The GlobalConnect platform is the ecosystem through which dealers interact with corporate General Motors. It is a collection of many different applications, owned by disparate groups and some third-party companies. The applications address everything from ordering vehicles to receiving the latest industry news to dealer recognition programs and training. The existing GlobalConnect was a sharepoint site, in which everything was text-heavy. It consisted of pages of long lists of blue hyperlinks. It was difficult to navigate as the links were repeated and illogically organized.
My task was to make the interface more visual by giving the applications graphic icons, to allow the user to organize the apps themselves and make it more personalizable. We separated the applications (sites with function, such as placing an order) from consumable content (such as articles, and other non-interactive content.) We eliminated redundant links and created an “app library” (alternatively an “app store”) so that users could browse through the many resources available to them, receive support, and give feedback as to whether the apps were helpful to them in performing their job duties. For the content apps, we created a carousal viewer. Dividing GlobalConnect into apps and content helped the users to make logical connections between where things should be stored and thus where they could go to look for them. We also implemented more rigorous search tools.
Though the initial redesign launch was for North America, the ultimate user base for GlobalConnect was all dealer employees globally. While developing the concept, I visited many local dealerships to develop a dialogue about how we could better support them in their job duties. We worked closely with many different IT groups and app owners to bring their apps stylistically into alignment with the new GlobalConnect vision; publishing a style guide for them to use on future (regularly scheduled) graphic refreshes of their own products.
Redesigning GlobalConnect was a monumental undertaking with high visibility, risk, and accountability. There were multiple stakeholders and it affected not only every dealership employee, but also many IT and corporate business groups. I was the lead designer, negotiating with stakeholders to develop, drive, and implement a new organizing philosophy for the platform. I also mentored and directed the junior graphic designer in developing the look & feel, style guide, and production graphics throughout the project. Beyond the interpersonal complexity of the project, on the technical side we were balancing our ideas with the functional limitations of Sharepoint at the time, determining in what areas we could customize and in what areas it was more advantageous to work with Sharepoint’s default hierarchy approaches. These requirements drove many choices with regard to defining administration roles and permissions for user groups, organization of apps and content, and managing multiple brands (each of whom had their own Sharepoint identities).
General Motors, January 2013 (released June 2014)
Platform: Desktop, Tablet
Objective: To redesign the GlobalConnect platform, making it more intuitive for dealership employees to use.
Role: Sr. UX Designer, Creative Lead at General Motors
- Gathering business requirements
- Working with stakeholders
- Ideation & Concept Development
- Executive Presentation Pitch
- UI/UX Design (concept designs)
- Art Direction of production phase