August 11, 2022

The Competitive Advantage UI / UX Design brings to Motorsports

Samuel Pawlak

UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) design can be the difference between someone engaging with your service or product, or seeking out a competitor. In the world of motorsports, this could be everything from attracting new riders/drivers to your team, to selling a performance product online. A well-designed UI and subsequent UX can bring about a measurable competitive advantage in your industry. But before giving some examples, let’s define exactly what UI and UX are.  

What is UI?

UI stands for “user interface”. The user interface could be your website viewed through a desktop computer screen, or an app on your phone’s screen. In short, a UI is an interface that you, the customer, interact with in some capacity. From a company’s perspective, a UI is a window into the brand both visually and operationally.

What is UX?

UX stands for “user experience”. A user experience is simply what a customer experiences when using a UI.  For example, how many clicks did it take the user to get to their desired page? How easy was it for them to understand and interact with your brand’s UI? Or, how immersed did they feel while using your interface? A good UX is rarely noticed by the user, unless it’s particularly memorable for a certain aspect. A bad UX is instantly noticed, and it will typically result in people leaving the site and not using it unless they must. It’s a bit like customer reviews on Google Maps. Not everyone who would give you a 5-star review will give you a review, but the majority of people who want to give you a 1 star review probably will.

How to Leverage the UI & UX to Your Advantage

A great UI doesn’t need to be graphically heavy, or fancy, or involve animations. It should align itself with your brand, but beyond that, it’s built to serve a specific function for your business.  That function is to convince someone to take a specific action. Let’s use one of our clients as an example. For LA Honda World Racing, we needed to build a UI that led users to inquire about driving with the team. The action, in this scenario, was filling out and submitting an inquiry form. The form submission method was used because we determined, after strategizing with the team, that the true point of sale rarely occurs online, but rather, it occurs in conversations with the team principal. This form therefore acted as an easy and efficient way for prospective drivers to introduce themselves to the team and initiate a dialog.

What would drive someone to decide to do this though? This is where the UI design comes in. Visually, the UI was designed to cater to a slightly younger audience, one that likely spent their youth playing sim racing games. We wanted to create a familiar and inviting UI that displayed content in a format they would instantly relate to by drawing inspiration from these game interfaces. Other design and content choices, such as introducing visitors to all of the team members, using rich media like video predominantly, and creating playful yet simple interactions all fed into creating an enjoyable UX.

The UX of a Motorsport Team or Brand goes beyond the digital realm

The user experience doesn’t stop when the prospective customer, driver, or partner shuts the screen off. The digital realm is simply the first (and arguably most important) touch point for them, but it’s designed to facilitate real action. The next phase of your customer’s UX (or user journey we might say) might be a phone call, an online order, a zoom meeting, or an in person meet-up at the track. Whatever the case may be, the brand image, UI, and UX you provided when your future customer first interacted with you is now being projected into the real world. How you decide to carry that experience forward into the real world will further inform your prospective customer and allow for new opportunities to showcase what you’re all about.

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