Passenger: To get a share ride to their destination which will take lesser time, cheap but safe and convenient.
Rider: to share his vacant car seat with a passenger who is traveling in the same direction, which will help him to save some money and also helps in saving the environment.
User Persona and Scenario
For the better understanding of our target audience, I designed 3 different user personas for passenger and one for the rider. For this, I took help from my friends and colleagues. Rohan represented my primary use case.
Business Model ( For Rider)
For 1st 4kms it is Rs. 100 then onwards it is Rs.8/km. So, for a 20 km ride will cost approx. Rs. 228 in OLA mini.
Peak time surges may apply.
Rs.40 as base fare+Rs.7/km.
So, A 20 km ride will cost rate Rs. 180+(time taken x rs 1) in UberGO.
But On Ride Share
Rs. 25 as base fare(App Earning) + 3.5/km
So, A 20 km ride will cost RS 95 only which is approx half charged by uber.
For Car Owner
Petrol Price in Delhi Rs. 70
Wagon R delivers a good mileage of 17km/l in city driving conditions. So, for a 20km traveling will cost Rs 80. Rs 4/km.
Swift Dzire delivers a mileage of 12km/l in city driving conditions. So, for a 20km traveling will cost Rs 117. Rs 6/km.
So If a car owner is spending Rs 4/km and get Rs 3/km for sharing only one seat he can save a lot.
After I gathered all the information I needed in order to move into the next phase of the process, I started doing competitor analysis. I looked at some mobile apps at the time Uber, Ola, Wunder Carpool and Bla Bla Car to find out the pros and cons in the product.
3) Wunder Carpool
4) Bla Bla Car
Insights from the research
Problems for passengers
- Bus/metro stops are not located near you. One has to walk longer to catch a bus/metro, to change bus/metro and after you reach your stop till your destination.
- Busses don’t have a proper schedule and you’ll have to wait for long hours sometimes. If you want to start your trip at some particular time you need to be a minimum 15 minutes early.
- You don’t get a seat to sit and a bus/metro will be overloaded so that it’s not even easy to stand. Sometimes I travel 2hours standing in the bus/metro.
- Lots of stops in a journey; if your journey is 20 kms there will be more than 20 stops.
- There is neither good linkage between different means of public transport say, busses, trains, and metros nor there is any kind of transport to all places, one has to either walk or catch an auto to change their mode of transport.
- I have often met drivers who are not very tech-savvy. Unintentional common mistakes include cancelling a ride even before it started, trouble understanding map directions / customer’s location, etc.
Problems for riders
- Parking: Because of the problems of public transport mentioned above there is a Rapid increase in vehicles in cities which has caused an enormous parking crunch.
- Traffic: No doubt, traffic congestion is resulting into unnecessary delays and reduction in speed. It has resulted into a non-productive activity for most people as when they get stuck in traffic jams, they reach their workplace late or reach back home late.
- Car Price: Buying a car is not a piece of cake for everyone. In India car prices start from Rs 2 lacs. And apart from that you have to pay lots of taxes on it.
- Fuel Price: Fuel prices are always a problem for daily commuters. As it keeps on increasing, it is difficult for riders to manage their monthly budget.
Understanding the User Flow (Passenger)
As it always goes, to design a solution, you need to understand the problem first. Although, the task was to create a car sharing app, it was very essential to research the pre and post booking phase.
We are not selling a product, we are selling experience. Hence I feel it’s really important to understand the emotional side to user — their motivation, fears, feelings etc.
But first, let’s break the journey into smaller part and analyse each one of them.
Let’s have a quick look at each of the stages.
Stage 1: First look, user is excited to go further and check as much as possible about the experience. At this stage, we should be as informative as we can so he quickly proceeds to the pre booking stage.
Stage 2: Pre Booking Stage, User might be a bit anxious, cautious and might make some mistake at times. He is very careful which rider he selects and the price he has to pay. As a designer, it’s our responsibility to be as informative and useful as possible at this stage.
