♔ Crowned them "Recurring Revenue Juggernauts" ... Inside look at Leading the Camping World UX Architecture

Jonny Jackson
Boosting UX at Camping World - Achieving Success and Results
Table of contents

Turbocharging Camping World's product growth, driven by user-tested performance, a synergy of speed and collaboration, and a relentless commitment to innovation.

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RV App concept

1. Problem Statement

Based on customer feedback through Bizrate and Yapo reviews, below are some of the core opportunities for improvement:

Lost Sales
Lost sales, especially during the uncertain times of COVID, as customers hesitated due to uncertainty about the right RV products for their specific class and type, based on Bizrate and Yapo reviews.

Confusing PLP and PDP Experience
Suboptimal User Experience on Retail Product Listing and Product Detail Pages (PLP and PDP). Retail lacked essential user education, leading to confusion and disjointed product landing pages.

No User Journeys that we can actually utilize
In 2020, there were no customer journeys in sight, with the UX Team yet to create any user flows. It was a challenging task ahead.

2. Framework

Before jumping into solve-mode, I have been trained to prime the solutions with a proven framework... the Correct Research is at the CORE of that.

Forget assumptions, ask Customers...
Before jumping into solve-mode, I have been trained to prime the solutions with a proven framework, one that sets Research out and front.

In 2020 (my first week of hire actually), while working with Camping World and Good Sam, I incorporated research and data as the foundation of our UX framework for Camping World. Collaborating closely with the Head of Research, I was a cornerstone hire to help refine the groundwork for achieving innovation and measuring its impact along with the UX Team. This was not a solo effort, but as a UX Lead (a role later given to me because I lead most efforts), we emerged victorious.

In any usability effort, research is essential to make informed decisions.

A data-supported approach is critical to mitigate risks and avoid faulty assumptions about your users. I made it my job to evangelize the importance of usability research, information architecture, and UI design based on Nielsen Norman Group Principles, as well as the role of testing and innovation, if we are to succeed and emerge from covid and beyond, as continued leaders in the RV space.

Experience-Architecture Framework:

User Research and intelligent data is at the core of all UX does.
User Research and intelligent data is at the core of all UX does.

I recommend UX leaders to explore "Lean UX: Designing Great Products with Agile Teams" by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden, a valuable resource for agile teams seeking to create minimum viable products and validate ideas.

Lean UX, 3rd Edition
Lean UX is synonymous with modern product design and development. By combining human-centric design, agile ways of working, and a strong business sense, designers, product managers, developers, and scrum masters … - Selection from Lean UX, 3rd Edition [Book]

Mind you, ideas come a dime a dozen, however, the Lean framework helps fine-tune those ideas by testing your ideas with actual customers as to legacy gatekeepers whom are used to “doing it this way for years.” This leads us to the Design System, a powerful way to implement our framework visually, to our Development partners at scale.

Design System:
Helping Engineers build faster - 

Now that the Lean UX Framework is in place, my focus shifted to having design and code alignment. Which we did complete. The existing Design System (DSM) was readily available, however, not scalable. I took it upon myself to recommend the Teams strongest systems designer (who is now a UX Lead) to ensure the DSM consistent use across all projects. We assisted fellow designers in utilizing it effectively.

Drawing from my previous experience as the UX Co-Lead for Design Systems at IHG, I initiated regular "DSM-Thursdays" meetings with UX Leads and UX Designer level 1 and 2s,  to foster discussions and consensus on DSM-related matters or introducing new patterns. This proactive approach has resulted in the creation of more agreed-upon components and expedited screen development in Figma, benefiting designers at all levels and enhancing our overall user experience. To boot, Engineers found the new approach to atomic components very useful in consistent scaling of ui components for screens of all sizes.

Design Tokens -
A beautifully connected database within the Design System

While not able to introduce Design Tokens to every project and bake this into all work streams, I used Design Tokens to quickly accomplish an OEM design for one of our Enterprise Projects.

Effortless scaling in Figma- Enterprise Design System's local variables at work
Effortless scaling in Figma- Enterprise Design System's local variables at work

Leveraging other successful Enterprise Design System approaches, I suggest a Design Tokens schema for Engineers, inspired by Uber's approach. This schema promotes efficient component creation with versatile UI options for exceptional user experiences. While this was not implemented due to more high priorities projects, would have loved to see a true atomic approach such as below:

DNA of Design system schema - using Base. Why reinvent the Wheel?
DNA of Design system schema - using Base. Why reinvent the Wheel?

Localization
Eventually we also had on the road map to shift to Localization. 

