The Connection Hub

Project Overview


Automotive dealerships use a lot of different technology systems in their daily routines. A key draw to the RouteOne system is our open integration platform. However, it can be difficult to understand which software and systems a dealer can integrate into the RouteOne system.


One Year
Nov 2020 - Nov 2021


Ultimately, we created a partner marketplace that showcases all of the third party integrations that are available for the RouteOne system. Utilizing our content management system, we created a partner content type that contained all of the features a partner could support as taxonomy items. These content types were then used to create a central filterable list.


Project Lead and Designer - Me
Marketing Manager
Project Manager
Account Manager
Backend Developer
Frontend Developer
Visual Designer

Process and Deliverables Outline

Think, Make, Check is a UX process originally developed by Austin Knight and has been appropriated by me. Learn more about this process here
  • Content Analysis
  • Heuristic Review
  • Sitemapping
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Wireframing
  • Mockups
  • Analytics Review

Users and Needs

The target audience for our partner listing is dealers, specifically the Finance and Insurance (F&I) Manager at the dealership. These are decision-makers for dealerships and they don't have a lot of extra time between their day-to-day responsibilities.

F&I Managers need to understand, at a glance, which finance sources they can use with the RouteOne system.  They could be considering adding additional finance sources for their end customer or these could be dealerships that are new to the RouteOne system entirely. These customers need to understand which finance sources they can communicate with and what other third-party dealership software integrates into the RouteOne system.

my role

As the designer and project lead, I worked with internal stakeholders such as our integrations, sales, and data teams to gather requirements. I coordinated all of this with our external agency to develop the final solution.

What I did

  • Lead the vision and strategy
  • Requirements gathering
  • Content analysis and heuristic review
  • Initial wireframes
  • Stakeholder and executive presentations
  • Developer (Agency) handoff and QA

The Process

Analytics Review

This is where the project began. From our analytics, as seen in the chart, we knew that 4 of the pages we were looking to combine were in the top 5 most visited pages on our website.

How might we enhance the value that these pages provide to our customers?

Heuristic Review

I took a look at what data is currently being presented, how it is organized and noticed multiple variations. I believe that this can be chalked up to the rapid growth that RouteOne has experienced and design debt that has accumulated over time. We found there to be very little uniformity behind each of these lists even though they were presenting similar information.


Let's take a look at how this data is currently being presented. As you can see in the image, this is a common way we display our partners. We are displaying a company name, link to their website, and a phone number.

We have lists for each feature, the title would describe the type of software and feature supported. We would then list the companies who support that feature. This means one company could be listed in each list, or only once.

This is a large cognitive load to pass onto our customers. Dealers first need to understand each feature, then need to scour each list to understand if their partner was available.

old website

Finance source list variations

Looking at three examples of our finance source lists, we can see that each of them is displayed in a different way. We can actually see a design progression between these different examples.

On the features list we have short lists which just display the finance sources that support a specific feature. This is fine when the list is short, but what happens when it grows? We see the next iteration of that list, where each column is broken up by a part of the alphabet to help users better scan the list for what they are looking for.

In the eC features list, we see a table display. This is by far the most content rich experience. This shows a finance source name and multiple features that are supported.

Content Analysis and Requirements Gathering

By looking over the data that was already available, we had a good idea of what was required. However, our team wanted to know if there was any way that we could improve on the information that was already provided. To do this, we needed to understand what information about our connected partners a dealer would absolutely need.

With limited direct access to our end user, we set up a series of meetings with our sales team and integrations team. We needed to understand what kinds of companies integrated into RouteOne and for which purpose. What kind of questions were the dealers asking our sales team? By the end of these meetings we built a final wish list of all of the items a dealer would potentially want to know about RouteOne's connected partners.