Stage 3: Post Booking Stage, User has a mix bag of feelings. He is excited but is also cautious at the same time. It’s our responsibility to build a strong trust and guide the user if he makes any mistakes.
Stage 4: Ride Completion, user will be very excited and might want to share the experience. It’s our job to manage everything for him properly.
Note: Stage 2 & 3 are what we will be primarily focussing upon in this article.
Next, I carried out a basic user research. For the research purpose, I consulted my colleagues & friends and asked about their experiences about.
And while this was a very short exercise, it gave me a lot of good insights and nuances about how people thinks and behaves about an experience selling product. It also helped me figure out the rest of the roadmap.
Using the feedbacks and insight from the user research, I mapped out the customer journey to dig down deep into every single stage and figure out all the emotional states in the user’s mind.
User flow (Rider)
A search engine that would allow people to search for empty seats in cars in the same way travellers can search for seats on a train or plane. India is a price sensitive market and given the population density in major Indian cities it’s not difficult to match riders while pooling.
Why we need a Mobile App?
There’s another practical reason why mobile is so important for us. Travelers are often nowhere near a desktop computer when they are researching transport options. They could be stood at a train station after finding out that the travel options they hoped to find there aren’t available. Or they might be sat in a bar planning a social trip with friends.
From researching potential journeys, comparing prices and managing trips to reading or writing reviews and splitting fares; everything can be managed via the mobile app.
Why we are targeting younger Audience?
With limited budgets yet likely to want to travel long distances to visit friends, work or study; they are precisely the people likely to respond positively to a Carpool service.
And as they are used to connecting with others on social networks or using the internet to collaborate with strangers, they’re often less nervous than older generations about sharing a journey with a stranger. As a result, younger people are more likely to trust the power of the internet to match them with drivers or passengers in a way that older people may not feel comfortable with.
How it will work?
Our working model is pretty simple. People with spare seats in their car can use the app to advertise their journey and the cost per seat. Drivers are not allowed to make a profit but can charge passengers an amount to help cover their costs.
People looking for a ride can then use the app to find drivers making the same journey and book and pay for the seat. Then the passenger simply meets the driver at the pre-arranged spot and they share the journey. The benefits are simple — drivers offset some of the cost of their journey while passengers gain transport that they might not otherwise have been able to afford.
How can we build Trust?
Creating a community of trust is also important for us. As people are naturally hesitant about sharing car space with a stranger, it was important for the brand to address and overcome these concerns head on.
Each member creates a profile and all profiles, photos, ratings and rides are moderated by app. It’s also easy to view the wider social profiles of members by looking at how many Facebook friends or LinkedIn connections a member has.
After using the service, drivers and passengers can rate one another to further boost trust within the community and give future users more information about who they are travelling with. A secure messaging service means drivers and passengers can chat before sharing a ride — to find out more about one another and to arrange practical details about the journey.
Features and visual elements (Passenger):
Note: Please note that I am skipping the user login/guest user login since they are quite straightforward and we are focusing more on the overall flow.
Features and Visual Elements (Rider)-
Benefits of Carpool
By having more people using one vehicle, carpooling reduces each person’s travel costs such as: fuel costs, tolls, and the stress of driving. Carpooling is also a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way to travel as sharing journeys reduces air pollution, carbon emissions, traffic congestion on the roads, and the need for parking spaces. Authorities often encourage carpooling, especially during periods of high pollution or high fuel prices. Car sharing is a good way to use up the full seating capacity of a car, which would otherwise remain unused if it were just the driver using the car.
Carpool commuting is more popular for people who work in places with more jobs nearby, and who live in places with higher residential densities. Carpooling is significantly correlated with transport operating costs, including fuel prices and commute length, and with measures of social capital, such as time spent with others, time spent eating and drinking, and being unmarried. However, carpooling is significantly less likely among people who spend more time at work, elderly people, and homeowners.
Challenges with Carpool
- Flexibility — Carpooling can struggle to be flexible enough to accommodate in route stops or changes to working times/patterns. One survey identified this as the most common reason for not carpooling.
