CarpoolWorld, a company that helps users seeking to carpool, be it to work, vacation, or otherwise, sought to develop a mobile application in order to help acquire more contracts with corporate clients. A majority of their profits comes from corporate contracts in which they assist employees with ride-sharing to a common location. Their lack of a mobile application, however, has led to them missing out on many opportunities to win contracts with large corporations. The clients sought to take the key aspects of their web application, refine them, and present a final design to a mobile application developer so that they could begin to pitch their new technology as a key aspect of their business, hopefully leading to larger streams of revenue via more corporate partnerships.
I led the user research and testing components. After identification of the target audience and with the stakeholders' most important requirements in mind, I conducted user interviews to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the existing web application and how components could be improved upon when being migrated into the mobile application. I worked closely with the visual designer to help craft the user interface in ways that addressed the shortcomings and enhanced upon them based on learnings from these interviews.
Upon completion of the initial mobile application prototype. I conducted several rounds of usability tests, each time relaying findings to the visual designer to help refine our prototype design. Heuristic analysis were also conducted on both the existing web application and our mobile application prototype.
This project began by gathering requirements from key stakeholders. Several key concerns were brought to the table during these meetings and were our primary factors of consideration during the planning phase.
Easier way to collect rider data post-carpool
previously collected through a voluntary e-mail survey
*Keep users coming back to use the service*
This was not an original request from the client but we learned through this process that you can't collect sufficient data with-out consistent customer engagement. Finding a way to keep them coming back was our secondary objective as consultants.
*After initial conversations with the client we learned their primary concerns in the past had been customizing the service for the subscribers (the companies) - their customer's needs, but the app experience needed to be tailored to the employees of their customers - the users.
With an understanding of who our target audience was and what we needed to learn about them, we began to conduct user research that would shape the design of our mobile prototype. Once the prototype was developed, we conducted usability tests that helped refine the design and shape our final design recommendations.
After gathering information from the client, we needed to learn more about our target user: commuters; their demographics, habits, and preferences. We began by circulating a survey, conducting internet research, preparing a competitive analysis of rideshare services, and performing a heuristic evaluation of the desktop client on mobile.
Complete documentation of our findings can be found here.
Median age group is between 25-32
10 out 12 people currently drive to work
60% of those surveyed said they would choose carpooling over public transportation
The Government/EPA offer a variety of incentive programs for people who carpool
The current website is not responsive and does not translate to mobile well
From these findings and the needs expressed by our client, I was able to create personas, empathize and curate a customer journey.
From the customer empathy map we were able to pinpoint an area of opportunity for CarpoolWorld. We knew the user journey didn't end once the ride was scheduled. We also learned areas where the user would feel frustrated.
*Journey continues beyond match*
Engagement at Reentry
Reschedule or Bulk Schedule
Reconnect w/ old matches
Time Constraints of Requests
Survey: When & Who Enters?
We were provided preliminary app mockups of the first design phase, but with accessibility and psychology factors in mind, our team incorporated a redesign into design and test plan.
STYLE GUIDE: ACCESSABLE
THE LANDING PAGE
THE MATCH DETAILS
THE ONBOARDING CONSOLIDATION
Through several rounds of in-person interviews and A/B tests, it was determined that several aspects of the existing web application worked extremely well and could be directly mirrored when being migrated into the mobile application.
One of the most important findings from the business's perspective was the overuse of the map throughout the experience. At several points, users mentioned that there was no need to be seeing a map on their current screen. Given that the Google Map's API charges per instance on a site, we were able to recommend removing the map from a majority of the web application. Prior to delivering our final design to the client, CarpoolWorld implemented these changes on their existing web application and reported that over the course of 10 years, these changes would help them save nearly $1 million, even after the API is implemented in the mobile application.
Overall , we learned that for a second iteration, keeping it simple will be key. During user testing, we were able to conclude that users were not intimidated by the layout of the original web page design, and to focus on key objectives during the redesign phase.
Our client's main concern was data collection. They're sole objective with this project was for us to find a better way to collect information from riders and drivers and eventually being able to produce reports for their customers about how their employees were utilizing this carpool resource - so eventually, the companies could use this data to achieve (unknown) company success markers with these data points.
Our clients were focused on the companies who were buying their product, but we found a way to create ease for the end user with invisible location data collection and one-click arrival surveys that would meet the need of each stakeholder in the process; CarpoolWorld and their clients.
This project was a success because we gained valuable information for the future. We were able to address a company need they didn't know they had when we initially interviewed them, while still addressing the problem we were tasked with solving.