An article from the tirebuyer education section. Highlighted description of rules governing how we offered suggestions.

"It is amazing to me how we take tires for granted... especially when you consider that they are the only thing between us, the road, and the other cars...."

TB-Category-Page

STAGE:1 - Project Overview

Project: Education section and Blog

Challenge:

TireBuyer needed to develop more content that we could use to engage our audience.

SOLUTION

The blog's and educational pages were one of the ways we built trust into our brand. We educated our users on the importance of proper tire maintenance, usage, storage, installation, and offered answers to everyday questions.

Before we realized that we wanted to separate the educational forum into two parts, we entertained the idea of creating the blog right on the website. The separation allowed us to break structure and diversify our message. The blog allowed us to indirectly target users while the education center was specifically focused on user education.

Sample blog title

"Heading out for a road trip this summer? Check out these great locations! "

The above blog title might appear to focus on specific tourist destinations or a site seeing summer road trip, but the underlying message was sure to remind you that you need to check your tires before you head out on the road to ensure the safety and well being of your family.

Project was divided into two parts:

  • A Blog that lived independently on it's own server. The blog allowed us to engage more informal interaction and provided content that would occasionally be shared as part of our content offerings. 
     

  • An Educational section that lived on site and helped to enforce the trust factor of our brand by informing our client base about our product and procedures. 

 

STAGE:2 - Information Architecture

Note: Screens are sample and may not reflect final project

 
 Information Architecture - wireframes

Information architecture and design process:

  • Organize and prioritize content based on the business requirements, and user research.
  • Identify primary goals and organize content in a meaningful way that aligns with mission.
  • Identify the "low hanging fruit" 
  • Review competitive analysis to gauge any existing user interface trends.  
  • Decide if there is a better way to tackle any of the obvious solutions.
  • Sketch out some rough designs to give me an idea of real-estate for product layout.
  • Wire frame solutions and start nailing down UI interactions.
  • incorporate design patterns, best practice and the final look and feel.
  • Set up a sandbox in our developer environment so that I could test user interface in a real world environment (NOTE: This also allows me to communicate complex UI patterns to developers and stake holders) 
  • Test UI solutions internally and, if need be, escalate any issues prior to development (saving time and money)
  • Demo prototype to stake holders and address any development issues. 
  • Bug bash solution to ensure product is ready for release.
  • Launch product
  • Monitor feedback to ensure product works to expectation.

Wire frame product features

  • Search: Allowed user base to search for answers on specific content.

  • Hero: Featured life style images or special sales that were going on.

  • Primary navigation: Navigation allows users to drive into main site from the blog

  • Newsletter: Good user conversion. Primarily spoke to the car enthusiasts.

  • Featured posts: Featured product, advertisements, and/or alerts to coming discounts lived here.

  • Tag Cloud: High level overview of content and worked as a post filter

  • Calendar and schedule: We could list pending sales and special events. This also allowed us to do things like communicate to our users something like ..."Winter is coming - Are you ready"

  • Social feed: Allows us to connect and engage with our Social base. We encouraged people to share photos on our Social pages. 

  • Posts: Posts include a large hero with social cues under the right edge of the picture. The heading and image are clickable areas to read more. There is an excerpt or "teaser copy" under the post 

 

STAGE:3 - Final Paint & Prototypes

Note Screens are sample and may not reflect final project

 

Education center view.

 Final Paint view of the Client BLOG

Client blog view.

 Final paint view of client Blog