- Reliability — If a carpooling network lacks a “critical mass” of participants, it may be difficult to find a match for certain trips. The parties may not necessarily follow through on the agreed-upon ride. Several internet carpooling marketplaces are addressing this concern by implementing online paid passenger reservation, billed even if passengers do not turn up.
- Riding with strangers — Concerns over security have been an obstacle to sharing a vehicle with strangers, though in reality the risk of crime is small. One remedy used by internet carpooling schemes is reputation systems that flag problematic users and allow responsible users to build up trust capital, such systems greatly increase the value of the website for the user community.
- Overall efficacy — Though carpooling is officially sanctioned by most governments, including construction of lanes specifically allocated for car-pooling, some doubts remain as to the overall efficacy of carpool lanes. As an example, many car-pool lanes, or lanes restricted to car-pools during peak traffic hours, are seldom occupied by car-pools in the traditional sense. Instead, these lanes are often empty, leading to an overall net increase in fuel consumption as freeway capacity is intentionally contracted, forcing the solo-occupied cars to travel slower, leading to reduced fuel efficiency. Further, many of the vehicles are occupied by passengers that would nevertheless consist of multiple passengers, for example a parent with multiple children being escorted to school.
- Women Safety — When it comes to cab or car pool services in India women safety is still a major concern. Chariot for Women, is a rideshare platform touted as being for women only, purportedly built in response to numerous reports of assaults against women by male rideshare drivers. Chariot for Women plans to create this danger-free utopia by only allowing female drivers and only allowing women and children to be passengers. The app was developed by married couple Michael and Kelly Pelletz.
Misuse of Car pool
However, not all countries are helping carpooling to spread: in Hungary, it is a tax crime to carry someone in a car for a cost share (or any payment) unless the driver has a taxi license and there is an invoice issued and taxes are paid. Several people were fined by undercover tax officers during a 2011 crackdown, posing as passengers looking for a ride on carpooling websites. On 19 March 2012 Endre Spiller, a member of the Hungarian Parliament interpellated Secretary of the State X about this practice who replied that carpooling should be endorsed instead of punished, however, care must be taken for some people trying to turn it into a way to gain untaxed profit.
A 51-year-old Uber cab driver was killed by two passengers, both minors, following a heated argument during a ride minors.
The incident happened in West Delhi’s Mundka area on Wednesday afternoon after the two hitched a ride from Najafgarh. While travelling, they had a heated argument with the driver, following which one of the juveniles allegedly pulled out a gun and shot at him.
The two teens then dumped the driver’s body at a secluded place and fled. The police zeroed in on and tracked them down with the help of the online booking software.
Uber was banned in Delhi on 8Dec 2014 and government mulled similar action across the country as outrage grew over the alleged rape of a 27-year-old woman executive by its cab driver.
Uber cabs driver Shiv Kumar Yadav, who was arrested from Mathura for raping a 27-year-old executive in Delhi, is a repeat offender- Uber claims that it offers the ‘safest rides on the road’.
Revealed during the initial interrogation by the police, this fact highlights the carelessness on the part of Uber cab service. The accused would not have been behind the wheel of the Uber cab had the US-based company run a background check and got police verification done.
On Friday night, the 27-year-old woman who works for a finance company in Gurgaon has gone to a restaurant for dinner with some friends after her shift ended at 7 pm. After dinner, one of her friend gave her a ride till Vasant Kunj. She meanwhile booked the cab from Vasant Kunj to her house in Inderlok on her smartphone. The driver along with Uber Swift Dzire cab arrived around 10.20 pm and she left for home.
On the way, the woman dozed off on the back seat of the car only to wake up and find that they had stopped at a secluded spot. She found that the car doors were locked and, when she tried to raise an alarm, the driver thrashed her and then committed rape.
