Automotive Site


Users are interested in purchasing a car or need information related to a car


Offer heavily branded overview of cars and related information supporting purchasing


Use when

Sites for a international vehicle brand.


Most car brand sites are a Multinational Site. There is one site/page for the international entrance and then users are led to a local site, one per country using a Country Selector. Generally speaking Automotive Sites focus on both the brand and the cars. Consequently it is a mix of an Information Seeking experience and a 'brand experience'.

Users go to an automotive site for several reasons. It could be that they want to buy a new (or secondhand) car, they may need information about dealers or they may need information about other products from the company. Nonetheless, the 'buying' reason is the most important one from the car brand's perspective. From a users perspective, basic end-user questions for users are: Although an Automotive site is not exactly an E-commerce Site, it does support the Shopping. For example, users must be able to compare cars, as type of Product Comparison, or use a 'Car Configurator' which is a sort of Product Configurator. The information about the cars themselves should not contain too much technical stuff. For most people this is not a purchase differentiator. The price, options and configurations are more important. There should be plenty of high-quality images of the car so that people can view it from any angle. An Image Browser my be useful for choosing different possibly with next and previous buttons added. Since it is impossible to 'try' a car on the web, it is important to make a great effort in trying to visually communicate the feeling of what a car is like.

The structure of an 'Automotive Site' is pretty straightforward. Typical sections include"


A car site is all about branded information. Cars are being sold because they appeal to their audience and therefore the site's main goal must be to market cars. Besides the "mandatory" sections the visual appearance must do much for the site.

More Examples


Ethnographic Interviews Guide Design of Website for Vehicle Buyers
Lori Anschuetz, Tec-Ed, Inc., USA; Stephanie Rosenbaum, Tec-Ed, Inc., USA

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1 comment has been added to this pattern.

Tristan Naramore, 7th November 2007
Thank you for showing an example of my work. I was the IA for the version of the site shown on this page (which has since been redesigned). I worked for an American web consultancy called Proxicom. Our team shipped out to live and work in Paris in 2000 on this site (plus the .uk and .de parallel versions). That project remains in my mind as the single craziest thing I've ever done. Loved it :-)

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