TripTech - CamperMate

Product redesign and ongoing partnership

A Transformative UX/UI Journey for Australia & New Zealand’s best camping and adventure App

Overview

Boasting an impressive 2 million downloads, CamperMate stands out as the ultimate companion for self-guided adventures like camping and road trips, proudly earning the title of Australia and New Zealand's favorite adventure and camping app. With an extensive 100,000+ listings spanning both countries, it's a comprehensive guide for explorers.

Unlocking a world of experiences, CamperMate lets users discover wineries, whale watching, scenic hikes, indigenous culture, museums, and more. Beyond exploration, the app sweetens the deal with exclusive offers and a seamless accommodation booking feature.

CamperMate also allows users to contribute interesting points of interest and share genuine reviews, providing invaluable insights into various locations.

But that's not all—the app takes care of practicalities too, helping users find necessities like public toilets and service stations, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable travel experience.

Despite the app's substantial success and user base, it grappled with user experience issues and an outdated UI design, positioning it behind more contemporary competitors. Additionally, there are key functionalities that are hard to find and use, further contributing to the challenges users face in navigating and fully utilising the application.

Contributions
UX Audit
Product Discovery
Design Strategy
Design Leadership
UX Design
UI Design
Prototyping
Usability testing
Art Direction
(Re)Branding
Illustration
Iconography

Challenge

Despite having a sizable user base, the app struggled with notable user experience shortcomings and an outdated UI design. This situation has resulted in them lagging behind their more contemporary and competitive counterparts.

Outcome

  • I was entrusted with performing an extensive UX Audit of the application to assess its current state, conducting a thorough screen-by-screen analysis. Leveraging my expertise, I employed design heuristics, best practices, and common design patterns to identify and isolate these critical flaws. This process culminated in a detailed report, serving as the foundational document for a roadmap aimed at addressing and rectifying the identified issues.
  • A comprehensive overhaul of the product's UX and UI design has resulted in regaining a competitive edge, increased retention rates, and heightened user engagement. This transformation, along with streamlined functionality and enhanced user experience, has successfully ironed out crucial flaws, contributing to a positive brand perception.

  • Following the major redesign, CamperMate has sustained our partnership through a retainer arrangement, enabling continued collaboration on UX/UI enhancements for updates and future improvements.

A snapshot of the redesign: The old design on the left and the redesigned version on the right.

Role & Responsibilities

As the Principal Consultant on this project, I've collaborated closely with the project manager and head of marketing. My responsibilities have spanned from evaluating the product's current state with a comprehensive UX Audit, facilitating discovery workshops, redesigning the UX and UI, creating prototypes, and conducting usability testing I've played a pivotal role in designing both the iOS and Android versions of the app, as well as the website/web app.

Moreover, I've helped them with a brand refresh, established a robust design system and crafted brand and social media style guides to ensure a consistent and impactful brand presence. It's important to note that while my work is ongoing, the current live version is a mix of the old product transitioning into the future state that I've helped to shape. The rollout of my contributions is gradually unfolding, providing a seamless transition from the previous iteration to the enhanced design and user experience.

CamperMate is currently utilising my services through a retainer package for ongoing UX/UI and branding work, offering the flexibility to cancel or upgrade at any time. This arrangement ensures a continuous and responsive collaboration, aligning with Campermate's evolving design needs as they progress into the future state of their product.

“I've worked with Mike for almost two years now. He has been instrumental in improving the user experience and branding of the CamperMate app and website. We've worked with Mike on UX audits, prototyping, user testing, illustration and branding - the quality of his work is always high and he consistently delivers what we envisioned and much more.”

- Daisy Seely-McGrath

Product Manager at TripTech - CamperMate
Sydney, Australia

Scope & Constraints

Scope

  • Leading a detailed UX audit to assess and refine CamperMate's app, offering strategic insights for immediate improvement.
  • Testing and validating with users to ensure the intended solution is desirable and meets their needs.
  • Ongoing partnership on a retainer basis, addressing evolving product, UX/UI, and brand requirements collaboratively.

Constraints

Navigate through the project's diverse phases while adhering to defined financial parameters, underscoring a focus on resourcefulness to maximise impact.

Process

Holistic Human-Centered Approach
Throughout every phase of the project, the approach adopted has been holistic and human-centered. This methodology places the end user at the core, ensuring that design decisions resonate with their needs, preferences, and behaviors. The iterative nature of the process allows for continuous refinement, resulting in a product and brand that not only meet functional requirements but also create a meaningful and enjoyable user experience.

Highlighting Two Years of Deliverables

Discover the evolution of CamperMate's product and brand through key highlights of our dynamic two-year collaboration, from the initial UX audit to ongoing retainer-based services. This showcase not only exemplifies my diverse service offering for scaleups and startups but also emphasises the pivotal role of UX/UI design in achieving tangible outcomes for lasting success.

UX Audit

Leveraging design heuristics, best practices, and my 18 years of industry experience, the UX audit for CamperMate involved a detailed screen-by-screen analysis. This comprehensive analysis served as the compass for formulating a strategic plan, complete with actionable recommendations poised to transform challenges into opportunities for an enhanced user experience.

