Ford Owner is a project that spanned multiple channels, agencies, and years at VMLY&R. I've been a part of the web team since I was an intern in May 2017. Our goal has been to create a positive relationship between the Ford brand and it's customers. The owner website and design system is just one piece of the puzzle that concluded in changing brand perception for both owners and future customers.
How can Ford maintain relevancy after the car leaves the lot?
Buying a car is a huge decision that usually involves months of research online, multiple trips to dealerships, and a few test drives. After all is said and done and the buyer gets the keys, it can be the last time they interact with the brand. Ford wanted to create a better way to stay in communication with it's customers and ultimately give them a reason to get another Ford when the time to repurchase comes.
Creating a common visual language
Ford has a number of digital properties, from customizing and purchasing a vehicle to creating a financing plan and even an app that allows for remote vehicle controls. To create a feeling of trust and consistency, there needed to be visually similar designs from property to property. While keeping within established brand guidelines, we evolved the brand's digital expression through color, icons, and photography.
During the creation of the design system, we realized there was a need to place accessibility at the forefront. Accessible, inclusive design was better for people with and without disabilities, and led us to better usability for all. We made sure to meet standards of type and color contrast, UI styles, focus states, and semantic elements for WGAC 2.0 compliance.
Designing the way we design
New tools introduced our team to a more efficient way to work. With constant additions of design tools and processes across multiple offices, we had to find a way to streamline our process and outline what tools to use when.
To solve this problem, we began to create resources that outlined process, foundational frameworks, and housed our design system. This central hub was for not only designers to use but also project managers, developers and executives alike. Results for us have meant less repetitive questions, faster iteration, and better products being released.
This is a work in progress- chances are that at the time you're reading this, our process is a little different. And we'd like to keep it that way.