Parkit - Mobile App

Parkit is a peer economy application that makes parking more efficient by connecting commuters and driveway owners. Commuters can easily reserve parking spots and driveway owners can earn income by utilizing parking spots when they are not in use.

Team

Bo Kim, Rae Lasko, Sally Zhao

Methods

Interviews, Personas, Ideating with scenarios and storyboards, Wireframing, Prototyping, Making a pitch

My Role

Collaboration on overall design process. Individual work on designing UX/UI for 4 screens, building a prototype and refining visual design.

Duration

3 weeks in 2016

Project for the course Interaction Design Studio I Instructed by Professor John Zimmerman

Problem

Parking availability and accessibility have critical influence on people's driving experience.

According to IBM's global parking survey, drivers worldwide have spent an average of nearly 20 minutes looking for a parking spot.

Parking frustration impacts commuters' productivity and economic opportunities in a city.

The reports also estimated that over 30 percent of traffic in a city is caused by drivers searching for a parking spot. Over half of all drivers in 16 of the 20 cities surveyed reported that they changed their destinations because they were frustrated in pursuit of a parking spot.

Guerilla Research

Ecosystem Dump

We first asked ourselves the relevant actors, activities, and context to reveal what we need to learn and plan our research. This was an important step since none of us were drivers.

Interview

I interviewed two college students about their experience with parking in Pittsburgh. I asked what their priorities were and used directed storytelling to understand the pain points in the street parking process.

Current System

We researched how parking system works in Pittsburgh to understand how it influences people's parking experience.

Insights

01

Different parking needs

There are two types of parking needs: Long-term parking with a recurring schedule and one-time parking for spontaneous need. Drivers tend to struggle more with one-time parking because it's much more unpredictable.

02

Planning ahead

Drivers tend to plan ahead and think about where to park before they leave. Most drivers have the motivation and need to reserve parking spots in advance to avoid the hassle.

03

How do I get there?

After finding a parking space, getting there is another issue. For one-time parking, drivers are often unfamiliar with the area.

Stakeholders

Complementing each other

For this project, we were given two personas as our target audience. As a peer economy app, goals of both stakeholders had to be satisfied. Based on research, we supplemented the given personas to formulate their motivations and goals.

Madeline - Supplier

Madeline has available surplus and she wants to spend low amount of effort to earn some pocket money.


Madeline owns one of the few driveways in the neighborhood. Her car is always on the driveway except when she drives to work, or when she drives down to see her grandchildren.

Rebecca - Driver

Rebecca has demand for cheap and safe parking that she can reserve easily


Rachel just bought a new car, a Toyota Camry. While it is not fancy, it’s the only new car she has ever owned and she’d like it to stay new as long as possible. She’s wondering if she should give in and start using the garage.

Exploratory Scenarios

We generated 20 scenarios that describe how the app can deliver value to the personas. Through this process, we were able to address potential break points and came up with possible solutions to resolve them. We scoped down to three scenarios that cover the essential features of our application.


We used these three scenarios for speed dating to validate our concept. Then, we iterated our scenarios to create final scenarios for each personas.

Ideation

Challenge: How can driveway owners spend minimum effort to earn money?

Solution: Auto-accept

Auto-accept parkings don't require approval from driveway owners before they can be reserved. Driveway owners can customize auto-accept threshold based on commuter's rating and other credentials.

Challenge: What if the user needs more time?

Solution: Flexible time extension

The application notifies the commuter few minutes before the reservation expires. If the parking is not reservated afterwards, the commuter can extend his/her reservation.

Challenge: How can we make parking search easier?

Solution: Watch search

What if commuters don't find the parking space they want? Commuters can watch the search and if somebody checks out earlier and the parking becomes available, notification is sent.

How can driveway owners monitor their parking usage?

Solution: Automatic check-in

Using the location-service, the app monitors when the commuter's car checks-in and checks-out, and notifies the driveway. This way, driveway owners won't have to worry about commuters occupying the spot longer than their reservation.

Prototyping

Designing the least to tell the most

Our goal was to design the fewest number of screens to tell the most about the use case of our product. Based on the worflow for the entire system, we finalized the scenario focusing on the auto-accept feature.

Then each of us individually generated mockups and gathered all the different design approaches. We discussed what actions and goals users have for each screen and iterated them to come up with a final low-fidelity prototype. It took two more rounds to come up with a final design. I was responsible for refining visual design and applying animation.

Design process for searching parking spots

Solution

Madeline extends her availability

Madeline is at work and her boss asks her to stay longer to finish a project. Madeline launches her app and simply pulls the corresponding time slot down to extend her availability.

Rebecca needs parking tonight

Rebecca is planning to have dinner with her friends at Union Grill tonight. While she’s having lunch at work, she decides to schedule her parking early so she won’t have to waste time later looking for a spot. She opens Parkit and taps one-time parking.

Rebecca searches on Parkit

She first types her destination, Union Grill, and roughly plans for 2 hours for dinner. She taps Find Parking.

Rebecca makes a reservation

The map page highlights all the available parking spots near Union Grill. Rebecca sees that she is qualified for auto-accept for some places and chooses one of these options because she won’t have to wait until her request is accepted.


Rebecca uses force touch on one of the auto-accept spots nearby Union Grill and is prompted with the total amount she will be charged.

Reflection

What worked

I think the greatest strength of this project is ease of use. When we pitched this to the class, many people responded that it seemed very easy to use and they were able to follow the work flow well. For this project, we were successful in keeping the scope narrow and communicating the essential concept of our design.



What could have been better

Our prototype ended up having more screens for the commuter and only one for the driveway owner. This resulted from the simplicity of Madeline's scenario but there is definitely room for presenting seller's benefit from using the application.

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