Global strategy to create outstanding UX for cars

UX and prototyping for cars
experience design




We did UX research in 6 different countries and combined strategic tools to create innovation in car development for Ford

In a 3 year partnership with Ford, Questtonó put together numerous teams in different countries, like Brazil, Argentina, Germany, and India to understand the varying needs and use cases around the world when it comes to cars. 

Global project scopes with localized strategies were deployed simultaneously and proved that GPS actually works – and we are not talking about the geolocation system, but the good old “Get People’s Suggestions”. 

All of the insights Ford and Questtonó accumulated along the way were converted into a “toolbook” that continues to be referenced when the global company seeks future strategies for new and existing car models. From the Detroit HQ, to Brazil’s production plant, to local operations, the playbook is a reference point to pave the way towards the future of mobility. 

Shifting gears

Car development is an extremely complex field. “There are many departments interconnected, so every suggestion we brought to the table had to be systemic”, says Leonardo Massarelli, founder and CCO of Questtonó. 

Involved in every step of this three-year partnership, Massarelli highlights another challenge: the user perception of a car is extremely personal. Some people will look at it as an asset, some will only see it as transportation and others add emotional value to it. 

Cultural background and lifestyle play a big role in how individuals relate with and use a vehicle, and Questtonó’s mission was to explore all of these paths and to identify common ground.

The Fast & The Curious

What makes an ideal car? We asked this question to over 500 people in 6 countries, and got thousands of different answers. While seated in a prototype car frame created exclusively for these in-person experiments, passengers and drivers from around the world co-created features within and around the car. 

We used a variety of tools and methodologies to extract unique findings from our collaborative “passengers”, including digital and physical prototypes. 

With so many unique insights, it was time to put the puzzle together the pieces into an interactive toolkit featuring UX for cars.   

Finish Line

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand”. It’s a Chinese proverb that has become our mantra for obvious reasons. Practicing what we preach, we created an immersive room in Ford’s factory in Bahia, in the Northeast of Brazil.

“We designed this 1,070 square feet immersive room so Ford’s team could dive in our findings and strategies”, explains Massarelli. “In this space one could access all the user journeys, personas, detailed descriptions of concepts and the grand finale: a prototype of a car incorporated into what we called the ideation station”.

A toolkit and a strategic UX framework were also handed to Ford’s executives so they can be better equipped when making crucial decisions. 

For Matheus Demetrescu, Design Strategy Director at Ford São Paulo, working with Questtonó’s team was a partnership where both teams have always acted as one. “We worked with critical view and transparency to obtain the best results. The restless quest to find desirable solutions for customers, that are feasible and viable to develop, has brought extremely relevant insights to our projects.”

With many layers and phases, this case study was a landmark in Questtonó’s history, revealing new depths of our workforce to help a century old company shape the future of mobility.