OEM UX UI Design with localization - Joncreative for Camping World Enterprise Products
OEM UX UI Design with localization - Joncreative for Camping World Enterprise Products

Main Two benefits of localization:
2x Market Reach

Offering your web app in multiple languages opens up your Business to foreign markets on a global scale, increasing your potential user base by double or ten times that.

Increased Revenue
By tapping into foreign markets, your Enterprise can potentially generate additional revenue streams and increase your overall profitability without marketing spend.

Bonus: Regulatory sweetheart 
Within the world of Regulatory Compliance, regions matter. In some countries, localization might be required for regulatory or legal reasons. Embedding a localization strategy right now, helps allow you to access those markets without barriers, when it is time. And trust me, it will be time if you implement some of the same strategies Camping World has done, with much success.

Dark Mode
We also set to eventually implement a dark mode effort.

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OEM Dark mode UI Design - Camping World, Joncreative

Dark Mode Benefits
Improved User Experience:
Dark mode enhances user experience for your Enterprise Team by reducing their eye strain and fatigue while working. The eye is a muscle and it fatigues at times. By reducing its strain, we increase user satisfaction and retention.

Increased Productivity:
Dark mode can boost productivity for our software users who work in low-light environments, such as at night or in dimly lit offices, leading to higher efficiency. Traveling for remote work? Dark-mode can allow for a more pleasant way of getting work done at all times of the day.

Attracting Enterprise Clients:
While working at Camping World, I considered myself as B2B. My deliverables were for a B2C end-user. That said, you can attract B2B revenue by white-labeling your home-grown software that features a dark mode option. Many Enterprise users prefer dark mode for its modern and professional appearance, making your application more appealing to potential clients. You can sell that software much easier.

With a scalable component Design System as our building blocks, and a Lean Agile framework as our base, we can now delve into practical applications and projects from my time with Marcus Lemonis Brilliant Team over at Camping World and Good Sam.

3. Solutions

Lost Sales
Gained Revenue
Tactic: Research-led UI Improvements, ask and deliver

Intense mixed method research in both Qualitative and Quantitive Testing was conducted through Bizrate, Yapo, UserZoom, and Google Analytics, providing actual data and numbers to guide our UX Architecture and UI Design of web apps and Ecommerce site pages.

Confusing PLP and PDP
Immediately take product ux from Zero to One
Tactic: Redesigned PDP, PLP and RV Checklist Experience

The customer checkout rate increased from the RV Checklist page to the PDP and ultimately to the checkout page, resulting in more actual purchases rather than just "traffic." This came from not shying away from Customer feedback, but instead, leaning into it. Fast-turning deliverables not based on theory or outdated legacy ecomm strategy, but on modern innovation of atomic design, seamless information architecture and actually doing what Customers suggested, then modified by a brilliant Business Team that placed trust in UX.

No User Journeys that we can actually utilize
Architect flows and Journeys that dont just look pretty, they help create understanding and connect very complex systems
Tactic: Information Architecture, Customer Journey Flows, User Flows, Task Flows.

Implementing the journeys I created and addressing flow gaps in our web experiences significantly boosted customer confidence. We received positive feedback through Yapto.

I collaborated closely with the Development Team to intensely vet my Architecture work, focusing on tangible results. The journey was marked by both joy and intense moments, making UX an exhilarating field I truly love. Let's delve into more of these moments below.

4. Results: The Work

This is the Camping World Powerhouse Chronicles: Unearthing Our UX and Product Team Achievements. Step into the world of achievement and success as I present the data and stories that fueled our progress, when I was UX Lead at Camping World, and collaborated with Good Sam on projects as well.

RV Shows: 2020

My initial project was a resounding success. I collaborated with the Head of Research and two other UX Designers to ignite enthusiasm among RV enthusiasts, encouraging them to attend the show and discover a captivating array of new RVs from leading brands in the RV industry. I pioneered the On-Demand visual architecture as well as UI Design and atomic ui components.

(Lead UX on RV Shows up until 2022)

RV Shows - Jonathan Jackson original UX designer behind Camping World RV Show online experience
RV Shows - Jonathan Jackson original UX designer behind Camping World RV Show online experience

The On-Demand Experience:
From Travel Trailers to Compact Campers, this event brimmed with inspirational offerings. In fact, below is a Hotjar On-Demand Show survey.

I highly encourage UX Leaders to lean on Hotjar for survey solutions if SurveyMonkey is not your thing.

Youtube of RV Shows, built from the ground-up along with a brilliant Engineering Team
Youtube of RV Shows, built from the ground-up along with a brilliant Engineering Team

Hotjar has some of the best recording tools on the market for Enterprise Teams as well as for Startups that have traction and want to invest in deeper connections with their growing consumer base.

