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Mechanico aimed to create a data-led sustainable marketplace for vehicle maintenance service providers.

The goal of this particular project was to validate existing research data, identify any usability issues with the current prototypes and prioritise the testing of critical features ahead of a limited beta release, followed by a seed funding round.


UX Designer
User Research, Visual design, Prototyping Testing, Pitching



Project duration

2 weeks


Mechanico aims to equip service providers with a sustainable infrastructure giving them adequate insight into the day to day running of their businesses and being part of an ecosystem for the good of well-maintained vehicles on roads in South Africa. Learn more about what Mechanico does.

The product development was already advanced.

Having spent the last 6 years building their back end infrastructure, Mechanico was seeking to round out their product with front end development. However they had lost access to the research data sets and had no experience with the UX process to validate the findings or design. This was a unique opportunity to advocate for UX, validate research, showcase the flexibility and value of the design process. I was fortunate enough to experience the following:  

  • Take on a product design process that had already started. Identifying the assumptions that had been made earlier in development, reviewing the data and designs that were being worked on allowed me to apply my UX process and skillset to an existing product.

  • Advocating for the UX process. The client had no experience with the double diamond. I developed my skills by pitching for design process to be applied to the existing assets and research data.

  • Discovered user insights and redesigned the user flow. Applying the UX process allowed a key design assumption to be validated and addressed, vastly improving user flow and relieving a major pain point found in user testing.

Understanding the problem

Up to 80% of vehicles imported into South Africa and Ghana are pre-owned and many of these vehicles are in need of some repair.


Mechanico sought to address challenges with this industry, including a lack of service history tracking, being largely offline and a traditionally cash based system which creates lack of transparency and frustrations for both customers and service providers. This was done through establishing the infrastructure for service providers to sell services in the form of an open marketplace.

Mechanico was seeking to:

  • Empower the car owners/purchasers through addressing the lack of price transparency in repairs/servicing,

  • Improve reliability of the vehicle repair industry in South Africa and Ghana through vehicle service tracking

  • Increase convenience for car owners seeking repair/maintenance services.

The scope of works

​To clearly define and narrow down the scope of work, we produced a return statement of works to outline the tasks and manage Client expectations. It was the project goal to complete the following: 

  • Assess and validate existing User Research. This would be accomplished through undertaking a competitive/comparative analysis of the existing market and conducting user interviews of target user groups as provided by Mechanico​

  • Assess existing workflows of the primary persona. The Workshop Manager was provided as the primary persona, we were to identify areas for improvement with their workflows. This included new Workshop Managers onboarding flows, the job management interface and a workshop statistics and metrics interface.​

  • Generate clickable prototypes and conduct usability testing. Produce prototypes based on validated research, conduct user testing, iterate on designs based on testing results and present testing insights with recommendations to the Mechanico team.

Validating research

A desktop comparative and competitive analysis was conducted to determine features and presence of the main competitors in the market. This was followed up with determining research questions for the user groups provided by Mechanico.

To get further understanding of the issues Mechanico's previous research had identified and to develop research questions tailored to the relevant user groups, a prioritisation matrix followed by affinity mapping of the interview questions was carried out.

User Personas

At this stage we had been informed that we would have access to a reduced group of research participants located in Ghana and South Africa than earlier intended.


In order to communicate the risks of a small participant pool, we developed sketch personas and ran through assumptions we had made based on the interviews we were able to conduct with the Client before proceeding to ideation and design.

Assessing the existing workflows

An audit of the existing customer journey was mapped through a combination of user personas and research insights. The journey of the Workshop Manager and Service associate in its current state was used to inform the development of the future state below.

Customer Journey Plan.jpg

Generating a clickable prototype

The development of a clickable prototype was the final task of the project. A sketch user flow was established as a guiding basement to generate and eventually mid-fi wireframes ahead of user testing.

Job management screen development

Job Screen_Lofi.png
Job Screen_Mid fi.png

Design iteration

During usability testing, a critical insight was discovered that required a reworking on the user flow.

Initial User Flow

The initial prototype dictated a linear workflow from initial quoting to work started. In our testing we discovered that workshop managers had a need to go back and forth between the quoting and job management stages, especially if multiple revisions to a quote was required. The current user flow did not allow this.

Revised User Flow

The updated user flow featured a tab based navigation system to give the workshop manager increased flexibility with the ability to view and revise quotes multiple times throughout the job management process.

Results and learnings

Working with a start-up mid way through the early product development cycle resulted in challenges and growth opportunities associated with an existing design. It reinforced my knowledge of the double diamond process and further demonstrated that value can be provided by applying its principles to validate an already implemented product user flow.

Some key takeaways from this project are:

  • User research is important. Validating existing research and the user flow assumed by Mechanico enabled me to learn new insights and improve the overall experience of the prototype.

  • Document the assumptions. The sudden loss of access to additional users for interviews meant that some assumptions had to be made. Keeping clear and consistent documentation of them meant that both the team and Client were always aware of the provenance of design decisions.

  • Don't be afraid to revisit previous work. The insights which highlighted an issue with our proposed user flow meant that there had be a small step back in the UX process to address this pain point. While this placed more pressure on the project timeframe, it resulted in a greatly improved outcome for the Client and future users.

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