Visit to AutoTrader

Visit to AutoTrader

Posted on 23 January 2016 by Jason

We were very fortunate last week to be able to head down to the Manchester offices of AutoTrader to partake in some user testing for a client in the motor trade that we’re currently working in. 

Based in a new development close to the city centre, their offices were awesome! Every corner you turned presented a new iconic car that I’d love to have in my own garage. Whether this was the Alfa Romeo, a Rolls Royce or the Audi Quattro, I was in petrol heaven.

You always assume that there are computers doing all the hard work for a company like Autotrader, but this was far from the case. There were probably around 100-150 people beavering away at their workstations (or back of a land rover). It was quite a sight and amazing to be able to see.

The Testing

Once we’d had our tour, it was time to get down to the nitty gritty of watching people use the prototype we’d constructed using a series of user journeys.

Sat in a separate room to the tester, we were able to watch the 6 participants use the wireframe, as well as give feedback on a few design concepts we’d created.

Mixed results

The wireframes and general journey through the various sections of the site went down well with very few problems presenting themselves.

The participants felt that the design concepts that we’d put together weren’t quite as premium as the competition, but that was what we were looking for. Any feedback at that early stage of the project is incredibly valuable.

User testing is invaluable

Since the testing, we’ve gone away, re-assessed what was needed for the company to portray a ‘polished appearance on the web’ and come up with something that everyone feels is a big improvement.

Without this initial testing phase, there was a very real probability that the designs we’d initially created would have been used, which would have been a mistake based on user feedback and adversely affected the company going forward.

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