Digitalising the garage
- Digital Product
- Product Design
- Visual design
- Fast prototyping
- Interaction Design
- User tests
The Internet of Things and the automotive industry
Blurring the barriers between cars and drivers
In 2014 Secuoyas had the opportunity to work on a startup project related to the Internet of Things linked to the automotive industry. Three companies - Secuoyas, Osoco and VirtualSW - united forces to bring the concept devised by David Mateo-Sagasta of Arco to life. A concept which was committed to eliminating the barriers between cars and drivers.
In a modern car, an electronic control unit monitors the activity of all of its components in milliseconds, which enables the specific mechanical problem that the operator needs to deal with to be predicted with a simple computer-based search. This exchange is carried out by means of a connection port called OBD2, which is present on the dashboard of any modern car.
Beyourcar came into existence with the aim of stopping this experience from being limited to vehicle workshops and making it possible for any user to consult the well-being of their car from their own mobile phone.
Time-to-market became one of the project’s drivers, giving us the challenge of having a viable version in 4 months.
Race against the clock
Quick-and-dirty as a work formula
After the initial meetings, the three participating companies got straight to work. David took charge of the concept and the monetisation, Osoco of the front programming, VirtualSW of the back programming and Secuoyas of the definition of the user experience and the visual finish of all of the work that was necessary to bring this startup to life. For this reason, time-to-market became one of the project’s drivers, giving us the challenge of having a viable version in 4 months.
In order to be streamlined and meet the deadline, we focussed the first steps with guerrilla tools: multiple product iterations based on small design and test phases, which allowed us to gather valuable feedback quickly and at the lowest possible cost. In this manner, during the first sprint both the People and their main contact points with the service were already defined, which were the premises for the rest of the work.
We created the visual identity under the slogan “your whole car on your smartphone”, made up by a logo, colours and a selection of fonts which fitted in with the values which we wanted to transmit and we devised the flow of interaction for the key connection features with the vehicle, notifications, diagnosis and maintenance.
“The aim was a to construct a coherent experience, precise in its meanings, and democratic enough so as not to restrict itself to those who love to drive.”
Your whole car on your smartphone
The status of your vehicle in just one click
The definition and visual design process encompassed both the main interactions with the beyourcar application, those related with the diagnostic of the vehicle in real time and management of repairs, and other highly valuable added functions for users in critical moments such as being able to locate garages and petrol stations or consult the maintenance history. This application was worked both for the website and for android and iOS and, in all cases, it was the same html5 development which provided content in all interfaces.
In parallel, we defined a public website and two social network profiles. This structure provided a community of registered users with a support where their needs could be met.
Finally, when the design and development times were still being adjusted for all types of equipment, we managed to make the application respond correctly and it was truly satisfying to see how the typical values of a car’s dashboard such as the battery level, the mileage or the acceleration were represented in real time on the mobile interface. What proved to be the most useful was the diagnostic tool which detected and categorised the fault sent to us by the control unit into minor, medium and serious. To sum up, four months later, we had managed to make the man-car connection tangible, having enjoyed the process and created something new for everybody