A New Website for Michelin Truck Tires
Michelin is known as one of the top tire brands you can buy across a plethora of industries and applications. When it comes to commercial truck tires, they are the best. As time progressed, though full of great content and tools, their website became outdated, unintuitive, and inconsistent. It no longer reflected their culture of innovation. When they asked our team to start from the ground up and put them back in the lead, we knew we had a huge task ahead of us.
So, we started with a huge kickoff to allow their numerous stakeholders to weigh in on the massive journey we were about to take. We captured the internal team's hopes and dreams, and then did what any smart interactive team would do—we asked the user. We engaged large groups of targeted users in several rounds of usability testing, much of it by video, to better understand the end user's needs and desires. Once we had all of that behind us, we sketched, we wireframed, we comped, we wireframed again, and comped again, all the while communicating between designers and developers in order to execute on the best ideas possible.
The entire project took almost two years to complete. It was truly a cooperative effort that had the client practically living in our office for three solid months, and the result was worth all of the blood, sweat, tears, and kitchen fires. It is one of the most complicated responsive sites around, allowing every tool on the site to work on whichever screen you have with you. Not to mention the fact that nearly the entire site is available in French. During one of the late stage reviews, one of their VPs said, "This will change the way we sell tires." We went home happy.
I managed user experience design, art direction, and front-end development throughout the entire project.
The Tire Selector
At the heart of this site is the Tire Selector, the tool by which all visitors find “The Right Tire”. In order to reconstruct it into something more intuitive, we took what we learned from user testing and started with user flows. We then moved on to wireframes, and finally to comps. Everything changed, changed, and changed again from what those initial flows and wireframes laid out. And that's a good thing.
One of the major reasons that people in the commercial truck tire industry love Michelin's truck tire site is that it has great calculators to help them really assess how their tires affect their business. So when it was time to redesign these tools, we worked closely with their internal team to make them as accurate, details, and yet as simple as possible.
The Weight Savings Calculator will tell you how much you will save by switching from dual tires to wide-base singles. The Fuel and Mileage Calculator will tell you how much any configuration of tires will cost you in fuel and mileage, as long as you feed it good information. Also, don't feed it after midnight.
Making life easier for frequent users with profiles
Since Michelin gets a lot of repeat visitors to the site, our team came up with the idea of creating user profiles to allow users to save their vehicle configurations and tire searches, so that they don't have to enter them every time they want to run a new scenario or look at their last search. You can even save dealers so that you can reference their services and contact information quickly, even when you're on your smartphone.