- UI Design
- Interaction Design
- Usability Testing
- Adobe Xd
- Sprinthub x Movearound
Movearound: A peer-to-peer car rental mobile application
Creating an avenue for generating residual income and an opportunity to bypass the cost of owning a car is the core mission of Movearound. In a market challenged by a poor maintenance culture and deep-seated trust issues, the question becomes: how do we navigate this landscape successfully?
Drawing inspiration from Turo, I led the entire design process, as the sole product designer, in collaboration with a dedicated product manager, project manager, and a team of engineers, to develop a solution that addresses the challenges and redefines the landscape.
After months of meticulous planning, research, and development, we launched the mobile app on November 2, 2021. Within the first 2 months of launch, the app gained over 300 downloads on the Google Play Store and recorded a 75% sign-up rate with an impressive 50+ rentals. This case study goes into my journey of navigating the challenges of designing the solution.
Planning and setting expectations
Defining the problem
The cost of owning a car is quite enormous for an average Nigerian and the Nigerian public transport system is very unreliable. These issues pose a problem for middle-class Nigerians who are financially conscious and desire a certain level of comfort. On the other hand, among higher-class Nigerians who have multiple cars, there is a need to put their idle cars to use. But the question arises: can I entrust my car to someone?
The project plan
Working in collaboration with the project manager, product manager, and engineering team, we developed a plan for the execution of the project, that satisfied the unique requirements of Agile Methodology and Human-Centered Design (HCD)
I led the entire design process, from discovery to developer hand-off and support. I worked in close collaboration with the rest of the team and the client to ensure that the design solution was desirable, feasible, and viable.
Gathering and processing the data
The unique market segment required a meticulous selection of participants for user research. Therefore, I prepared a screener survey and shared it with select groups as well as some friends and colleagues. In total I had 46 people take part in the survey.
While I had the plan to recruit 10 participants, I was only able to recruit 8, out of which 3 were “no-shows”. For the interviews, I prepared questions in a semi-structured fashion, enabling me to have an open-ended discussion with each participant. The goals of the interview were to
- Uncover the concerns of giving out one’s car for rental
- Understand the motivations behind renting a car as opposed to booking a ride on any of the available ride-hailing/ride-sharing apps
- Uncover the expectations of the person giving a car out for rent and that of the person renting the car
I had the interviews over Zoom calls and had them recorded with permission from the participants. I spent an average of 35 minutes per participant, lasting 5 days.
Analyzing and synthesizing the data
I used thematic analysis in analyzing the transcripts of the interviews. I identified themes that highlighted the frustrations, needs, and expectations of potential users.
A common theme among all participants in the car-owners category was that of LACK OF TRUST. The statement below by one of the participants vividly captures this.
I’ve actually thought about renting my car out when I’m out of town. But omo! For Nigeria wey e hard to trust person, how do I know that my car is safe and will come back to me in good condition?Participant 4 (name withheld for privacy)
Using the insights gathered from the analysis I developed user personas for each category of users.
Crafting the experience
Designing for trust
Insights from the interviews and analysis showed trust to be one of the key factors for success. Therefore, designing the system to strengthen trust between car owners and renters was important. In collaboration with the client and the rest of the team, we devised an approach that ensured both user classes get the best out of the system.
Some of the key factors we put into consideration while putting together the solution were identity verification, eligibility verification, payment systems, and risk management.
Gathering early design insights
To ensure the core ideas behind the solution were desirable, I prepared interactive low-fidelity prototypes for early-stage usability testing. I employed a moderated usability test using Zoom and a link to the interactive prototype.
My observations during the tests showed a need to pay close attention to information architecture, especially in terms of navigating the app. In addition to this, the structure of forms and placement of walls throughout the application were key areas to consider.
Visual and interaction design
Registration and authentication
Taking into consideration the nature of marketplaces, I designed the application to give users the freedom to browse the marketplace without the need to have an account or log in. This approach enables users to evaluate the value proposition of the app before committing to it.
In this case, the need for an account arises only when a user attempts to book a rental or add a car to the marketplace.
Finding a car in the marketplace
Easily finding what a user is searching for is the backbone of any marketplace system. I set out to design the marketplace with the goal of
- Reducing the occurrence of empty search results
- Saving users’ time
- Enabling users to easily find what they came for
Drawing inspiration from the search process of the Airbnb app, I designed the marketplace’s search process to follow the mental model of renters.
In addition to the search process, I added filtering for a more fine-tuned search result.
The booking process
The booking system, at its core, needed to significantly reduce risks for both classes of users. I achieved this by designing the booking process as a 2-way communication system. This approach ensures that both parties are in complete alignment before committing to a transaction.
Each step of the 3-step process requires both parties to approve/accept the conditions before proceeding to the next.
The listing process
Though, in collaboration with the product manager, we tried our best to streamline the listing process, it still was quite lengthy. My goal was to design the process in a way that reduces friction and user drop-off. I approached this challenge by designing a multi-phase multi-step listing process with affordances that indicate the user’s progress.
The agency (Sprinthub Mobile), has a standard component library used for all mobile app projects. Therefore, I only needed to make some minor style changes to match the brand identity and design direction of the product. Since the component library is quite robust, I didn’t need to include any style guide. I simply communicated the modifications I made with the engineers on the project.
Performance and retrospective
Within 2 months of the product’s launch, it gained over 300 downloads with a 75% signup rate and recorded 50+ rentals within the same period.
The most important lessons I learned from this project were communication and adaptability. Also, I learned how important each team is in attaining the success of a digital product. No single team is more important than the other.
Of course, every venture has its challenges, overall, the project was a success. I give credit to Sokari Gillis-Harry (Project Manager and founder, of Sprinthub Mobile), Faith Dike (Product Manager), and Barisere Jonathan (Lead Engineer) for their contributions and support throughout the project.
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