UI/UX / Design Thinking / User Need Finding
VeoRide is a rideshare app that many students at the University of Illinois use on a daily basis. The best aspect of VeoRide is the bikes can be parked anywhere. Using the design thinking process, my group talked to the users to see what pain points they had with the VeoRide experience. We pinpoint different problems and ideated solutions for those problems.
Methods + Tools
Aug 2019 - Dec 2019
If we want students to park the bikes in specific locations, they need an incentive. Therefore, we wanted to add a point system into the app to encourage good behavior. With the points, students will be able to use them to get free rides. College students love free stuff. I re-designed the app to add our solution. A majority of the screens are from the original app, with a few I designed myself. I kept with the original branding, so everything was coherent.
For some extra points, students have the option to park the VeoRides in a docking station. It is a charging station for electric bikes and a commonplace for users to find rides easily.
VeoRide users love parking the bikes anywhere. However, they have a hard time finding a bike because they are hidden, broken, or out of battery life. Our problem was how can we make it easier for students to find VeoBikes and keep them charged during the day.
The first step in our research was to get to know our user group. We interviewed a couple of VeoRide users. Our goal was to find why they use the service, what they like and dislike. Our team was also encouraged to engage with non VeoRiders. The summary of our findings is below.
Design Research Methods
During the inquiry stage, another group member and I did a heuristic analysis of the experience. Based on interviews, we established five steps in the experience, from locating a bike on the app to locking it up when finished. Most users had a negative experience when finding a bike.
Build your Own
This fun activity allowed us to see what features users wanted on VeoRides. They could be as crazy as they wanted. As a result, we learned more about our user's needs and understood them better.
After collecting data, the team pinned point common problems users were having. We narrowed it down to four insights.
Parking + Locating
Yet bikes can be parked anywhere.
Users have hard time locating bikes
VeoRide values Safety, but this is not safe.
E-Scooters are not being introduced because of safety issues
Need to fix the broken bike ratio
Students prefer regular bikes over E-Bikes
E-Bikes cost more than the regular ones
Need to be charge at warehouse
Disrespect of Bikes
Affect other users who actually need to use the bikes
Eye sore to the locals
Shows people's lack of respect for public property
VeoRide is constantly replacing bikes
The team brainstormed 40 solutions for each problem – one problem being the broken bikes, and the other being parking and locating. We did not limit anyone’s creativity and encouraged wild ideas.
We picked six ideas out of the forty to further develop. Each group member took a solution to develop. I worked on the VeoRide Care Group. After presenting the concepts, we received feedback from our classmates. Then the team picked three to prototype and test. Some of our ideas were small, so we combined a few of the original six into hybrid solutions.
PROTOTYPING + USER TESTING
Prototype 1 · Bounce Back Bike
At first, this was an exaggerated idea. The concept was if a user threw the bike down it, would bounce back at them. However, we changed the solution to be more feasible. I talked to a student who used to fix broken VeoRides. His interview gave the team insight into the bike's weakest areas. One of my team members even designed a new kind of kickstand that would be more durable.
Prototype 2 · VeoRide Volunteer
My teammate Dolly and I worked on this prototype. In summary, a community group or RSO would go around and fix VeoRides. For their service, they would get free rides. There would be an app where the group could check for the reported broken bikes.
Prototype 3 · Docking Station + Point Incentive
Our strongest prototype was an optional docking station with a point incentive. The docking stations would be at popular bus stops. Here the electric bikes can charge and, students can easily find VeoRides. Furthermore, if students parked at the station or close by, they would receive points for free rides.
I redesigned the VeoRide app to add the point incentive. I went out and rode a VeoRide to familiarize myself with the design of the interface. These are the original screens of the app.
I changed some of the design elements, added some features of my own, and recreated the screens to test the point incentive idea. The users were given three tasks during the test.
Filter out the bikes and parking locations
Unlock a bike, ride it, and take a picture of it
Transfer your points for ride credit
There was confusion when people had to take a photo of the bike. At first, I designed this screen like the rest of the app. After the user's feedback, I switch to a familiar layout like Snapchat and Instagram for taking photos. After this, users were able to navigate taking a photo faster and without hesitation.