We averaged a 6 to 7 with over 70% of attendees for the inital RV show during covid. That is not bad at all. Amazing time.
We averaged a 6 to 7 with over 70% of attendees for the inital RV show during covid. That is not bad at all. Amazing time.


Hotjar: On-Demand skyrocket 🚀

Wordclouds in Hotjar are key for visualizing the mental model of your users and customers
Wordclouds in Hotjar are key for visualizing the mental model of your users and customers

Screencaps:

RV Show for Camping World 2021
RV Show for Camping World 202

RV Shows date picker:

RV Shows date-picker
RV Shows date-picker

RV Type Checklist

Link:
https://www.campingworld.com/RV-type-checklist.html

From 1st Quarter of V2 launch, the numbers:
Analytics - Clicks
Pageviews: 2,166
Increase of 23.3%

Analytics - User Engagement
Users: 1,137
Increase of 29.4%

RV type checklist analytics
RV type checklist analytics
  • Increased profitability with zero ad spend or marketing spend needed
  • Prototyping saved the Product Team hours through demos, and Engineers loved the approach, further selling the service of UX (bigger budgets)
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Camping World - RV Checklist UX/UI by Joncreative

Retail: PDP

Post PDP Redesign, during Q3 2022 - Q1 2023

Analytics
Total Add to Cart increased 52.9% through Retail redesigns
Increased Conversion Rate 4.6%

When leading UX for Retail, we saw very explosive growth in Conversion as well as AOV
When leading UX for Retail, we saw very explosive growth in Conversion as well as AOV

Retail PDP improvements through Prototyping and Research.

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Retail PDP improvements through Prototyping and Research


Promo Code Testing, helping the Retail team key in on problem areas found within the Cart funnel.

Userzoom Camping World Success in improvements
Click Test and QXscores help business leaders uncover key areas for retail growth with zero ad or marketing spend.

In the RV Sales division back in 2021, I used a Heatmap analysis to discover that improving floor plans and enhancing the image gallery could boost customer conversions. This lead to hiring a new UX Lead for RV Sales that is now crushing it through Research-driven approaches. I interviewed the now entire staff of the UX Team of Camping World as well as Good Sam (2020 - September 2023 as of this writing).

Heatmap for RV Sales through UserZoom
Heatmap for RV Sales through UserZoom

Longer Page Duration within an Improved Navigation:
Optimized card sorting led to extended page duration by improving the navigation taxonomy.

Taxonomy and Tree-testing with Dendrogram - UserZoom
Taxonomy and Tree-testing with Dendrogram - UserZoom

The dendrogram functionality UserZoom sports, has been crucial in mapping out segments of collected navigation labels and forming new themes of how customers actually navigate the site. We cut the fat on assumptions and got lean on the navigation output. This also contributed to much of Camping World Retail success in the heydays of 2021 and 2022 to early Q1 2023.

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PDP for Camping World Retail - Q1 2023 - lead to increase aov

Camping World media coverage

Equipped with the right data as well as a relentless will to meet Customer expectations, we triumphed in the market. Below are a few publications we have had the honor of being featured in.

Retail (2020 - Q4 2022)

Barron's

RV Sales Have Soared During the Pandemic. These Stocks Could See More Gains Ahead
-Barrons 
https://www.barrons.com/articles/recreational-vehicle-stocks-could-see-further-gains-51601671189 
Barrons - RV Sales Have Soared During the Pandemic. These Stocks Could See More Gains Ahead -Barrons  https://www.barrons.com/articles/recreational-vehicle-stocks-could-see-further-gains-51601671189 
RV Sales Have Soared During the Pandemic. These Stocks Could See More Gains Ahead -Barrons https://www.barrons.com/articles/recreational-vehicle-stocks-could-see-further-gains-51601671189

Seeking Alpha

Camping Word - A Recurring Revenue Juggernaut
-Seeking Alpha 
https://seekingalpha.com/article/4502701-camping-world-a-recurring-revenue-juggernaut
Camping Word - A Recurring Revenue Juggernaut
Seeking Alpha - Camping Word - A Recurring Revenue Juggernaut

Nasdaq

Camping World (CWH) and Intel (INTC): 8/4/2022 Bull & Bear

Zacks - Bull of the Day - Camping World CWH
-Nasdaq
https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/bull-of-the-day%3A-camping-world-holding-cwh
Nasdaq Zacks Bull of the Day - Camping World August 2022
Nasdaq Zacks Bull of the Day - Camping World August 2022

RV Rentals (Q4 2021 - Q4 2022)

Link:
https://www.rvrentals.com

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UX for RV Rentals - Breakthrough growth 2021 and 2022

Data from around Q4 2021 - Q4 2024:
Revenue and Sign-ups

  • 98.9% on gross revenue in LESS than SIX MONTHS

  • Rentals up 130% post-launch

  • Surpassed 100,000 sign-ups in monthly bookings for Q1 2022

  • The "Airbnb" of the RV Industry - Wall Street Journal

As one of the Lead UX Designers, I collaborated with an Agency on an electrifying project for RVrentals. I created all icons and modular blocks, showcasing my skills. Under leadership from a brilliant founder of Hagerty, his leadership helped us achieve incredible growth, attracting major global coverage.