Contact and General Information

  • Name
  • Logo / Image
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • URL
  • Company Description
  • Type of Connection
    [Finance Source / DSP / LOS / Provider]
  • Market [US / CA]
  • State / Providence
  • New Features

Supporting These RouteOne features

  • Credit Application
  • Text Messaging
  • Dealer Reserve Statements
  • Payoff Quote
  • Deal Refresh
  • Payment Call
  • eContracting
  • Deal Type
  • Remote eSign
  • Spot Buy
  • Customer Prospecting

Always Provided Today
Sometimes Provided Today
Not Provided Today

Now, with a wish list of which features that we would like to display to dealers, we had a new issue. With over 1,800 connected partners, gathering this data accurately becomes an entirely new issue. I met with our data team to see if we could gather all of this data from an accurate source of truth. We made a plan of action to get a report like this together.

Sitemap and User Flow


Mapping out the pages and current flow reveals a severe disconnect between them. Only three of the pages were linked to each other, the rest were found after deep searches on the website. Many were embedded into sales or training pages and only available from this page.


Original Sitemap, showing orphaned pages

Proposed Changes

We spent some time ideating ways that we could integrate these lists and bring them all together into one umbrella. We originally wanted to have the entire experience self contained on the same page, due to technology and budget limitations we ended up having four different pages with results that filter based on toggles. The final sitemap for this is outlined below.


Revised user flow and sitemap, for just the connection hub


Below you can see the first iterations of the wireframes that I drew up to help guide conversations with our team. The original plan was to have these versions show as the initial landing state, and when filters were selected from the left hand menu, the right panel would shift to reveal connection partners that matched this filter.


The Partner Profile

The partner profile would allow users to search for their connection and get all of the information about that connection from one page.

In a single view they would be able to see which states are supported for this partner and which features they support.



This is the final mockup of the initial state for the connection hub landing page. It is here that users could start their search.

Adding in color and modernizing the layout really helped our team visualize what this tool could do for them once complete.


Complications and Revisions

Due to shifting business priorities, we were unable to bring together a source of truth data feed. Instead, we would need to use the data that was already on the current website. Unfortunately, when we brought that data together into one location it revealed many discrepancies. Due to the risk of publishing misinformation it was decided that we would put the partner profile on hold. This would be the place where you could see all the information about a partner in one screen. We would move forward with a list approach more similar to what existed previously.

Beta Launch

For our beta launch, we launched internally to our entire organization for two weeks.

Main Landing Page

The final landing page was not far off from the mockup.

We did need to replace some of the mock text and we refined which buttons would actually show on the page.


Finance Source Dynamic Filter List

Due to technical challenges, the filter pages ended up needing to be separated out into four distinct pages.

This is the main page which helps to sort our 1,500 finance sources.

Dealers now have the ability to filter this list by which RouteOne features they are trying to implement in their dealership.

beta launch mockup

Evaluative Research - Beta Launch Feedback

To collect feedback we distributed the beta to our entire organization and collected responses via Microsoft Forms. We had around 35 responses with the connection hub being the main focus of our feedback.

During the beta launch, our sales team expressed interest in sharing this portion of our website with customers immediately as it was the only place where the information was available. However, this is not true, we did not introduce any new data with this project, we simply changed how the data was presented. The new interactive presentation of this information design caused the information we already had to become more useful to those that needed it.

signifier confusion

The primary feedback came from signifiers that were added into the design in order to make up for the fact that the profiles were being removed.

The "Credit Application" and "eContracting" tags that were applied to certain finance sources were intended to be an easy way to see which finance source supported our primary features.

However, users had difficulty understanding what the list was showing.

Recommended Changes

To increase clarity of what the current filters are showing, I recommended introducing a "currently selected" section and removing the tags from each finance source card.

This section would reiterate what has been selected already and you could also reset your selections as well.

Full Public Launch

Our full launch incorporated feedback from our evaluative research provided by our team. You can view this project live on the RouteOne website.

View Live Project

Key Lessons Learned

A key lesson I learned in this project is to always align stakeholders on the scope of the project as it relates to your organization. Particularly if other teams need to spend resources to ensure the success of your project. Aligning on cross departmental goals can be difficult in a large organization, so I had to learn how to pitch the value of this project to multiple stakeholders in order to bring them onboard.