CREATING A SAFER, GREENER WORLD
LIME is a leading micro-mobility company with the mission of providing on-demand transportation solutions that are affordable, convenient, and environmentally-friendly. While electric scooters may have addressed the issues of short-distance urban transport, they have sparked notorious debate due to their irresponsible usage.
THE CHALLENGE: Design a way to improve scooter riding behavior.
MY ROLE: Product Designer
I worked with two other designers, to create a positive behavior changing strategy addition for Lime’s mobile application. I led the strategic direction, business research, & idea generation.
PLATFORM: Feature Addition + Gamification (Mobile)
*This was a conceptual project
TEAM: 3 People
DURATION: 2 weeks
TOOLS & METHODS
C & C Analysis
“Scooters face bans and restrictions worldwide…”
Rising concerns surrounding scooter etiquette and their potential endangerment for pedestrians, people with disabilities, and drivers have led to several cities enforcing bans/restrictions of electric scooter usage. Poor user behavior has resulted in their abandonment with several scooters found vandalized or broken, and reckless riding (no helmet, riding on the sidewalks, drunk riding, etc.) has become a notorious source of preventable accidents.
We believe that by encouraging e-scooter riders in a positive way, we can influence user behavior and enhance both user and pedestrian experience, ultimately resulting in a safer riding venture. We will know this is a success when we see more people following scooter etiquette and a reduction of complaints.
Safety concerns present a major barrier to mass adoption.
- Bloomberg CityLab
BEHAVIOR CHANGE MOTIVATION
ADD GAMIFICATION STRATEGY
ENHANCE SAFETY GUIDELINES
Understanding the User
In the discovery phase, I designed a short survey to gain a broad understanding of user attitudes towards e-scooter riding and general awareness of riding laws.
*Participants had to be familiar with or used electric scooters in the past. We had 10 respondents from a publicly posted, virtual survey that was open for 1 week.
Of respondents preferred riding in locations other than bike lanes.
Of respondents had no knowledge of scooter regulations in their city.
This lead us to design ways for users to understand riding laws better and motivate them to abide by them.
My team and I followed up the survey with in-depth interviews to dig deeper into why individuals chose to follow (or not follow) scooter best practices.
Affinity mapping allow use to highlight group issues and themes from user interviews. Identifying pain points and behaviors helped us determine which features to incorporate and how to best change our user's riding behaviors.
Societal pressure can make people change behavior
Will use cars less, but won't revolutionize transportation
Serve a need in the community
Does not wear helmet, but knows they should
Ban scooters if there is no infrastructure
Safety determines where they will ride
Only available in certain urban areas
Pick scooter (brand) based on proximity
Available in areas that don't have the infrastructure
Not familiar with scooter laws
Follows driving laws while using scooters
Common sense as to where to ride
Lack of warnings
Other people's behaviors will man scooters in their city
MOTIVATION FOR USE
Riding for fun with friends
Affordable option compared to ride sharing or driving
Empathizing with Users
Based off the interviews and survey results, we set up two distinct personas that are representative of our user groups. We constantly referred back to them to ensure we were solving issues they would face and specifically designed features that addressed their specific viewpoints and behaviors.
Key User Insights:
People love scooters!
They are referred to as fun, convenient and affordable
Injuries are typically caused by irresponsible behaviors
Most users are unaware of scooter laws
Lack of scooter infrastructure causing safety concerns
Mapping the User's Journey
Fully understanding the user's interaction with Lime was essential in determining how our feature enhancements would optimize the user experience. I created Journey Maps to visualize the highs and lows of each of the user’s touch points. Low points were taken note of for design improvements.
I started with the overarching goal of getting from point A to point B, then broke down the steps involved to accomplish this goal safety.
*click to enlarge
Let's Talk Business
Conducting a multi-tiered feature inventory allowed me to rapidly distinguish what features competitors utilized and how Lime’s tactics compared. This also dictated areas for improvement.
I used this to research to compare features and determine best practices for safety.
Shaping the Rewards and Gamification Strategy
My goal for the comparator analysis was to identify trends and motivators that kept users engaged and have historically altered behavior. Companies were chosen based on their reputation and engagement rates.
Insights helped shape the rewards system and behavior-change motivators that we applied to our designs.
*click to enlarge
Low Fidelity Sketches
We began our design process with anthropomorphic sketches to set a friendly, non-aggressive tone.
Paper user flows were drawn out to create a sensible screen-to-screen flow of how users would interact with the product. These were later transferred to Figma.
Iterations on verbiage were adjusted to determine clear, optimal language that would not discourage riders.
Subtle Hints to Encourage Change
Moving on to high-fidelity prototypes helped us enhance the user’s experience by adding a level of emotion and visual cues to aid in the behavior change challenge.
We intentional placed a helmet notification to highlight their availability before scanning to unlock the scooter.
We also made it easy to identify which scooters had helmets.
I worked on creating the point incentives to gently nudge users toward intended practices, like parking at a specific station. I based my point system off of previously researched competitor models.
This creates a safer environment and enhances convenience for the following rider.
Highlighting mishaps were intended to draw attention to a rider's previously negative behavior and suggest how a user could change their behavior to avoid the “negative message."
We kept the language friendly and conversational to encourage behavior change.
I utilized gamification techniques to help reinforce positive behavior through rewards, acknowledgement of effort, and esteemed leadership badges. My research led me to determine that these three elements would fit our goals best and were the most effective in changing behavior.
Usability testing revealed that testers reacted overwhelmingly well to gentle reminders and the animated, emotion-evoking cartoon.
Enhancing the Safety Features
Clearer visualization, sound notifications, and best route options were utilized to maximize the safety features for riders and pedestrians. We chose multiple methods to alert users and created interactive visuals that users would have to acknowledge prior to riding.
REFLECTIONS & NEXT STEPS
Riding Toward the Future
If our work were to continue, our extended safety goal would be to implement an RFID helmet + sani box throughout the course of a year or so. Ideally, the helmets will be used to unlock and lock the scooters to ensure they are used and returned.
In maintaining the goal of increasing ridership, creating easy habits like auto reminders and push notifications, we can increase engagement through ease-ability. This was designed with the commuter persona in mind.
Removing the barrier of QR scanning is one more step towards faster start-up times and thus a more pleasant user experience. We created mockups for this idea, but did not have the time to test it.
Leveraging some new technology already available on the newest generation of Lime scooters, we want to be able to incorporate other digital features like a map system that shows the safest routes and provides alerts on where and when to turn. We would also like to be able to send alerts for sidewalk riding, no ride zones, and speed caps through this digital frame. This was designed with the casual rider persona in mind.
This was a super fun project to work on with a great team that played to each others strengths. This project showed me that my design process is steadily evolving and adapting to the challenges presented. For the future I would like continue learning what my best process is and follow a slightly more consistent structure.
Since I took the lead on ideation and research, I would like take a more hands-on approach during the design phase in future projects, as well.