Over the past 2.5 years I have worked on the myChevrolet mobile app in various forms as a contractor and direct employee of General Motors. I have been involved with introducing new features into the app, maintaining and updating existing features, and creating an Axure pattern library used by our UX team. Although not all features follow the exact same process, the information below gives a good outline of UX workflow at GM.
While much of the research and testing is done by UX researchers on our team, I have both completed research segments on my own and assisted our researchers in gathering information before the design stage beings. Even before this, the UX team works with product management to help decide what proposed features have the most use and need among customers. A few typical tasks during the research phase include writing user persons, completing card sorts, leading and participating in design jams, competitive benchmarking, and usability benchmarking.
Design always starts with sketches which evolve into wireframes. My goal with any myChevrolet feature is to design functionality that is user friendly while also meeting business needs. This can often be challenging when working at such a large company and it has taught me how to be diplomatic while staying strong in principle. Other deliverables during this phase include functioning prototypes that are used for testing.
Testing can range from quick A/B tests within the group, to assembling panels of users for moderated and unmoderated testing. Testing results will often lead to iteration in the wireframes and prototypes which are then passed off to the graphics teams. I usually work with members from the graphic team as they make comps to ensure they are lining up with the intended usability. If the feature I am working on is small enough, I will sometimes be tasked with providing the UI assets myself.
Developer teams at General Motors typically work in an agile workflow. My involvement with development varies per feature. For large features it is not atypical for me to spend copious amounts of time with the dev team, attending their stand-ups, sprint planning, demos, and retros. Working closely with the dev team on big projects helps create quick turn around with UX/UI changes. For smaller projects and features; wires, prototypes, and comps are handed to the dev team and I might be hands off until QA at the end of this phase.
Designing features for an app distributed by the largest automotive company in the world.
Having lunch with Jared Spool!
Some features seem like a battle between business needs and customer needs. By designing quantifiably, I have had success changing business requirements to fit a better experience for the user.