Analysing the Jaguar UK iConfigurator app

To continue the research for my FMP into car configurator apps, I came across the Jaguar one. I’ve had a look at the screenshots from the iTunes preview page, and will go through the app below. As this is the first time I’ve seen this app, I’ll be looking to see how useable it appears as well as aesthetics.

View the Jaguar UK iConfigurator app here on iTunes Preview.

App Icon: The aesthetics of this seems to be alright, it makes use of the Jaguar logo, and shows some vehicles, which lends it an authentic touch. However, there is nothing to suggest that this app is for configuring a car, and as I learnt when I did a project on apps last year, (the end result of which can be viewed here) the icon needs to sell the purpose of the app. So I think this is where this design falls short.Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 11.15.14

Looking at the main screen, where the cars from the range can be selected, other information can also be sourced about the vehicle, which provides another way to inform the audience about the vehicle. However, I have to say, I feel the aesthetics are lacking, and do not suggest a contemporary, cutting edge car manufacturer such as Jaguar has launched this. I do not think audience members would be impressed.

Regarding the aesthetics, I think changing the images would help, as there is a toolbar highlighting the model from the XJ range that is selected. So why do we need to see two other models from the range next to it? While these show differing trim levels, it clutters up the screen, and wastes valuable space, which is already at a premium on a smartphone. Swiping left or right will reveal the other models anyway, so why have this?

This screen also sees the introduction of the main toolbar at the base of the screen, which looks pretty functional, with titles supplementing icons to prevent confusion, which is not a bad thing, especially as the icons are a bit unrealistic at times. I don’t think some of those would work on their own. There also seems to be a lack of a section to add optional extras to the vehicle, which would be an oversight, but without using the app I can’t confirm if that’s the case or not.The way the colour swatches for the exterior paint colour have been previewed below is suitable, because the swiping from left to right reminds me of scrolling through music on iTunes. The use of that function will relate to the audience, who will be used to such a function, identify with it easily, and know how to use it immediately. This is good, as the audience aren’t here to learn how to use an app, but to configure their car.The preview screen which shows the vehicle is much better, as it allows for the vehicle to be viewed without clutter. I don’t like the hovering toolbar in the lower portion of the screen, perhaps it could be moved to the top, or above the main toolbar to save space, and create a better visual hierarchy?It appears that finished configurations can be added to a ‘Garage’. At first, I thought this was really gimmicky, but actually, writing this up has made me realise it’s a really good way of saving configurations for different models. This allows for reference at a later date, such as when visiting a dealer to talk about ordering a car potentially, or just to compare specifications. I think this is a really good feature, and will now think about including it in my app design proposals.

Conclusion:

  • Unlike the VW app I reviewed for my research, this app is disappointing in its aesthetics, and does not appear to be very intuitive at a first glance. Actually it is reasonably easy to navigate around from what I have seen.
  • Making use of similar design features as seen in other apps or on the iOS system is a good way of creating familiarity for the system to audience members when they use it, meaning everything is easy to earn, reducing hassle, focusing their mind on the task they want to complete.
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