Jan. - May. 2018
Working with developers
Privacy & security
ParkN is a peer-to-peer private parking marketplace that connects people with underutilized parking spaces to people looking for parking.
1. Search parkings spaces effortlessly
Drivers can search for spots by time, price, and location, and have easy access to previously booked spaces.
2. Filter parking spaces in real time
Users can filter the preferable parking spaces in real time by time, location, price, parking types, and amenities.
3. Book the spots with a few clicks
Once drivers find the spot they want, they just need to click “book” before confirm and pay. They can still make changes to date and car information before placing the order.
4. Navigate and communicate seamlessly
Drivers are able to navigate to parking spots within the app. They can also contact property owners without leaving the navigation mode.
Looking for a parking space is painful while many spots are not utilized.
Searching for parking cost Americans $73 billion in 2017. Every driver spent an average of 17 hours per year, resulting in a cost of $345 in wasted time, fuel and emissions. Meanwhile, many parking spaces in are not utilized. Therefore, there is a gap in terms of time and space between parking space seekers and owners, and our opportunity is bridging the two.
Identifying who the users are
Based on our research, I created two personas which represent major user groups to inform the design and to better communicate with the developers.
Understanding what people concerns
I interviewed ten people in Pittsburgh, consisting of five drivers and five parking space owners. Surprisingly, their concerns overlapped in several aspects such as convenience and reliability of the service, safety and price, though their preferences are relatively different.
Long-term private parking service is lacking
I explored several parking apps in the US, comparing and analyzing them with a two by two matrix regarding long-term/short-term renting and personal/corporate ownership. Most of the existing apps focused on short-term parking services provided by enterprise-owned properties. Long-term parking services which benefit individual parking space owners is lacking on the market.
Establishing a peer-to-peer parking space sharing platform
Based on the initial research and interviews, we decided to build a peer-to-peer parking space sharing platform which connects drivers and private parking space owners. The platform gives owners access to the market and sources of revenue, while the drivers get cheaper and reliable parking spaces. The platform, on the other hand, makes a profit via charging a reasonable service fee.
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE & TASK FLOW
The platform unfolds two major task flows: the drivers’ booking flow and the property owners’ renting flow, which intertwine with each other. I optimized the user flows based on previous research and created the information architecture accordingly.
The initial prototypes focused on the basic task flow involved when searching and booking parking spaces. I got feedback from user testing to iterate in the next version.
Users want to see more details of parking spaces such as ratings to make a quick decision.
Drivers prefer map view instead of list view as they want to get a sense of proximity.
People are concerned about whether the parking spaces are spacious enough for them to park their vehicles.
Refining design basing on user feedback
The home screen was modified with the searching bar closer to users hands, which is easier to reach. Users also have quick access to parking spaces booked before, improving the experience for people who park in the same area frequently.
I changed the filters page from full-screen to half-screen so that users can directly perceive the changes in the search result in real time.
I added more information such as photo and pricing details about parking spaces, which helps users double-check and prevent errors. I also made the time, license plate, and payment editable, providing them with a shortcut for last minute changes.
I incorporated contact buttons in the latest iteration of the navigation screen so that drivers are able to contact property owners on their way.
ParkN is my first experience at Carnegie Mellon working with three developers, from which I learned a lot.
How designers and developers thinks can be so different. Paying attention to each other and learning from each other are the best ways to make sure the project is successful.
Privacy and security are indispensable for a peer-to-peer app. Minimizing the information to collect and considering scenarios that may put users in danger is our responsibility.