Car Dash – UX Research and Design

Image from Unsplash



Finding a good mechanic is like finding a good dentist.  It can take some extensive research and time. Once you do find that ideal shop, getting your car there while juggling life can be a challenge.



Understanding the Challenge

Most people work during the same hours as when the auto mechanics are operating.  Taking time off work to drop off your car, fill out paperwork, negotiate pricing and arranging a ride to work or back home is time consuming.  You’ll need to do this all over when you pick up your car.

Whether you work full time, part time, or are a stay at home parent shuttling kids to school and after-school activities, car maintenance is never easy to fit into your schedule.

Working adults and parents want to spend less time getting their car serviced and more time being more productive at work or enjoying time with family.




I prepped a survey with Google Forms and distributed it to people in the working adult and parent categories.  The purpose was to find out pain points of what people dealt with when dealing with car maintenance.

A majority of people bring in their cars during the weekday when work and school is on the schedule.  Folks need to find a ride, Uber or Lyft or wait.





Tell me about a negative experience you had dealing with a mechanic.

  • “When the car wasn’t ready in time for me to pick up my wife (work) and son (daycare).”
  • “When I was not able to get my car in time and left overnight without my car”
  • “When I had to miss my meeting due to the extra time I had to wait for a shuttle”

Tell me about a time when you had a good experience dealing with a mechanic.

  • “Seen right away and provided a courtesy car and car delivered on time.”
  • “They were professional and offered me a loaner car without me having to ask.”
  • “Great service and ease of access”
  • “Car was finished early so I didn’t have to worry if I would be late getting the kids”


The survey showed common patterns of when users brought their car in and how they manage to get from the shop to wherever they were going.  The needs were common. It was straightforward to come up with a few personas.

Focusing on a specific user helps to keep the needs in mind and not get distracted whenever an idea for a new feature or demand pops up.


User Journey


  • Thinking – is it expensive?  Are shops near me?
  • Feeling – Apprehensive.  Annoyed about car troubles
  • Customer Experience – bad website, broken links

Book an appointment

  • Thinking – Are they flexible?  Can i reschedule if I need to?
  • Feeling – Frustrated about the stupid car.  Hopeful to get an appointment.
  • Customer Experience – Online forms ask alot of questions.  Requires phone and email


  • Thinking – Where do I park?  Where do I go? Who should I talk to?
  • Feeling – Anxious, annoyed about car troubles, uncertain because it’s the first time at the place
  • Customer Experience – No greeting, bad customer service, loud shop


  • Thinking – What do I do now?  How long is the wait? Should I come back?
  • Feeling – Bored, no tv or magazines here.  Impatient because they said it’ll be done soon.
  • Customer Experience – No entertainment, no status updates, no interaction from staff


  • Thinking – Will they tell me exactly what they did?  Will they tell me about other issues? Will I understand what they’re talking about?
  • Feeling – Relieved that the issues were taken care of.  Shocked of undisclosed fixes and costs, clueless, didn’t know what they did, disappointed, did not meet the person who worked on the car.
  • Customer Experience – details were given only when asked, no clear breakdown of what was done


  • Thinking – Where’s my car?  Did they steal my stuff? When do I need to bring in the car again?  I could do some of the work myself?
  • Feeling – hopeful, my car is fixed. optimistic, my car feels like it drives better.
  • Customer Experience – Their social media sucks, why should i connect with them?  Lots of receipts, why can’t they just have 1 printed receipt or emailed.


Journey Flow



How someone uses the app.

  1. Jon is driving his car to work and notices the maintenance required light turns on.  He knows that it’s been approximately 3000 miles since the last time it turned on. That usually indicates an oil change is due
  2. Jon opens the app and schedules an appointment to get his car serviced.
  3. Jon sets up a pick up time and location and submits his order.
  4. Jon drives to work the next day and before he starts his meeting marathon, the app notifies him that someone is here to get his car.  On time just like he requested.
  5. Jon finishes up his meetings and finally sits down at his desk.  Soon after he gets a notification that his car is finished at the shop and will be delivered within 1 hour.
  6. An hour later, Jon gets pinged and his car is at his office.  He greets the customer service rep and gets his keys back.
  7. Jon finishes up some last minute work and then packs up.  He drives back home and feels great that he had a productive day at work and that he even got his car serviced!

UI Design coming soon…


** Disclaimer – I was not commissioned by CarDash for this project.  This is a personal project.

Comments are closed.