Inside the Design of the Award-Winning Lexus RC App

Posted by Sheila Darcey Mar 10, 2015 12:19:00 PM

How did Lexus meet the challenge of rolling out training to launch a new vehicle quickly and effectively? 

Lexus, a division of Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), wanted to create a digital tool that could quickly ramp up its sales team on two new models in the highly competitive market for sports sedans and crossover SUVs.


Lexus wanted an app that could be a self-learning tool for dealer associates and also provide consumers researching new vehicles with an engaging and educational experience. The dealer associates needed a pocket guide that would provide quick, one-tap access to key selling points and specs, as well as detailed vehicle data and competitor stats. But in order to appeal to a consumer audience and build desire for the Lexus brand, the app would need to support a much more immersive, brand-centric experience. 

Lexus partnered with BeyondCurious to develop a platform that could speak to both audiences and simultaneously support the new vehicle launch across mobile, tablet, and desktop platforms. 

BeyondCurious sought to create an experience that exuded the luxurious promise that is synonymous with the Lexus brand. "We wanted the app to reflect the craftsmanship of a Lexus vehicle, and in a way extend the Lexus experience to the user’s hand held device or desktop." said Jeremy Milbourne-Clarke, lead designer on the BeyondCurious team. 

So the challenge from a design perspective was to provide a truly compelling visual and engaging experience for consumers while allowing sales associates to take a much deeper dive. To do so, BeyondCurious applied our own agile design process through which we design a small element of the experience, test the outcome, incorporate user feedback, and adjust accordingly throughout the process. In working with Ming-Jou Chen, Dealer Development Communications Manager at Lexus College, we were very fortunate to have a client who was willing to pivot when necessary in order to arrive at the best outcome rather than a pre-defined solution. 

The design immediately immerses the viewer in the Lexus experience, providing one-click access to 360-degree views of the vehicles and detailed shots that convey the luxurious finish of the interior and sleek design of the exterior. For dealer associates, our design incorporated quick links and rollovers into the vehicle visuals, allowing dealer associates to reveal more in-depth details. Not only could dealer associates use the app as a self-learning tool, they were also able to share it with consumers, bookmark pages, or share videos via email to increase app reach. Dealers were also able to access the app via select kiosks displayed at sponsored events and showroom floors, both leading up to the launch and after. A timeline feature revealed details prior to launch allowing Lexus to use the app as a buzz-builder and to create desire with consumers. 

Lexus virtual reality app

By applying an agile approach, BeyondCurious was able to implement continual improvement that translated to a user-centered design. The ongoing improvements resulted in new features and functions, increased efficacy of the content, an extended shelf life, and a high rate of adoption and usage. Ming-Jou Chen said in Luxury Daily, “that the apps met Lexus's goal, of engaging and educating a broad audience.” The app proved popular with both dealer associates and consumers, garnering high marks on both Google Play and the Apple Store. And in February the app was awarded a Gold AVA Award for Creativity in the Web/Mobile design category.

Topics: training, innovation, BeyondCurious, big brands innovation, design, Sheila Darcey, Lexus

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