A smarter way to park.
Searching for a parking spot has to be one of the most annoying things you face on a daily basis, especially if you are living in the city. It is time consuming, frustrating and usually the last thing you want to do after a long day at the office. Sometimes something as trivial as running a quick errand for a few minutes can end up costing you precious time during the day. Lets face it.. you would rather be doing something more productive.
We set out to discover what is causing this shortage of parking spots in urban areas in an attempt to discover the real source of the problem and figure out a solution for it. By using mobility data from around the world provided by Volkswagen AG and good old Google maps satellite view we were able to figure out that it is not so much a shortage of spaces, but rather a gross misuse of the available spaces that are out there.
As you can imagine the solutions was not as complicated as we initially anticipated. We just needed a better way to share the existing parking spaces in a way that made sense to everyone. So we created a parking space sharing app that allows users to rent out their parking spots when they were not using them.
Sound familiar? Yes, it is basically AirBnB for parking spaces. Thanks to Parkhands you can earn money from your unused parking slot and save valuable time by reserving a parking slot before even getting into your car.
We did not have much time to come up with the MVP concept, but we still wanted to put users in the driving seat of the design process. This is why we kicked the project off with a day of examining different personas and case studies to determined the key user characteristics we are later going to use for our focus group.
Getting the right focus group together was the most valuable part of the process as we then relied on that user feedback to nail down not only the design direction we were going to adopt but also fine tune some of user flows and UI elements.
Their input ultimately helped us roll out a product that is not only intuitive but also delivered the right amount of UI swagger to help it stand out from the competition.
After the first week of rapid prototyping we were done with our initial prototype and we started testing concepts immediately. We did not feel the need to waste any time on polishing the prototype before rollin it out to the public because we wanted to take full advantage of the over 100 person focus group available to us and get as many unbiased user insights as possible.
In the testing process we spent most of our efforts into polishing the search, browsing and booking processes. We ran over 38 tests until we finally reached an effortless experience for the users.
After running some test with different internet connections we figured out that we need about 4 seconds before displaying parking slots in remote or overdeveloped areas where fast speed mobile connectivity was simply not always available.
To avoid displaying the standard spinning loader we are all painfully familiar with we decided to create a flashy splash screen do distract users and have the parking slots load in the background.
So we took some inspiration from AirBnB’s development team again and used their JS Animation library called Lottie to bing the Parkhands logo to life with the help of Adobe After Effects and a clever little plugin called BodyMovin.
This was one of the most exciting projects I have worked on mainly because no compromises were done during the design or development process. Every user input was weighted and taken into consideration and the product exceeded both investor and user expectaions.