Imagining, testing, and inventing the future of connected cars
Verizon had just acquired Hum, the leader in telematics, diving head-first into the connected car industry. Hum’s technology provides drivers with important information about their car. But the app was only valuable when vehicles reported problems. To maintain its customer base and warrant users’ $20 monthly fee, Verizon needed to explore more features, pinpointing the ones that’d resonate the strongest. Only the tried and tested features would make it to development.
Enter our prototype sprints—a 7-week process focused on exploring and validating new feature sets. We started by bringing consumers into our space for intensive workshops, facilitating deep metaphor exercises to elicit drivers’ true feelings about their cars. One of the many insights we uncovered? Money. Many drivers consider their car a drain of their resources. This finding became one of the focuses we took into exploration—in the form of a feature we called “Money in the Tank”. It would allow drivers to see how their driving impacted gas mileage and everyday wear on their cars.
Weeks of prototyping, testing, and iterating led us to a shored-up, validated feature set that boasted a high likelihood of driver use—which gave the team confidence in putting the proven feature set on the dev roadmap. Hum was well on its way to becoming a tool drivers buzzed about.
To give drivers practical information and drive ongoing engagement, we designed a weekly email featuring performance benchmarks and tips.
Everyone loves a winner. Our prototype allowed drivers to see how their performance and savings ranked compared to their neighbors.
Verizon launched Hum in 2015, and since then has added location-based features (to give parents that extra set of eyes in the back of their heads), and wi-fi hotspot capabilities (for a really, really connected car.)