Fueling Adventure and Passion

Featured in Creativity
Image courtesy of Polaris.
Fueling Adventure and Passion

For millions of people around the world, life is about adventure, excitement, and enjoying the great outdoors. Taking a leisurely spin on a motorcycle, racing across the desert in an all-terrain vehicle, or dashing across snowy slopes in snowmobiles isn’t just a hobby—it’s a passion.

Since 1954, Polaris has been a leader in the Powersports industry. The company pioneered the snowmobile before expanding to vehicles that include All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV), motorcycles, moto-roadsters, and ultra-light tactical vehicles. Polaris fans live for the days when they can take their vehicles out, and they’re looking to join a community that shares their passions.

Polaris wanted to help build that community by making its website not just a hub for product information, but a year-round home for racers, riders, and enthusiasts of all levels. As Director of User Experience, Andy Vitale and his design team are working to build online experiences as exciting, dynamic, and well-engineered as its vehicles.

Image courtesy of Polaris.

“We’re really looking to fuel passion for our customers and keep them excited about riding even when they can’t get out,” says Andy. “We want things to be very visually appealing with lots of exciting photographs, videos, and articles that get them into the action. But we also want to make it easy to find things that interest them.”

Sharing across borders

When Vitale took over the user experience design team, he immediately recognized that collaboration was a challenge. First, the team was located in different offices, distributed globally. Second, the team was also split by platform, using both PCs and Macs.

Polaris design team in Mexico. Image courtesy of Polaris.

“We’re using Adobe Creative Cloud for all of our deliverables, so it made sense to start using Adobe XD CC for designing digital user experiences,” says Andy. “Adobe XD is now the backbone of our design process. We’re a company known for delivering excitement, and now our digital experiences are becoming as appealing as our real-life ones.”

Before, some designers primarily built mockup layouts using Adobe Photoshop CC, while others used Sketch. The team spent so much effort to share designs with colleagues or stakeholders that they had less time to let their creativity flow.

Image courtesy of Polaris.

“With Adobe XD, any member of the team can share a design, add comments, and expand on the experience with just a few clicks,” says Andy. “The productivity boosts have been incredible. We’re probably saving five hours per person per week. With the time savings, we can meet tight deadlines without scrambling, or use the extra time to flex our innovative muscles and be more creative.”

Communicating a vision

Adobe XD also allows the team to do much more than just create static interface designs for the Polaris website and dealer portal. Designers can create fully interactive prototypes without complex technical training. Stakeholders can look at the design as a flat image, or they can click through the design to see how the interface is intended to function. Adobe XD can even automatically generate design specs that help communicate layout grids, measurements, colors, styles, and sequences to developers, making development faster and smoother.

Image courtesy of Polaris.

“We would send files back and forth, but it wasn’t the same as sending ideas,” says Andy. “With Adobe XD CC, we’re communicating our whole vision to team members, developers, and stakeholders. It means that we can showcase our work to more people more quickly. This leads to faster design approval, so what we never feel like designs are holding projects back.”

As part of the Adobe Creative Cloud ecosystem, Adobe XD also helps designers leverage familiar tools and features without learning an entirely new solution. Designer can drag Adobe Photoshop CC files right into Adobe XD, retaining the image layers. Team members can also access the most current versions of assets through shared Creative Cloud Libraries. Adobe XD even has security features, allowing designers to password protect files to prevent a new vehicle from leaking before launch.

Image courtesy of Polaris.

“As designers, we’re all deeply familiar with Adobe solutions,” says Andy. “Adobe XD CC is a fantastic way to take our user experience designs to the next level. Our team is driving digital strategy and getting users excited about their Polaris vehicles.”

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