A snapshot from the UX Audit, revealing insights that paved the way for a seamless user experience.

A Comprehensive UX/UI Product Redesign

Building on UX audit insights, CamperMate entrusted me with a comprehensive product redesign. Deliverables encompassed personas, competitive analysis, user stories, user flows, sitemaps, wireframes, prototypes, and usability testing. Collaborating closely with the product manager and developers, our collective focus aimed at boosting retention rates, establishing a competitive edge, and future-proofing their product for enduring success.

Explore a visual summary with the highlights of the transformative journey below:

User flows serve as the blueprint of a seamless digital journey, mapping the user's path from entry to completion. Essential for understanding and optimising the user experience and guiding design decisions.

Wireframes are crucial in the design process as they serve as a foundational blueprint, outlining the structure and functionality of an interface. By presenting a skeletal framework devoid of distracting elements like colors and visuals, wireframes allow us to concentrate on the core user experience.

Early prototyping is pivotal as it allows us to test and refine concepts swiftly, identifying potential issues and optimising the user experience before final development. This iterative process not only saves time and resources but ensures the end product aligns seamlessly with user expectations.

Respecting the old UI in a redesign is key for user familiarity and trust. It eases the transition, maintains brand consistency, and ensures the new design aligns with user expectations. Simultaneously, I've innovated and crafted a fresh design, meeting the expectations of a modern app.

Rebranding

As a key component of the product redesign, I was tasked with revitalizing CamperMate's visual identity, seamlessly aligning it with the app's refreshed aesthetics. This strategic initiative not only brings a modern touch to the brand but also heightens its relevance, allowing CamperMate to distinguish itself in the competitive realm of camping and adventure apps. The result not only modernises the brand but also respects its heritage, striking a balance between familiarity and a fresh, contemporary appeal.

I conducted a thorough analysis and benchmarked the current logo, considering not only design elements but also aligning with user expectations of a modern tech brand. This approach ensures our visual identity meets both industry standards and the evolving preferences of our users.

I presented a range of concepts for discussion with the client. Emphasising the importance of keeping this phase broad, I aimed to explore a variety of ideas to ensure a comprehensive and innovative approach to the rebranding process.

Collaborating closely with my client, we pinpointed two distinct designs for A/B testing with users. This method allowed us to collect valuable feedback, providing crucial insights to shape our final decision and ensure the rebranding resonates effectively with the users.

The reimagined logo is not just a static image; it's a dynamic, living brand that adapts to users' preferred modes of travel. By respecting the essence of the old logo, I've seamlessly incorporated innovation, allowing the brand to evolve while maintaining a sense of familiarity and heritage.

I crafted a versatile illustration system. This dynamic framework allows for the creation of various iterations tailored to different applications, ensuring a cohesive and adaptable visual identity across diverse contexts.

The brand guidelines ensure consistency and coherence across all brand touchpoints. These guidelines serve as a crucial reference, providing a framework for anyone working with the brand. They outline key elements such as logo usage, color schemes, typography, and overall design principles, ensuring that the brand is presented uniformly. This consistency not only strengthens brand recognition but also reinforces a unified and professional image, contributing to a positive and lasting impression on our audience.

Ongoing Excellence with a Retainer-Based Collaboration

Beyond the initial UX audit, our collaboration has evolved into a lasting partnership. Operating on a retainer basis, I've played a key role in driving ongoing projects, ensuring smooth product updates, formulating effective social media guidelines, and orchestrating impactful promotional campaigns. Closely collaborating with the product manager, head of marketing, and developers, the retainer model offers you flexibility, allowing you to upgrade or cancel your package at any time, ensuring a dynamic and tailored working relationship.

A snapshot of the vibrant promotional website crafted as part of our retainer collaboration.

Above the social media brand guidelines designed as part of our retainer for a consistent and captivating online presence.

Key Takeaways

  • Strategic Impact
    From the initial UX audit to continuous collaboration as an interim product design leader, the results speak volumes—markedly increased app downloads, heightened retention rates, and a competitive edge responsive to users' evolving needs.
  • Evolution Over Two Years
    The audit served as a robust starting point, and over two years, our collaborative efforts have driven substantial progress. Tangible results now reflect the dedication to refining and enhancing the user experience.
  • Flexible Retainer Advantage
    With an ongoing, flexible retainer plan, CamperMate benefits from consistent access to seasoned product design expertise without the commitments of a full-time hire. It ensures a dynamic and responsive partnership tailored to the ever-changing demands of their product.

“Over the last 2 years, I have had the pleasure of working with Mike on the development of our new brand identity, website, marketing tools and app features and I have been incredibly impressed with his attention to detail, customer focus, and collaborative spirit.

Mike took the time to understand our history, business goals, and target audience, and he would always translate that knowledge into a visually appealing and user-friendly design that was embraced by our community of travel app users. He was also very open to feedback and suggestions, and worked closely with us to ensure that the final product was exactly what we wanted.
,I would highly recommend Mike to anyone looking for a talented and experienced UX/UI designer.”

- Michelle Liasel Hatch

Head of Marketing at TripTech - CamperMate
Sydney, Australia

My campervan serves as my occasional pop-up office with a view, breathing life into an app born from genuine passion and firsthand experience.

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