route planning graphic

Bolt EV Route Planning Concept

Employer: General Motors
Role: UX/UI Designer
My Deliverables: Annotated Wireframes, Feature Prototypes, UI Comps

This project was a concept for the Bolt Electric Vehicle. The mission was to create an in-vehicle route planning app specific to the needs of an electric engine. The range on an EV is shorter compared to an internal combustion engine, and places to charge are not as common as gas stations. This route planning app would solve some issues with driving an EV by letting users know if the trip they were planning was out of battery range and also presenting them with easy ways to add charging stops.



Research included competitive benchmarking against other electric vehicle manufactures as well as internal analysis. Knowing the limitations of the vehicle’s hardware and software gave us some constraints to work within, despite the conceptual nature of this project. 

During the research phase two main user flows were drafted:

  • The interaction starts on the user’s mobile device, they then send their route to the car’s in-vehicle head unit.
  • The interaction is a total in-vehicle experience, from planning the trip, to launching it in the navigation app.

Design and Testing

Design in this project included making wireframes and comps for both user flow scenarios. The designs were used in an A/B test, pinning the two user flows against each other. The participants were all current Electric Vehicle owners. Test results showed that users could plan a route more quickly through the total in-vehicle experience. Starting the route planning interaction on the phone took more time overall but afforded users a better interface for saving and viewing saved routes. This test was interesting in that it showed strengths and weaknesses in both designs with neither coming out clearly on top. The conclusion was to iterate our design to let the user utilize both the mobile and in-vehicle app to create a route.

Project Highlights

Gleaning information from testing that didn’t give black or white answers pushed us to rethink the design and create a hybrid of the two original concepts.

Struggles Overcame

The conceptual nature of this project meant lack of normal UX resources. Running guerrilla testing with current EV owners allowed us to design quantifiably around realistic scenarios.

Work Excerpts

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