Designing a memorable truck to generate leads

Using Design Thinking to create a truck to remember
Merchants in 7 Asian countries using the redesign
Easier to use*
*Based on scores of Single Ease Questions (SEQ) from usability studies
Easier to use*
Song Kwang Electric Service is a mom-and-pop electrical appliance repair shop that fixes both household and commercial appliances. Previously, I had revamped their website and brand, and now they were ready to revamp their fleet of trucks too. 
Build a simpler, more intuitive web app
I was the sole designer on this freelance project. I did the design, and client management solo.
Build a simpler, more intuitive web app
2019, 3 months
A fleet of trucks in need of a facelift
After my initial UX website design and branding work with the client, they were eager to implement the new branding to their fleet of 10+ trucks. These trucks would be driven by repair technicians as they went about repairing appliances for customers around the country. In this way, the trucks served as mobile ads. 
Create a truck design that generates customer call-ins

How might we design a truck that generates customer call-ins?

Here's how I attempted the challenge.

Act 1: Understanding the Problem

Determining design goals
Going into this project, I knew there were two big problems that hampered the design:
Rarity of customer need
From the previous research for the client, I knew that customers typically search and call up repair services only when an appliance had broken down. This was a rare occurrence for most people, making it very unlikely they would call in to enquiry about the client's services just because they saw the repair truck.    
No 'fixed' viewport
The trucks could be driven anywhere around the country, and customers could encounter it in a variety of environments, distances and timespans. Without knowing the context the trucks could be seen, it was difficult for me to start designing with a purpose. 
Of the two problems, the first was out of my control, but I decided i could perhaps do something about the second. 

Act 2: Scoping and Ideation

Identifying main user scenarios to establish parameters
To solve for the lack of a fixed viewport, I identified the most likely cases where onlookers would come in contact with the truck. 
Speaking with the client about their past experiences with customers calling in because of the trucks was a useful starting point, but I went further. To visualise the scenarios, I drew the truck in 3D, then brainstormed about possible scenarios someone would encounter the truck in its various dimensions.  
In the end, the client and I decided to treat the parked truck as the main use case. This meant the viewer was likely 5 - 15 metres away, and had the luxury of time to go up and take a look if they were interested. 
Imagining possible use cases What was interesting was the realisation that onlookers would see different parts of the truck based on the scenario they encountered it.
Visual research to study previous approaches and current expectations
I started the design process by doing visual research into (1) what competitors were doing, as well as (2) what other designers had done before. 
I wanted to understand the convention was so that I could flip the rules and make something unexpected and therefore memorable. As Viktor from the anime Yuri on Ice points out, "You have to do what people don't expect. How else are you going to surprise them?"
Visual research of trucks in Singapore. With each design I took note of the strengths and drawbacks of each approach, as well what sort of brand was suited for the approach. 
Bodystorming to prototype a physical experience
Even if the main visual was memorable, I had to plan which key information to put on each side of the truck. Also, what would that experience be like for a potential customer to catch sight of the truck, be mesmerised by it, and approach it to see it up close? 
To experience that, I used bodystorming with a real truck parked in a carpark to help me figure out this information. Not only did this technique enable me to see imagine the experience, it also made me aware of the visual blockages that could happen to parked trucks. 
Bodystorming with a real truck. I went to a typical carpark lot in Singapore and tried various viewing scenarios and distances with a truck that matched the client's trucks. 
Playing with concepts and layouts to generate ideas
After being able to visualise what sort of experience I needed to create, I discussed several concepts with the client (including one where we dressed the truck to be like an ambulance).
Still, in the end they wanted something more direct and literal as they were concerned some of their older clients would not understand the concept. Following that decision, I went about iterating layouts in that vein. 
The illustration style was decided by the brand guide defined in the earlier phrase of this project.
Sketches for the truck design
Generating ideas with a brushpen on paper. 
'Prototyping' in Photoshop
It wasn't possible to print and mount each iteration on an actual truck, so each design was photoshopped onto a photo of the client's existing truck so that we could see how the design worked in an environment.  
Original photo of client's truck.
Photoshopped image to the side of the truck. 
Testing with obstructed view. I had to ensure that even if their vision was obstructed by a car (say in a parking lot or on the roads.), viewers could still understand what services the client offer. There's no helping if it was another truck blocking. 
Testing with multiple angles. Testing with multiple angles allowed both me and the client to visualise how the designs on each side of the truck would come together as a full 3D experience. 

Act 3: The Application

Working towards the final image 
Building on client feedback. My initial layouts were rejected as the client wanted more dynamism. During the review, I sat down with them and drew a sketch of what they had in mind based on what they described.
Iterations. I went back and iterated on the elements the client wanted, pushing the design in various directions. 
First pass in photoshop to get a soft 'yes' from client. I mocked up the design so that the client could visualise the design in space. This enable them to give me a soft yes to invest in time and effort to the actual design. 
Ensuring the image could scale up to the right size at the printer required me to use Adobe Illustrator. I rarely ever use this monster, so I had to roll up sleeves and look up online tutorials. 
Final image viewed from the side of the truck. The style of the illustration is consistent with the illustrations I had done for them for their website design. I added a faint sunburst at the back to bring the image together, but it also added a vintage, magical touch to the design. Textures were added in to create visual interest.
Mockup from front of truck. The front was kept minimum as it would unlikely not be seen
Mockup from back of truck. The back of the truck was designed to be readable by a driver stuck behind the truck when the lights are red. This explains why the phone numbers are at the bottom — where their eye level is  
Printing the final design on trucks
I worked around the brand identity of red and black to create a UI.
Coming to a road near you
The clients were wowed by the design when it was finally mounted on their trucks. Because of the scale and the blue, the image almost feels like it is is overwhelming you with its beautiful magical blue. 
At the moment, the client only has anecdotal accounts, but supposedly In the first few weeks of its launch, the technicians driving the trucks reported people taking photos of their parked trucks. I like to think them resulted in inquiries. 
Merchants in 7 Asian countries using the redesign
Easier to use*
*Based on scores of Single Ease Questions (SEQ) from usability studies
Easier to use*
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