KIA is the biggest automobile manufacturer in the world. In 2019, the company updated both the Korean and American versions of their sites, inspiring the Russian office to completely reimagine their digital platform as well. KIA came to us with a request for a complete UI and UX design for their new site. The global task was to make choosing and buying a car online just as easy as ordinary, everyday online shopping.
When working with market leaders, it’s important to search out and make bold decisions, leaving behind the existing rules and conservative approaches in the industry. We conducted qualitative research with the brand’s target audience and a competitive analysis of fifteen car manufacturers, after which we suggested changing the logic and structure of the previous site completely in favor of a new one, based on the principle of personalized content. The main idea was to turn the site into a convenient, step-by-step guide that would meet the demands of three segments of the audience at once: those who are just browsing the model line, those who want to buy a car and existing KIA owners.
In working on the purchase section, we encountered a truly enormous variety of trim packages: some KIA models have more than 20! To keep users from getting lost (or losing their minds), we came up with a convenient step-by-step configuration tool with various parameters that assist in choosing a given trim level. At the same time, incompatible options aren’t completely hidden; instead, they are gathered into a separate group and remain available. You can come back to them in case the main selection doesn’t have the options you want.
In order to show off the personality of each individual model, we used fullscreen backgrounds, showing environments like a mountain two-track roads, unpaved wilderness or a high-speed highway. A built-in video player also helps users make a considered decision, showing them independent reviews from bloggers for each car.
Frequently, people decide to buy a car based on how good of a loan they can get from a particular dealership. Using this insight, we developed a credit calculator that helps users create an individual application, see the different discounts and rebates available, find out the surcharge and monthly payment amounts, and add insurance and other services. They can then send in their application online, without any need to visit a bank.
We used the design system of KIA’s global site as the basis for our site’s style, which gave us a great deal of freedom. We didn’t try to minimize the number of pages and maximize the amount of information; instead, we left plenty of breathing room and negative space on each page. There are no extra bells and whistles or unnecessary elements to take attention away from KIA’s model line on any one page.
The creation of a modular system and our own landing page builder was an important decision for us, allowing the KIA team to easily scale the site on their own and add new pages. We developed a selection of ready-made blocks: text, interface, and fullscreen images. When you combine them together, you can get any kind of page you need while preserving the simple, convenient logic that we intended from the beginning.
In the process of creating the site, we developed around a hundred different layouts (both desktop and mobile versions), with the majority of pages using micro-animations that add an enjoyable feeling of interactivity to the user experience. To make it easier for the client to maintain a single visual style for the entire site, we prepared a detailed UI kit for the site builder where we described all the different types of colors, icons and text layout options.
KIA launched the full site and all of our technological solutions in stages over the course of 2020. January saw the release of sections devoted to new cars and the buying experience. We continue to work on the service section, studied analytics and testing hypotheses with the client. It’s great that KIA is now backing up its position in the market with a full-fledged digital platform that is defeating its competitors both in terms of functionality and convenience.