Our Users

Knowing Our Users

PRISM provides the individual components and patterns we need to build consistent, performant products. But putting them together in a way that delivers great products, tools, and user experiences begins with knowing our users. Our products should solve their problems, meet their needs, and help them complete their tasks in a way that satisfies them.

Before you begin to design any solution, you should be able to answer the following questions about your users:

Needs and Goals

  • What does your user want to accomplish?
  • How do they want to accomplish their goal?
  • What frustrations do your users experience now?
  • How will they measure success?
  • Will their performance be measured by someone else?


  • How familiar are your users with the conventions of digital products?
  • Is their hardware or software likely to be outdated?
  • How will your users access the product experience you build for them?
  • What screen size or sizes are they most likely to use?
  • Will they tap or click or both? How many devices will they use at the same time?
  • Is their internet connection stable? Fast? Wireless?


  • Is your user likely to be distracted? Interrupted? Multi-tasking?
  • Does your user have to use another product or system before using yours?
  • Is the product new to the user? How learnable will it be? Will training be necessary?
  • How are your users’ motor skills? Eye-sight?
  • How will users deal with their own errors?


  • Will your users be outside? In bad weather?
  • Could users' personal safety be at risk when using your product?
  • Will users' fingers be cold? Gloved? Shaking?
  • Will noise be a factor? Could natural light wash out screen contrast?
  • Could users lose connectivity during a task?


  • What do your users use now that will shape their expectations?
  • What product or tool will your users compare your product with?
  • Will they compare it favorably? Unfavorably?
  • Will your users want your product work like another product?

Our User Types

Our users fall into two general categories: clients and team members.


Our clients are task-focused; they do not use our products browsing at leisure to kill time. They are driven to reach their goal in as little time as possible. Their journey may flow across a number of Cox Automotive products very quickly—from NextGear to Simulcast to DealShield to Ready Transport—and they need the experience to feel seamless, simple, and fast.

Keep these things in mind when designing products for our clients:

  • Familiar - Ensure your product feels like it fits in with the other Cox Automotive products our clients use.
  • Efficient - Create shortcuts, smart defaults, and remember prior user activity whenever you can.
  • Fast - Make your back-end systems work hard to minimize lag time, steps, clicks, and taps.
  • Profitable - Design to drive transactions and promote brand loyalty.

Team Members

Our team members are equally task-focused. They are motivated to complete the work for which their performance is measured, even if they have to work around our systems to do it.

Keep these things in mind when designing products for our team members:

  • Familiar - Make sure your product respects the mental models our team members have for the way our business, products, and tools work.
  • Efficient - Provide our users with short task flows and clear end points.
  • Accurate - Design to prevent user errors before they happen. View errors as an expense to the business.
  • Profitable - Design to drive productivity and reduce re-work.