Rethinking the car buying process





Creative Direction, Product Direction


Created at ISL

Maggie Chambers // Design

Scott Simpson // Design

Caresse Gilles // Product Management

Wunderman Thompson // Creative Partners

VW Team // Product Owners and UX designers

VW came to us to rethink the car buying process. We worked to ditch the pain of going to a dealer and offer a fully digital car buying experience. Later, it was applied to accompany the launch of VW’s new fully electric vehicles.

✏️ Our initial solution focused on matching existing inventory with user's ideal car build—to create an experience that matched the excitement of going to the dealer.

Part One: We were there at the beginning. Prototyping a brand new product experience for VW.

We worked with VW to build the concept from the ground up. In its initial phase, we focused on the selling of previously leased VWs and Audis. We identified existing car buying journeys and how our product could best alleviate points of friction, translated the VW group brand (including VW, Audi, And Porsche) into distinct style directions, and built prototypes and journeys to test our assumptions.

User Research in Philly
VW clients working with us to identify a user journey

Part Two: We must have done something right. The work was picked up and translated to support in VW's electric vehicle launch.

To accompany the launch of the upcoming electric vehicle line, we worked with VW to take this initial concept and craft the experience to support three main experiences along an end-to-end customer experience. We worked to support reservations prior to vehicle production, crafted an experience to keep reservation-holders engaged through progress and key interaction points, and brought the dealership to the consumer through an entirely online buying experience.

Many Teams. One end-to-end customer experience.

One of the biggest challenges for this work was to bring stability and a singular creative approach across multiple teams. The teams spanned across VW/Audi client teams and ISL/Wunderman Thompson agency teams, to create one serious nest of talented humans. I created and maintained a design system that interprets a new VW brand direction, oversaw the interaction design with multiple teams of designers, and worked closely with multiple product owners and a release train engineer to ensure a delivery and review schedule that facilitated stakeholder feedback and set the developer teams up for success.

Creating a unified creative approach. A style guide to anticipate the launch of VW's new brand system.

We created a design system to ensure creative consistency and successfully adapt VW’s new brand direction. We worked to build a system that was simple and thorough enough for designers to apply consistently and systematic enough for developers to be able to translate.

The team was incredibly flexible throughout and brought an amazing energy, enthusiasm, and expertise to the table each day. As I’m sure you’ve seen, the work speaks for itself… but I wanted to go on record with a HUGE THANKS! to you and the team.

—Caleb Dunn, Customer Experience Lead — VW Mobility Team