This exciting experience taught me the power of teamwork and visionary leadership. I quickly grasped the impact of collaborating towards a shared goal.

Screencap:

RV Rentals UX - Agency and Joncreative for Good Sam
Designed the RV Profiles page along with the Agency on Development and Key data architecture

RVRentals media coverage
The brilliant platform conceived by Pete Z at RV Rentals led to remarkable growth and write-ups - his unmatched ingenuity was inspirational.

Wall Street Journal

RV Investors Shouldn’t Back Up the Truck Yet
-Wall Street journal 
https://www.wsj.com/articles/rv-investors-shouldnt-back-up-the-truck-yet-11656412200
Wall Street Journal and Camping World
Wall Street Journal and Camping World
Airbnbs of RVs
Wall Street Journal - RVrentals.com - The Airbnbs of RVs

5. Bonus Content


Handoffs to Developers: Speed is the name of the game.

Created pitch decks which sped handoffs up 2x between Product, UX and Engineering Partner work streams. Tools needed:

  1. An open-minded Team
  2. Loom
  3. Time to record

This reduced my handoff time down from 1-2 days to only 1-2 hours. Annotation-free as well.

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Handoffs to Developers - Figma and Development Handoffs - Camping World and Good Sam Enterprise UX - Joncreative

Marcus Lemonis About Page
Links:
https://www.campingworld.com/about-marcus-lemonis.html

I had the distinct honor of being the Lead information architect, and Lead Designer of Marcus Lemonis About page. I came up with the Servant-Leadership Content Strategy piece from not only having the honor of working for Marcus, but also reading his about page in its original content. It was my idea to come up with ‘No Silver Spoons” as well as the American Dream motto. I worked with a very talented Junior Designer that carried the designs with further content changes.

While I never got to personally thank Marcus for the opportunity to work for his Enterprises; I am honored to have met much of his C-Level suite team while in Chicago. An amazing Enterprise. 

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About Page for Marcus Lemonis -CEO Camping World, Good-Sam designed by Jonathan Jackson and JB

Enterprise UX Architecture, User Flows and Customer Journeys

Finance Rehash

Finance Rehash - contributed to an increase in rehash sales further contributing to 18 million dollars in sales for 2022, 2023.

Salesforce with a strong RV Sales Team lead to amazing results - Camping World RV Sales
Salesforce with a strong RV Sales Team lead to amazing results - Camping World RV Sales

Other IA examples:

Information Architecture - Illustration - Figure 1.1 - Trade-in Your RV

Trade-in customer Journey Flow Joncreative RVS.com
Trade-in customer Journey Flow Joncreative RVS.com


Information Architecture - Illustration - Figure 1.2 - Trade-in Your RV p2

json code snippet in user flow - Experience Architecture - Joncreative
User flow Architecture for RV Companies - Joncreative

A word on why there is code on a Customer Journey flow..
When designing user experiences for large enterprises, it's crucial to consider the audience that will be using the work. Keep in mind that my primary audience for such flows are:

  1. Engineers, Developers and Data Architects.
  2. Business Stakeholders and Personas of the provided Enterprise Flow.
  3. Product Managers.
  4. Project Managers.
  5. DevOps.

As such, my focus is on structuring the user flow to facilitate understanding for both engineers and business professionals. This means explaining how data and people's journeys will navigate the various input and output constraints of the application. The concept of swim lanes serves a purpose in this context, creating a linear, structured flow. Along this path, we uncovered opportunities for introducing new tools that significantly enhanced the solution UX were proposing.

34 - Customer Journey flow

In that previous example, I shared a taste of Twilio Flex for a digital concierge project. This might not be the typical UX task, but I believe that being a UX practitioner means going beyond the expected for my Engineer and Product as well as Business and Marketing Team.

Mistakes transformed to victories

Along the way I did make mistakes. But I converted these mistakes as a stepping stone to learn and improve. ABI = Always Be Improving.

After presenting this diagram to the entire enterprise, C-Suite Executives expressed interest in Twilio Flex multiple times. As collaborators with Engineering, Data Architecture, and Business teams, UX plays a pivotal role in enriching the customer experience at every interaction. It's like adding a touch of luxury to a Lamborghini, enhancing the overall ride.

That's it, Gracias por tu tiempo hoy...

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