Creating an Auto Show App

Product Design


I talked about this project at Mobile UX Conference 2016.


At Imagination, we are always looking for new ways to let guests at our events engage with physical spaces and brand content. We built the app with the New York auto show as our target, which was 12 weeks away. I was fortunate to be involved in every stage of the project from planning and design to feedback after the launch.

Project Length
4 months
Jan - April 2016

Lead UX

UX, UI & Developer, Built by development company & integrated with beacon company Localz.

Key activities
Product Strategy, Mobile App Design, Prototyping, User Testing



The brief was technology focused, so it was my job to take this technical brief and turn it into something that guests wanted to use.

I ran multiple workshops to flesh out the core functionality. Some ideas from the workshops which we developed were:

  • Creating a stand tour service
  • ‘Digital Treasure Hunt using iBeacons
  • Smart notifications using geolocation technology

The build time was quite short, so we worked in an agile fashion. We focused on one feature at a time, then handed over to our development partner.

As we had no time to test our early prototypes with users, I was keen to do user testing at the auto show.

Paper prototypes of self guided car tour

High fidelity prototype screens

Notification Planning

A prospective buyer with a host



Due to the extremely short design & build time, we fell behind schedule. My plan to recruit user research participants was to include a link in a Jaguar newsletter email advertising the app. As the email was only sent out a few days before the show, we had very few signups for the formal usability research. This meant I had to adapt the research plan at the last minute. I compensated by approaching lots of guests on stand for more ‘guerrilla research’ style research method.

Research process diagram



The project was really successful. At the New York auto show, 4 guests who did the tour put a deposit on a vehicle and one couple flew from another state to take the tour! It was rolled out to 3 more auto shows, Paris, Geneva and LA.

The user research was invaluable in showing us what features to focus on taking forward. The tour service on stand was extremely successful. The feedback on the digital treasure hunt was that there wasn’t enough incentive to complete it. Guests were expecting prizes, but we offered them a gif instead. We knew this feature had to work harder in the next version.