YAMAHA

Watercraft

Crafting Apps for WaveRunners & Boats

Overview

Yamaha Watercraft first launched their WaveRunner & Boats mobile applications for iOS & Android in 2012. Since then, 100,000+ users have downloaded the application. I led the UX efforts from 2012 - 2016 to initially define, iteratively design and improve the applications core user experience.

From app-wide navigation and content structuring to browsing model galleries to comparing specific models side by side, to exploring product lines segmented by lifestyle differences to the award-winning dealer locator.

Hats worn

  • Concepting

  • Wireframing

  • Prototyping

  • Copywriting

  • Feature Documentation

  • Content Strategy

  • Customer Management

  • User Testing

  • Quality Assurance

The Brief

Showcase Yamaha’s product lines for both WaveRunner and Boats in the form of mobile applications. 

Constraints

  • Craft apps for iOS & Android via a single feature setlist

  • Adhere to native OS Human Interface Guidelines and leverage native OS functionality

  • Support both phone and tablet devices sizes - the UX should scale easily between devices hardware sizes.

  • Standardize model data & content to support year over year product line updates with new releases. 

  1. Showcase the experience of owning a Yamaha Boat/WaveRunner and outline the brand's key differentiators from competition. 

  2. Support Yamaha Dealership Sales staff with a digital sales tool in the palm of their hand to close sales on the dealership floor. 

  3. Educate consumers at home, help them locate dealerships near them via location services and increase consumer foot traffic in regional Yamaha Dealerships.

UX Goals

Observed Painpoints

  • Through conversations with Dealers, we learned that consumers can't test drive a Boat or WaveRunner while visiting a dealership.

  • This industry-wide hurdle left consumers feeling the lack of thrill factor and swayed them from purchasing.

Explorations

User Personas

Early on we created a small set of user personas to help keep the user at the heart of every conversation & design decision. The Yamaha customer team helped us fill in traits, background stories, frustrations, and goals - all derived from real customers they had previous interactions with.

User Cases

The Yamaha customer team supplied customer help/request emails that helped us get a sense of what users wanted and we paired this with use cases that were deemed critical to the UX vision. For each primary use case ex. "Locate a Dealership" there were supporting use cases. Use cases were defined prior to any design work to ensure that proposed features would match to bring value and not bloat the app. 

yamaha_usecase_persona.png

The Work

UX Wireframes & App Architecture

Creating a clear product vision for the initial app launch lead to the creation of static wireframes that adhered to the agreed upon scope & use cases from the exploration phase of the project.

The diagram to the right is a visual documentation of the apps user flows that also included screen-specific UX design.

Prototyping Micro Interactions

Throughout the design process, it was important to prototype specific feature level interactions to first prove internally/externally that an idea was valid and secondly set a clear model for the UI & Development to follow.

A key example of this was the iterative implementation of the "Compare a Model Side by Side" feature that was to be added into a specific release. 

Check out the looping video below to see the low fidelity prototype in action.

Takeaways

Working closely with many talented individuals at my former agency XTOPOLY (Naushad Huda & Kathy Lajvardi, Natalie Dye, Cesar DaVila, Ralph D'AmatoJonathan Moralis - to name just a few!) lead to the successful creation of the Yamaha WaterCraft mobile applications. The app won industry awards for best use of location services, best navigation structure, and best all-around application.

 

Designing digital user experiences from scratch using an iterative approach allows for a better understanding of the user needs as the product grows & the business behind the app to rake in a great return on investment. 

 

Be sure to check out the highlight videos below of the tablet applications to get a sense of the final product that went to market.

Boats

WaveRunners

 

Allow me to introduce myself.

I’m a UX professional with 10 years of experience. I utilize user-centered design to craft digital products. My past work covers every type of digital product type: from apps for iOS & Android, to responsive websites, to smart home devices and in flight entertainment systems for airlines.

My favorite tools of the trade:

  • SketchApp, InVisionApp & Zeplin

  • Keynote, Google Analytics & Lighthouse  

  • Confluence, Jira & Basecamp

 

stay in touch.

Bye now!

Woodwardux@gmail.com

(949)-542-2491