The problem my team & I tackled in this project is the lack of cheap parking in high density areas. With an ever growing population, more & more cars are fighting for the same amount of parking spots in any given neighborhood. The hope is that we can reduce the hassel of circling around to look for parking, and allow users to spend more time doing meaningful activities at their destinations.
To begin diving into this problem, we did primary and secondary research on the topic. From a financial perspective, we found that the average driver spends $245 a year on the gas used to find parking! More than half of interviewees say they've had trouble finding parking. When asked what made for GOOD parking experiences, people mentioned things like "knowing exactly where open spots were available", "cheap parking in a safe area", and "very efficient payment system". To accomodate the overflow of cars near any destination, we brainstormed around where else people could park. We found that 33% of people interviewed had an empty or extra parking space where they lived, but the key was to understand what would make them want to rent it out . The good thing is that the availability of their parking spots varied almost equally among all times of the day, which would help accomodate parkers whenever they need it. A key finding was that both people who wanted and people who had parking spaces said they want to be friends with the other party. While it is unlikely that people will always have friends in the areas that they drive to, we can attempt to build rapport and trust between strangers. From our research, we derived the motivations and hesitations of both parties, and defined the product goals.
We know that private citizens have assets, like empty parking spaces, that can deliver value to drivers. However, unlike parking garages run by dedicated parking businesses, citizens don't have a formalized way of utilizing their assets. Garages have hundreds of spaces, provide parking leases, and can manage how many cars are admitted to the garage. Citizens have a smaller inventory—typically just one space and their use of the space may be difficult to schedule. Our concept is to facilitate the lending and renting of neighborhood parking spaces. By sharing parking spaces within the community, we aim to build trust and friendship between parking space renters and lessees. Acquaintances can have an avenue to see each other more frequently, and strangers can build rapport by parking with the same person at the places they visit often. By creating a tightknit community of ParcPals, Parc aims to make parking:
After brainstorming 20 different use cases for when and how people could use our service to lend out or rent parking spots, we created a single storyboard for our prototype.
While our service would offer live and scheduled parking, our team chose to focus on the schedule parking flow because of the added complexity and coordination.
From discussing our initial low-fi prototype, we made a few adjustments to our app in the 1st hi-fi prototype:
After getting user feedback on our 1st hi-fi prototype, we made the following improvements to our app:
After another round of user feedback on our 2nd hi-fi prototype, we fine-tuned our app for the final artifact: