top of page

Design Methods Project


CarMax Mobile App Redesign

My Role
: UX Researcher/Designer
Team: Daniella, Erica, Clarabelle, & Cammi

Empathize with customers' experiences to create a faster, more enjoyable redesign of the CarMax app.

Context 📚

Customers find selecting a car to purchase too much of a hassle. There are dozens of possible cars to choose from, which require multiple visits to the dealership to ensure that customers are satisfied with the car before finally deciding to commit to purchasing one.

Project Scope 🚘

  • Methods: User Personas, Wireframing, User Journey Mapping, Prototyping, User Interviews

  • Tools: Figma, FigJam

  • Duration: January - March 2023 (9 weeks)

Objectives 🎯 

CarMax aims to focus its brand on creating stress-free car purchases for its customers.


To achieve this, our problem statement is:

How might we give customers an easier and more exciting way to narrow their car search and book a test drive?

Design Approach ✏️

User Personas

We focused on two specific personas to become more familiar with the users we are designing for. Creating these personas helped my group visualize our users and their needs.

The Single Adult

  • Looking to buy a medium size car

  • Prioritizes price, ease of use, & style

  • Relies on reviews

  • Wants to test drive different models

The Family

  • Looking to buy a large car

  • Prioritizes comfort & functionality 

  • Safety is especially important

  • Wants to compare different options

Design Principles

1. Usability

Users should easily be able to achieve their goals with the redesign.

2. Simplicity

A minimal design will highlight key features and simplify navigation

3. User-centered

The features should be personalized to fit the user's preferences

Initial Whiteboards

We started by white boarding our initial ideas for the new features our app would have. This process helped us to visualize what the user experience would be like, and identify possible pain points users would encounter.


After discussion,  we decided to include three key features:

1. a personalized quiz to narrow the user's car preferences

2. a comparison feature that allows the user to compare two cars' features side-by-side

3. an appointment scheduler for the user to book a test drive with a selected car.

User Journey Mapping

To get an idea of how our features would relate together for an integrated user experience, we mapped out a typical user journey in FigJam to ensure we streamline users' experience as they move through the app.

Screen Shot 2023-10-06 at 2.27.37 PM.png

The new features would condense the user's car search into one quiz. After the user completes the quiz, the user will be shown their top car matches, two of which the user could select, and use the comparison feature to further help them decide which car best fits their preferences to book a test drive for.

Initial Prototypes

We created initial prototypes in Figma, keeping in mind the original CarMax brand while integrating our newly designed features.

Screen Shot 2023-10-25 at 8.42.45 PM.png
Screen Shot 2023-10-25 at 9.01.45 PM.png
Screen Shot 2023-10-25 at 8.45.54 PM.png
Screen Shot 2023-10-25 at 8.29.04 PM.png
Screen Shot 2023-10-25 at 9.06.04 PM.png
Screen Shot 2023-10-25 at 8.29.21 PM.png

User Interviews

To gain user feedback on our designs and further understand our users, we conducted user interviews with five users with our prototype designs.

Q: How would you describe your past experience during the process of purchasing a vehicle?


"Disappointing. It was hard to find a good car that wasn't out of my budget." -A

"Lots of waiting, talking, and rudeness... Buying a car is boring." -J

Q: What are your overall impressions of the application?


"It's pretty cool. If I wanted to buy a car, it could be very helpful. It was easy to navigate, and I was able to pick a lot of preferences using the quiz." - K

Q: Would this application help you accomplish your goal of finding a car for your intended purpose?


"Yes, I think it would. It would be a good starting point." -T


"Making an appointment is pretty helpful so yes." -K

User Interview Findings

1. Purchasing Cars is Time-Consuming

Users' pain points aligned with our personas', including the time-consuming nature of visiting car dealerships and difficulty finding their preferred cars.

2. "A Good Starting Point"

Initial responses to our new features and their design were positive - users expressed that the quiz would be a good starting part for their car search.

3. Button and Color Inconsistencies

As for areas for improvement, we received feedback on inconsistencies with back buttons and color choices that made text difficult to read.

Results 💎

Taking into account the feedback we received from usability testing, my group made revisions to our design and communicated these changes to ensure that our design came together as one cohesive product.

Screen Shot 2023-10-25 at 7.59.17 PM.png
Screen Shot 2023-10-25 at 7.59.49 PM.png
Screen Shot 2023-10-25 at 8.23.35 PM.png
Screen Shot 2023-10-25 at 8.01.53 PM.png
Screen Shot 2023-10-25 at 8.55.08 PM.png

Reflection 🔮

As my first design project, this was a valuable experience that allowed me to learn important lessons:

1. User-centered design thinking

If I had the chance to redo this project, I would conduct user interviews at the beginning to gain a better understanding of our users and their experiences to inform our personas. Keeping our personas in mind was crucial for helping my team decide what solutions to focus on implementing.

2. User feedback

Conducting these interviews gave us valuable feedback that we would not have noticed if we had not tested to see what real people thought of our designs. 

3. Seamless Communication

Groups cannot simply divide the parts of a design project - we must communicate throughout the entire process to be on the same page for the end product to flow seamlessly as a holistic design.

bottom of page