Mark Decker
UX Manager

Techline Connect

How I saved General Motors $700 Million dollars annually.

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Techline Connect

Overview of Service Engineering

Automotive Technicians have experienced a radical transformation over the last 10 years. Diagnosing and repairing vehicles are for more complex. Our business partners identified several siloed components that lagged behind with the increasing rate of complexity. The desired outcome was an improved experience for technicians that increased efficiency and accuracy. At the same time, there was increased pressure to the confidence in tooling and general likability of GM software tools among service technicians.


•The objective in this case was to improve the user experiences related to diagnosis, repair, and programming of GM vehicles domestically and internationally. GM had fallen behind other OEMs regarding advancements in diagnostics and service information tools. We didn’t want to “catch up” but instead leap ahead.


•This project was outside our stakeholder’s comfort zone. We needed an application that could combine the functionality of multiple disjointed tools that had been developed entirely independent of each other. This was a massive collaborative effort that involved bringing together disparate stakeholders. Additionally, we managed egos and expectations for product development.

My Role

  • I led the design and design strategy to bridge these products into an application platform. I ran multiple weeklong design and requirements sessions with stakeholders and analyst. Working alongside business analysts, directors, and product managers I drove best practices into requirements. Because of the scope of the project, a waterfall methodology was used. I designed the dashboard and diagnostic trouble code test UI. I designed interaction between the applications.  

  • For example, between the Global Diagnostic Systems, and Service Information there are several key overlaps in data and instruction sets. I designed seamless interactions between these systems blending the instructional diagnostic set with the actual test tool. I continued to provide support to development teams throughout the project and review the user experience and UI.

  • The app beta launched in February 2019 and recently completed a global role out last year. Since then, I have been brought in for enhancements and updates.

Techline Connect

Design Process: Planning

At this stage, our stakeholders did not trust that our team possessed the technical expertise to integrate these disparate systems. I designed and worked alongside a developer to build the prototype. We demonstrated a successful integration of two parts which enabled the project to move "above the line" and secured funding for the project. The prototype built necessary trust with our stakeholders.

This maps the number of actions/clicks as well as switching between Applications on the same process flow for a single programming task

This maps the number of actions/clicks as well as switching between Applications on the same process flow for a single programming task

Techline Connect

Design Process: Research

Our research involved visiting regional dealerships to gain hands on exposure to the technician workflow. This insight into their day to day allowed me to address many complex processes. Working with stakeholders, I used surveys to also gather quantitative perceptions on the current environment.

During a user flow creation exercised, we discovered service technicians had 129 actions/clicks to perform on a simple diagnostic and programming event. We recorded multiple attempts and averaged results.

Techline Connect

Design Process: UI Design


Once I tested out all usability mistakes, I started designing the final screens in Adobe XD.

Guiding Questions:

  • The visual style followed our design system and best practices.

  • We continued to design for laptop and tablet platforms.

  • The slide out navigation on the left spine allows for easy access even when minimized.

  • By moving the navigation from horizontal to vertical we covered multiple areas of feedback regarding screen real estate and issues with accessibility on smaller screens.

  • The design continues to evolve with the inclusion of simplified user feedback intake forms built directly in the application.

Design Process: Measurement

Out team performed a time study to determine the efficiency of Techline Connect. Our goal was 2-3 minutes time saved per technician per job. We found a very conservative savings of 5-6 minutes per repair order. This vast process improvement for technicians had a direct business impact a 6% increase in dealer throughput and $700 Million increased Dealer revenue annually. Of the $700 Million, $175 Million goes directly to CCA bottom line. Additionally, we found surveyed technicians were 26% happier and 19% more confident with our tools.

$700 Million
Increased Revenue Annually
Increased Service Technician Happiness
Increased Technician Confidence