Virgo Limo is a startup company based out of San Francisco owned by Virgo Travel. Virgo Limo approached me because of my portfolio interested in working with me for design work for their luxury car ride product.
Virgo.Limo is a business offering a unique service partnering with hotels. Essentially the hotel can sign with Virgo.Limo to provide a luxury car transfer ride to and from the airport for guests. The guests get a free ride so that is a win, the hotel gets a new amenity to add to their services, to give them an edge on the competition and encourage direct booking. Finally Virgo Limo gets revenue through the hotel booking. It's a unique and exciting business proposition but presented many challenges.
The app just launched recently and many pieces are still in flux. This was an excellent UX case study for me so I am so glad I jumped in on this project.
The first business challenge is to create awareness. What guest wouldn't want a free ride? But first they must know about it and understand there is no catch. The next challenge is explain how it works, in seconds. My challenge was to capture the visitors attention, inform them of the service and clarify how they can benefit from the offer. I created a suite of banner ads matching the hotels branding coupling it with the Virgo Limo branding. The banner ads needed to be styled like an offer from the hotel, encourage direct booking and present the Virgo Limo brand in a way that didn't compete with the hotel. Once implemented we received word from the hotels the banners were working because guests canceling their third party booking in order to book direct just to get the ride.
Another business requirement for the branding was that the logo be visible on a car from a significant distance. When designing the branding I needed to take into consideration a stronger font weight and bright colors. Yellow and orange were eliminated because of their association with cabs, so I proposed electric blue. This color was then shifted slightly before launch to an electric, very bright aquamarine, a similar color with a hint more green. The logo needed to be designed so that it could be a sticker on a car, and so many variations of the logo were made to adapt to the different vehicle, but it also needed to be adaptable for all of the web assets and notification emails. The brand needed to stand out but also blend into the branding of the various hotels.
The evolution of the branding is incredible to see, I have represented it in this time lapse graphic because it started in one direction and completely evolved. The original concept for the logo was adapted from the parent brand, a bow-tie, implying luxury and service, and was intended to carry over into the drivers apparel. This concept was explored in many fashions, taking a modern geometric abstract approach but maintaining the visual of the bow-tie. I spoke with the CEO of the start up and we worked closely to determine the branding and messaging intended. We discussed how a bow-tie wasn't exactly gender neutral for female drivers and in the end wasn't the desired visual. I proposed unique modern fonts, that were also affordable. I coupled the modern sans serif with a script font to create a unique visual which became the logo and brand. Not using a visual mark helped the logo blend in when used in conjunction with the hotel logos. The thick lettering also stood out on the car sticker logo as intended fulfilling both business requirements.
The User Experience is always evolving and changing and we discovered a large issue that we didn't predict until we had real visitors using the product. Upon receiving confirmation from the hotel about their reservations users get an email informing them that they are eligible for a free airport transfer, all they need to do is schedule it. Many users were booking their hotel months in advance before finalizing their travel details and were not yet ready to commit to booking a ride time. The dates are predetermined based on the hotel reservation so the bottle neck was truly committing to a time, and we'd have users simply ignore the email and miss out on the ride. We are currently resolving this issue by proposing a step, yes I'd like the ride but I'd like to book it later. This is good for business and for the customer because they still get that free ride, but they will get the reminder to schedule it much closer to the date when it makes sense. This is great for business because Virgo Limo can at least pre-book or know how many drivers will be needed for that day but not necessarily what time until much sooner. Getting a driver at the last minute is much more costly so this is a great solution for the user and business. However fine tuning this messaging and the correct timing will be the focus and will help increase conversion rates, which is the primary goal.
I chose Lato thin to maintain a clean modern look that could be consistent between the website, web app, iphone and ipad apps.
Electric aquamarine blue was chosen to create modern look that complimented the grey, black and white that is very luxury chic. All of the tones were balanced to ensure the copy is readable, pleasantly balanced and visually striking.
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