Ensuring quick and safe ride through UX - ReachNow Case Study
Researching, Designing, and Prototyping (Individual Project)
ReachNow is a ridesharing service available in certain cities in America and run by BMW. Instead of customers meet private drivers of private vehicles to get a ride, they reserve a vehicle to drive and drop off anywhere they want within a service area.
As a closed beta tester, I wanted to learn how driving a private vehicle is different compared to getting a ride from private drivers such as Uber and Lyft. When I used the service on iOS, I faced a few problems. Hence, I wanted to use my skills to see whether others who tried the service share my problems and, if they do, I wanted to see how I could improve the experience.
I followed IDEO’s Human-Centered Design process to make sure my design decisions were correlated with usability research and interview.
To start the process, I created a provisional persona of a potential ReachNow user based on online research.
I chose to conduct the interview because the service was under closed beta when I tested. Therefore, I found a few early customers just like me on Twitter and contacted them to have conversations about their experience of this app. Thankfully, I found 4 participants who were both male and female, and ages of 20 to 40.
To gather data, I asked questions like:
How was your experience of using the app?
Has there been any moment that you got frustrated or stuck?
If yes, did you overcome the issue? How?
Have you seen or used the particular feature available on the app?
Identifying and Prioritising Pain Points
After the interview, I reviewed the notes and moved the customer’s pain points onto a Post-It. Then I used affinity mapping to group them into similar categories.
Then I prioritized each pain point based on its importance to the user as well as its importance to ReachNow. My assumptions of the essence to users were based on conversations with the existing and potential users. My assumptions about the significance of ReachNow were based on my analysis of their website and marketing materials. Making quick trips, driving to the airport, and renting for longer than a day were core functions of the product that made ReachNow stand out as a ride-sharing app.
I decided to tackle two pain points that were both important to users and ReachNow. I redefined the pain points below.
Pain Point 1: Unclear message when unlock a vehicle
When customers approach the reserved vehicle and try to unlock using an app, it shows a loading screen telling them the vehicle will unlock in 2 minutes. Because the app does not provide clear notification when the car is unlocked, they either have to hear the door mechanically unlocked to access or, if they don’t hear or have headphones on, doors will automatically lock after two minutes which means they have to unlock again.
Pain Point 2: Irregular pop-up of a vehicle checkup screen
When customers tap the unlock button, the app sometimes opened up a vehicle checkup screen to report any cosmetic damage while it was available to use this feature on a button. The experience has been irregular for every customer I spoke with, and I believe it’s important for both consumers and ReachNow to make sure their ride is going to be safe.
I came up with several potential solutions to each of the pain points and made some rough UI sketches.
I did some preliminary validation on the low-fidelity sketches and used the feedback to refine my sketches and narrow down my solutions for the high-fidelity prototype.
Prototyping and Validation
I used Sketch and ProtoPie to create the high-fidelity interactable prototype. I tested the prototype with four individuals. Feedbacks from the validation test led me to reiterate on one of the screens. Below are the mockups of my final solution, including the results of the user testing before and after implementing my design solution.
Pain Point 1 & 2: Unclear message when unlock a vehicle & Irregular pop-up of a vehicle checkup screen
Design Solution: Create a designated screen that combines both unlock and report damage process to perform the vehicle unlock while customers walk around it to report any damage, then, in the end, provide a clear message to them.
To validate my prototype, I chose to conduct usability testing to participants who were similar to the persona. To do this, I created a scenario:
You walked to the grocery store to buy groceries which you ended up buying too much that it would be difficult for you to carry all to your house. Now you want to use ReachNow to reserve a nearby vehicle instead. What do you do?
Thankfully, I was able to find four participants at coffee shops who were willing to help my study. I made sure to check whether they know or heard of ReachNow. Two knew the name because vehicles with the logo were available on roads and they saw those before but didn’t fully understand what the service was about. I used my prototype and a ReachNow vehicle, which I controlled on a different device to mimic the experience.
Here’s an overview of the results of design changes.
I believe ReachNow is an excellent service for customers who attempt not to own a private vehicle thanks to its quick and flexible renting process. To achieve this, it faces one of the biggest challenges --the unlock process should be quick and ensuring safety before customers start driving.
For ReachNow, the app is only part of the experience; for a quick trip, the driving experience is as smooth and friction-less as accessing and leaving the vehicle using the app. I believe providing customers a clear message and ensuring safety can impact their goal significantly.