March 2017 - June 2017

My team was challenged to identify new opportunities to engage new millennial riders. We wanted to understand the emotional drivers behind millennials' values to provide a scalable strategy that encompassed technical feasibility, stakeholder desirability, and business viability.

The Challenge

How might we encourage millennial non-riders to engage with the Harley-Davidson brand and purchase used motorcycles?

User Research

Download of our user research

We first conducted qualitative research by interviewing 14 individuals ranging from those who solely purchased used goods to those who purchased used Harleys. From these interviews, we were able to identify three pain points around the used buying process: value, trust, and labor. Millennials look to trust and value "experts" due to lack of experience in the time consuming used buying process.

Quotes from millennials we interviewed

As part of our quantitative research, we conducted a survey with 750+ individuals who bought and traded used computer products on an online forum. We learned that across income brackets, trade frequency remained constant. This showed that people are not necessarily buying used goods solely due to cost but rather to be part of a used purchasing community and experience of and accomplishment in scoring a good deal.

Survey results, age cohorts by income

Survey results, trade volume by income

Key phrases emphasized by survey respondants


To communicate the tediousness of the current used buying process and what we hope to accomplish through our solution, we created two frameworks: a journey map and an emotion map. The current process requires high emotional investment and includes many possibilites of disappointment. We can improve the process by increasing motivation to buy the product earlier in the decision making process and reducing the amount of frustration in finding a suitable product.

Journey map of used buying process

Emotion map of current journey

Emotion map of ideal journey


Presenting insights to our studio

From our user research and frameworks, we came up with eight insights. We decided to focus on this insight: Uncertainty around trust of either the seller or the product can lead to suffering exceeding buyers' motivation to buy used products. "Experts" can mitigate this difficulty, but they are unavailable to many.


We went through two rounds of brainstorming, each time refining our ideas in the context of creating a feasible, coherent strategy.

Ideas from first brainstorming session

Refined ideas from second brainstorming session

Downloading ideas

Prototyping order of events for future Harley experience

Strategy Overview

Pitch video explaining our strategy's touchpoints

Our strategy is an ecosystem that consists of five main touchpoints: #FoundHarley, HDNA, REV Gallery, Bespoke Used, and Iron Cross Warranty. Through these touchpoints, we aimed to create an ecosystem that fostered trust and community amongst millenials who are non-riders, in particular, those without access to "experts." By simplifying and eliminiating pain points around the current used buying process, we create a sense of trust and safety around the future of used good purchases.

Final Pitch

Practicing our pitch for Harley

Presenting to Harley leadership

At the conclusion of our ten week term, we pitched our solution to Harley's Innovation team and leadership. We presented our entire design process from user research to ideas about prototyping touchpoints. Additionally, for the solution as a whole and for each touchpoint, we presented an evaluation of feasibility, desirability, and viability.

First time on a motorcycle