Volvo On Call

Volvo Within Reach - Investigating the user experience of Volvo On Call and exploring opportunities for future development


There has been a shift in manufacturing companies from developing products and services that merely work well and are easy to use, towards also considering how to create positive user experiences. Volvo Cars is a company that strives for this approach in the design of both cars and car-related products and services, including Volvo On Call – a built-in safety assistance system accompanied by a smartphone app. The purpose of this master thesis project was to thoroughly investigate the user experience of Volvo On Call and how it influences the car experience. The aim was to explore opportunities for how Volvo On Call can be further developed and improved from a user experience perspective. This was carried out with a user-centered and experience driven approach in a two-step process consisting of the main phases Exploration and Creation.

Users were involved throughout the project. The major part of the first phase Exploration consisted of a qualitative user study. The goal was to achieve an understanding for how the Volvo On Call concept is experienced today by collecting and analyzing user narratives, and thereby identify possibilities for how the service can be further developed.
The user study showed that Volvo On Call elicits overall positive user experiences, and adds another dimension to the car experience. It was concluded that the best way of improving and further developing Volvo On Call was to build on its already established values; simplifying and enriching everyday life when it comes to car-related activities, and extending and enhancing the car experience. Based on implications found in the user study, the Creation phase explored how these values could be achieved by incorporating a smart and more assistive behavior in Volvo On Call, as well as consider how the interplay with the car could be improved.

The end result was a User Experience Vision as well as a selection of early concept ideas, which were assessed in the form of storyboards together with users. This was done in order to get an indication of how the proposed functionality and behavior would be received, and how well it corresponds to the users’ expectations. It could be concluded that a smart and assistive Volvo On Call is a viable and desirable continuation of the current concept within a near future. However, the proposed concept comes with new demands which need to be fulfilled in order to achieve the intended user experience. In addition, several possible directions for the future development of Volvo On Call were identifed during this project, which highlights a need for making strategic decisions about how the concept should evolve, taking into account the holistic experience of the app and the car, the progression of technology development, and potential changes in the automotive industry.

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