Designing the Future of Ridesharing
Design of mobility service.
VW, April-June 16. UK.
Challenge and Outcome
To prototype and test a digital solution that made shared transportation more efficient and sociable.
This brief by VW looked into the future of shared mobility and asked us to gather ideas to prototype a solution around this topic based on insights gathered amongst different potential users.
The outcome was the prototype of Crewser, a shared riding platform to connect with others while solving a functional problem.
Combining participant observations and rapid prototyping
The initial approach in this project was to work in a multi-disciplinary team where each one of us had different strengths and interests. The idea was to address shared rides from an unusual angle that others in the market were not doing.
In so doing, insights about the users' needs were gathered by combining ethnography, one-on-one extreme interviews and a competitors' analysis. Picking the user group was also a challenge which entailed initial observations and taking a look at current ride sharing offerings.
The research also took into account experts working in businesses that were part of the sharing economy and start ups who had succeeded in niche markets such as this one. The work was done in sprints of research and concepts testing.
Reflecting back, the process was challenging as identifying the human need took longer than anticipated, and the team did not move onto testing different concepts quickly enough. These problems were overcome, however, by talking to a wide range of people across different categories, which helped in creating a more solid prototype in the end.
The research showed that the main barrier to peer-to- peer ridesharing was the "awkwardness" of being around strangers for long periods of time. Once this was identified, designing a solution that tackled the issue was easier
This project has not been implemented but was taken into account as part of the future strategy for innovative ideas around ridesharing by the client.