“The driver reportedly sexually assaulted her and beat her up. The woman said she tried to fight back, but he overpowered her. He reportedly told her that if she shouted for help, he would insert a rod in her genitals, and reminded her of the December 16 2012 bus gangrape in the city,”.
The driver reportedly dropped her home, registered the end of the ride on Uber’s software, and gave her a bill. “After she got down from the car, she secretly clicked a photograph of the cab, with the vehicle’s registration number. She went home, but soon left for the Sarai Rohilla police station to file a complaint,”
Uber cab in which the crime took place was owned by the driver himself and he was traced through his mobile number and has been handed over to the Delhi police. The Swift Dzire cab in which the crime took place was recovered from the city late Saturday night.
A common mistake is to only plan for the perfect scenario. Great designs prepare for the unexpected, as well as the ideal.If my career as UX designer has taught me anything, it’s that people rarely use your products the way you expect.Usability issues are most likely to happen when the unexpected occurs.
When edge cases pop up, it’s make-or-break time for your website or app’s design. If you haven’t planned how the interface will deal with unusual scenarios, the whole experience can quickly fall down.
- Verified Users: Both the users passengers and riders should be verified before using the application. Otherwise fake users can misuse the application to steal money from riders or passengers.
- Pre defined fixed charges: As we are creating a product which will work on real time data and scenerios, displayed price should be pre defined. Otherwise passenger will try to negotiate with the rider and it will waste a lot of time on the both side.
- Hassle Free Cancellation: We have discussed a happy scenerio but there will be a case where user wanted to cancel the ride for any reason. Because we don’t want to restrict our user by any means. We should provide an option of cancellation before the ride starts and upon cancellation from any side we should notify the other user about the cancelled ride. For any cancellation due to technical issue we can provide any free service as compensation.
- SOS: Safety has been a biggest concern for all the transport service providers. But now all you have to do is click an ‘SOS’ button that will send an alert to the police control room and three contacts of your relatives registered by you with the cab operators.All radio taxi operators were asked to install safety measures in taxis following the rape of an executive of a multinational company in Delhi by an Uber cab driver.
- Ladies Only: What if a women wants to travel only with a women passenger or rider. A ‘ladies only’ option should be there where women can choose to only share their ride with other women.
- Internet Connection(Pre Booking): There may be a case when you don’t have any internet connection in your area. There should be an offline booking option should be available via sms.
- Internet Connection(Post Booking): What will happen if you have reached the destination but there is no internet connectivity. How system will detect that you have landed your home safely. So there should be an sms facility available by which a user can send an sms and notify the system about it.
- Delay by Rider: There may be case where passenger has booked the ride and waiting for the rider but the rider seems to be late by any reason. Then there be a facility of finding another rider without cancelled the current ride.
- Delay by Passenger: A certain time should be given to passenger to reach the location, post that ride should be cancelled or rider should have the facility to extend the waiting time.
- Luggage: In share rides passengers are not allowed with luggage bags. So this is our responsibility to guide the user.
- Vehicle Breakdown: In case of vehicle breakdown during the journey we can display the nearest car mechanic available to the rider. And passenger should have the ability to book another ride.
- Know your user: What if I have to book a ride for someone else?
- Number of Passenger: What if I have to book a ride for more than 1 passenger?
- Free Calls: We should provide passengers with a feature to connect with drivers for free. This is again because India is a price sensitive market. These small cost matters. There should be a helpline to which I will call and it should forward my call to the cab driver who is supposed to pick me up and vice-versa. Each trip will require just 1 to 2 calls on average. It’s not too much to ask. And it will be more secure for both of them. System will not display their mobile number to each other.
- Driver Rating: Currently there is no mechanism to book a cab only with drivers whose rating >= X (rated by at least 10 different rider).
- Consistent Price: Maintain consistent pricing for customers in both rural and non rural cities.
- Chat Messages: Chat functionality should be there to notify the other user if someone is unable to connect via phone call.
- Share Live Location: User should be able to share their live location with their contacts to let them know where they are.
Thanks for reading the article. Let me know what you think! Bye!