Hertz Car Club was the global car hire project’s codename during design development, becoming Connectbyhertz post-launch and now hertz24/7.
Car clubs save their members the ownership costs of a vehicle and provide a communal vehicle in their locale that they can hire at reasonable rates. Clubs provide hire vehicles for typically shorter periods of hours or days to allow members to do things like shopping for larger items or for a day out of town, but vehicles can be hired for as long as they require. Businesses can also make use of a virtual fleet car without the overheads if they sign up for the service.
Visionär’s engagement with the service design project came after helping Hertz’s European digital agency win the business by redesigning the information architecture of the sign-up process for Hertz’s #1 Club and Gold Plus. Hertz’s #1 Club is a global membership scheme that provides car hire benefits and rewards to card-carrying Hertz customers who join.
The project took three months to complete, launching in London, Paris and select cities in the US, and the final documentation for the first-round design of the service interface was passed to the development team to implement and user test. We worked on managing the distribution of alternative options for car bookers where the vehicles in the immediate vicinity aren’t available. We also worked with a car sharing domain expert to review the ongoing development of the interface. We divided the work into three sections: selling the service and registration, purchasing a car booking slot and managing the booking. One requirement was how to differentiate the product from two other main offerings: Zipcar and Streetcar (the latter now merged with Zipcar). We designed an interface that allowed for multiple session bookings rather than linear booking that provided a way for Hertz to increase revenue by making the site more friendly to SMEs and individuals who might like to book scheduled usage in advance. This is something neither Zipcar® or Streetcar offered.
It’s always a good experience to come across car club bays around the city and remember that the digital designs we’ve contributed to have an impact on everyday lives.
The project was linked with the technology firm Eilio in Paris France who we became aware would provide the backend infrastructure to the service. What this meant for us was that the solution was not just for Hertz but also gave Eilio options for the future development of their existing product. Effectively, our interface and experience design work was providing them with a product upgrade for the future.
The project went live in 2009 and on to receive an internal award for being the largest successfully completed project by the agency at launch.
The project went live in 2009 and on to receive an award for being the largest successfully completed project by the agency at launch.
The Connectbyhertz brand has since been refreshed as hertz24/7 and a mobile app produced; but for the web-based client we designed, little of the service functionality has changed. It’s always a good experience to come across car club bays around the city and remember that the digital designs we’ve contributed to have an impact on everyday lives.
Connectbyhertz and hertz24/7 are both trademarks of Hertz®
Zipcar® is a subsidiary of Avis®
Post date to coincide with project time.