barrier of entry.
  • 12. Meet Jane!
  • 13. Jane, a nurse, takes the kids to the sitter each morning and then drives to the hospital for work.
  • 14. She loves her current car because although she is short in height, she’s able to reach the pedals. However, the car is getting old and rusty. In addition, the heater has stopped working, which is bad news since winters in Columbus can get pretty cold.
  • 15. Jane finally decides to buy a new more dependable car that she doesn’t have to take to the shop so often. However, she is very busy with work and kids and doesn’t have a lot of time to research.
  • 16. She thinks about what’s important to her in a car: Enough room for the family, something she can sit in and still reach the pedals, and a nice sound system where she can turn her music up loud and sing along when going to work.
  • 17. She goes to the Intelligent Car Finder service.
  • 18. She sees the welcome screen describing the service and how it works.
  • 19. She looks through the search criteria. She wants a sedan that can fit her family.
  • 20. She can also search by a number of other specs, such as drive type (e.g., four wheel drive) or fuel type (e.g., diesel, electric).
  • 21. It also has a text box asking “Tell us more about yourself.” She can use a free text field to enter other important information that wasn’t requested in other fields. She is sure to note that she’s short, and would like a car where she is able to reach the pedals easily. She also wants a nice sound system.
  • 22. The search pulls some cars that fit her criteria. Watson’s confidence ratings rank the cars for her and show her the evidence for its findings in the highlights.
  • 23. After reading about the top cars in greater detail, she is able to make a well informed decision. She goes out to a local dealership to buy her chosen car, having saved lots of time on research!