GM Renaissance was a project that I participated in during my UX Design Co-op at General Motors. The goal was to reimagined autonomous vehicle experience for 2039.
I had the great opportunity to collaborate with the Global Advanced Design Team at GM. Frank Saucedo (Director of Design) and Frank Rudolph (Designer), two leaders of the team, held check-ins every week to give feedback as well as sharing presentations with the entire team.
I was a member of the Global Team responsible for organizing 22 designers into four groups and ensuring that they collaborated effectively to deliver a unified design solution for GM. Our team was responsible for deciding the direction of the design process and presenting the final solutions from the teams.
As a UX Designer & Web Developer, my primary role was to lead the Experience team, which consisted of four UX Designers who were part of the larger group of 22 designers split into four teams.
Shixiong Du - Graphic Designer
Rex Cong - Graphic Designer
Yunlei Shen - UX Designer & Web Developer
Mark O’Dell - Advertising Designer
Krithika Sengottaiyan - Fashion Designer
Our task was to adapt to the changing needs and preferences of both GM and non-GM customers, and establish a foothold in the fiercely competitive mobility market in the U.S. The challenge was to gain a comprehensive understanding of how mobility users would think in 2039.
Our objective was to provide customers with sustainable mobility solutions and ensure that our business practices aligned with sustainable principles. We aimed to understand our customers better by creating personas based on their future lifestyles, including their location, mode of transportation, and overall experience.
By adopting this new perspective on the future of urban mobility and operating in such a competitive field, we aimed to build stronger relationships with GM customers and provide them with greater clarity on their status as customers.
To gain a better understanding of the mobility landscape in California, we conducted extensive market research. This helped us identify key areas of focus and gain insights into the behavior of mobility users. We leveraged this information to develop strategies that would cater to the future needs of mobility users in California.
While the market research primarily targeted all mobility users, we also carried out customer research that focused specifically on GM customers. Our aim was to identify any differences between the two groups and establish connections between them.
In order to cater to the needs of the future market, we opted to create a new website for GM, while still deviating from the existing architecture. Despite this, we made sure to keep the focus on the brand values. We believed that this approach was beneficial and posed the least amount of risk to the final product.By making this critical decision to maintain the current digital and mental architecture of the brand, we were able to deliver the final product in a timely manner and with improved quality.
With the inception of Project Renaissance, it’s important to keep in mind what our task at hand is. Envisioning the world for 2039. A lot can change in eighteen years. Especially with technology the entire world depends on. Each team is embracing this EV renaissance in a mindful way that’s incorporating the most advanced technology imaginable. Each explores a unique application of multi-sensory engagement that’s tailored to the specific demands of its user.
After the Global Team provided a clear vision, each individual team had a specific direction to follow in designing products that would align with the overall project goal.
Additionally, each team was assigned a specific brand that was previously identified by the team leaders from each team. The project was given the name "GM Renaissance" to represent the entirety of the endeavor.
The Global Team provided a philosophical direction and manifesto for the vehicle, architecture, and customer experience of each team to follow. The designs ranged from underwater to neuron-link and adhered to the style guide set by the Global Team.
The primary objective of each team was to create their own unique car concept while emphasizing the connection between the car and the architecture. The aim was to showcase the full GM experience and demonstrate to customers that it goes beyond just the car itself.
01. I was honored to win the GM scholarship, which recognizes one outstanding designer with a monetary award for their effort in the project.
02. This website design was selected for the Springshow 2022 at Academy of Art University.
It was a unique experience for me to design for the future. Thinking big and thinking about the future were challenging. At first, I was not familiar with multi-sensory design, and it was abstract and hard to express. As I started to communicate with people, I found that abstract concepts became tangible, and the research process became more enjoyable. It was the most memorable part of the project.
Working with multidisciplinary designers with different cultural backgrounds was an incredible opportunity for me to understand the importance of communication. As the web designer, my job was not only to design the website but also to understand other teams’ needs while meeting the requirements of General Motors. Communication, understanding, and punctuality were the keys to my success.