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 on their worth 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, Judy Sunwoo and Mauro Semedo, to create a positive behavior changing strategy addition to Lime’s mobile application. I led business research, idea generation, & strategic implementation.
PLATFORM: Feature Addition + Gamification (Mobile)
TEAM: 3 People
DURATION: 2 weeks
*This was a conceptual project
TOOLS & METHODS
C & C Analysis
The Problem Space
“Scooters face bans and restrictions worldwide…” - CNN
Rising concern surrounding scooter etiquette and their endangerment to pedestrians, people with disabilities, and drivers have led several cities and countries to enforce bans and restrictions for electric scooter usage. Poor user behavior has resulted in their abandonment, several scooters have been found vandalized or broken, and reckless riding (no helmet, riding on the sidewalks, drunk riding, etc.) has become a source of preventable accidents.
BEHAVIOR CHANGE MOTIVATION
ADD GAMIFICATION STRATEGY
ENHANCE SAFETY GUIDELINES
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 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
Understanding the User
In the discovery phase, in-depth interviews and a short online survey were utilized to help us gain a broad overview of user’s attitudes toward riding e-scooters and their awareness of the riding laws.
Of respondents preferred riding in locations other than bike lanes.
Of respondents had no knowledge of scooter regulations in their city.
We utilized affinity mapping 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
Lack of warnings
Other people's behaviors will man scooters in their city
Not familiar with scooter laws
Follows driving laws while using scooters
Common sense as to where to ride
Only available in certain urban areas
Pick scooter (brand) based on proximity
Available in areas that don't have the infrastructure
Does not wear helmet, but knows they should
Ban scooters if there is no infrastructure
Safety determines where they will ride
MOTIVATION FOR USE
Riding for fun with friends
Affordable option compared to ride sharing or driving
We set up two personas based on interview and survey insights that are representative of our two target user groups. By incorporating the themes drawn from the affinity mapping, we were able to empathize with two separate user groups and design features that address their specific viewpoints and behaviors.
Key User Insights:
People love scooters!
They are referred to as fun, convenient and affordable
Injuries caused by irresponsible behaviors
Users are unaware of scooter laws
Lack of scooter infrastructure causing safety concerns
Empathizing with The User's Journey
Fully understanding the user's interaction with Lime was essential to determining how our feature enhancements would optimize the user experience. We created Journey Maps to visualize the highs and lows of each of the user’s touch points. Low points were taken note of for future design improvements.
Understanding the Business
Conducting a multi-tiered feature inventory allowed us to rapidly distinguish what features competitors utilized and how Lime’s tactics compared. This also dictated areas for improvement. We used this to research to not only compare features, but to determine best practices for safety.
Shaping the rewards and gamification strategy
The goal of 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. This helped shape our rewards system and behavior-change motivation decisions that we applied to our designs.
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 and these were later transferred to Figma.
Our initial mid-fidelity testing led us to redesign the user flows because some users felt put off by the "negative reprimand." The reprimand was initially placed at the start of the riding process and highlighted the rider's previous, negative riding behavior. We wanted to alert users prior to their next use of the scooter, however, the reprimand was enough to deter them from riding altogether. This was not our intention!
So iterations on verbiage were adjusted to determine clear, optimal language that would not deter riders.
MOVING TO HIGHER FIDELITY
Behavior Change Motivators
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.
Intentional placement of helmet notification to promote state-mandated wearing and to highlight their availability promoted the use of wearing them.
Point incentives gently nudge users toward intended practices, like parking at a specific station. This creates a safer environment and enhances the convenience for the next riders.
Highlighting mishaps helps highlight how user should change their behavior for next time in order to avoid the “negative message." We kept the language friendly and conversational to provide the gentle nudge that encourages behavior change.
Added Gamification Strategy
The use of gamification techniques helped reinforce positive behavior through rewards, acknowledgement of effort, and esteemed leadership badges. Usability testing revealed that testers reacted overwhelmingly well to gentle reminders and the animated, emotion-evoking cartoon.
Enhanced Safety Features
Clearer visualization, sound notifications and best route options were utilized to maximize the safety features for riders and pedestrians.
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.