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PROJECT

Understanding Parking Signs with EasyPark

EasyPark Logo.png

UX Strategy

Research

Prototypes

Testing

About EasyPark

EasyPark is an award-winning app that has been making parking easier for drivers and helping them save time and money.

EasyPark focuses on technology that improves the urban life experience and helps cities balance parking supply and demand. They also help cities become more sustainable by eliminating congestion, increasing efficiency, and enabling a smooth experience for electric vehicles.

Intro

Imagine you’re sitting in the car on your way to an important appointment and you are stressed and can’t find a parking lot. After a few blocks, you finally find an empty spot, and then you’re met with this sign.

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Opportunity

The case involved researching the challenges people face when parking, especially under stress. By understanding these issues, we could develop and prioritize solutions through testing and determine their value.

Teamwork and my role

The team consisted of me and 6 UX Designers.

Felicia Holmlund, Michael Bengtsson, Emma Bergström, Sabina Kasper,

Petter Byrstedt, Amin Amini.

I worked with my team to conduct research early in the project, gathering and analyzing material and insights to prioritize solutions that would address the problem at hand. I helped assemble personas and create a Value Proposition Canvas to map out the value our product would bring to our users. We also focused on linking our solution with EasyPark's existing service to stay ahead of competitors.

Throughout the design process, I emphasized the importance of structure and encouraged our team to keep a journal in Trello to track our progress and decision-making. I also created a flowchart to prioritize features for our MVP and ensure that the service met user expectations.

Process

We decided to start our process by researching and looking for articles regarding parking and what kind of issues people have when parking a vehicle. 7 interviews were conducted where we wanted to hear from our target group how they experience parking both in a big city and the countryside.

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We started with research

We began by researching and analyzing our target group: car drivers. We found that many people have difficulty understanding complicated parking signs. In some cases, parking signs can almost look the same but aren’t. In other cases, people are stressed that they misunderstand this information on the sign and get a ticket.

1.5 million people in Sweden got a ticket in 2017 according to the Swedish Transport Agency.

This resulted in almost 1 billion SEK in parking tickets.

The Swedish Transport Agency handled over 200 000 payment reminders.

Then we did some interviews

Immediately after researching parking issues, we felt the need to interview our target group and hear what they have to say. 7 interviews were conducted, and we focused on the steps before, ongoing, and after parking a car. This lets us understand the behaviors, attitudes, challenges, and opportunities that car drivers experience.

 

We asked questions such as:

  • How did you park last time?

  • How do you go about understanding how to park?

  • Which challenges do you experience when you park a car?

  • How do you act when you don’t understand the parking information?

 

We analyzed interviews to group insights into stages before, during, and after parking.

This helped us discover where the problem occurs and ideate a solution. Themes of stress, difficulty finding a spot, and confusion led to creating behavior-based personas focusing on motives, needs, problems, and behaviors.

Insights

Complicated parking signs

are difficult to understand, causing uncertainty and confusion.

Google

is often used as a tool to decipher parking signs,

and sometimes people need to call someone with more experience to understand the sign.

People choose to risk

parking without fully understanding the rules, hoping to avoid getting a ticket.

What about behavior types?

We chose to focus on behavior types rather than your usual personas because we thought a user might be one or several behavior types depending on their situation. So instead of putting them into a fixed slot, we give them the freedom of choosing which behavior type they relate to based on the situation.

 

We landed in 5 types:

  • Accurate

  • Uncertain

  • Stressed

  • Uninvolved

  • Knowledgeable

The ones who don't really care and the ones who are knowledgeable were deprioritized as they weren’t relevant to our problem and would probably not be using our solution.

This of course would have to be tested and researched again in the future.

The Accurate Behavior
The uncertain behavior
The stressed behavior

Business Model Canvas = Good idea?

At this stage, we believed that it would be a great idea to create a business model canvas to map out the different parts that build up the business. This business model canvas is more of a collection of hypotheses that we had to test and iterate in our project. The main objective of this project was to create a solution to solve the issue people have understanding complicated parking signs and this solution would be free – adding value to EasyPark on the market by making it possible for people to use their service even outside of their parking, thus expanding their user reach.

Business Model Canvas

How did Value Proposition Canvas help us?

We created a VPC to map out our user's pain points, gains, and tasks when parking a car. By focusing on the Customer Profile, we shaped a solution that minimizes their pains, increases their gains, and helps them succeed. Workshops prioritized ideas based on how much they help our users and how complex the solutions are, keeping it at an MVP level to validate our ideas early in the process.

Pains

Frustration

Stress

Time demand

Gains

Safety

Independence

Relief

Value Proposition Canvas

Our main solutions

Scan to understand

Scan parking signs and be provided simple information​

Reminders

Provide reminders of important information

Useful Visuals

Visuals to help enhance understanding of parking rules

Suggestions

Of nearby parking spots for faster finding

Error Prevention

Direct feedback and error prevention,

such as countdowns on allowed parking time

Easy Navigation

Using the map to easy navigate from and to parking

Implementing these solutions into an existing service felt natural.

We wanted to minimize the number of tools our target group uses.

Collecting it into 1 single app would be ideal.

Flowchart helped us a lot!

Using a flowchart, we determined how our solution fits into EasyPark's existing service and identified when users would encounter it. The early flowchart established how users might encounter and solve parking problems, while advanced flowcharts addressed different user scenarios and how our feature could support them within the service.

Flowchart

What prototypes did we create?

  • We focused on making the feature visible and easy to understand.

  • We spent a lot of time on the functionality of scanning parking signs and displaying information.

  • We created simple prototypes to test the fundamental idea.

  • Final prototype is available via Figma-link.

Note: Prototypes are in Swedish, if there’s something you don’t understand; let me know.

Early version of scanning
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Did we even test it?

After performing qualitative testing on these prototypes, we learned that:

  • The scanning icon was not visible enough and our users could not understand what it meant.

  • Even more simplified information was requested to allow for better understanding.

  • It was difficult to understand which parking spot the user is located at.

  • The detailed parking information drag-up should be more visible.

After reviewing insights, a final iteration of the prototype was to be made.

Final prototype

We went back to the beginning to look at the problems we were trying to solve with this parking sign feature.

What we wanted to solve and how we wanted to solve it:​

  • Unclear and inconsistent information – simple consistent information that prevents misunderstanding and stress.

  • Many different channels for help – all features you need, collected in a single app.

  • Difficult to understand parking rules under stress – Automatic AI that helps you understand what a parking sign means.

Press button to open prototype in a new window.

Future of EasyPark and next steps

EasyPark started by simplifying parking but found other areas to improve the user experience. The app should support drivers beyond parking with a seamless trip planning and navigation feature. This could make EasyPark a global app for all car drivers, enhancing the brand beyond a mere parking service.

To meet user expectations, I'd work closely with the target audience to understand their ideal trip and conduct further user tests. EasyPark should also prioritize accessibility for all users in their design.

Long-term, EasyPark could create a comprehensive database of parking rules for many lots and utilize AI to show users if they can park. Eventually, scanning may not be necessary as all parking rules would be digitized, and users could easily check rules by opening the EasyPark app.

Lessons learned

  • Laying out a strategy and prioritizing is crucial in team projects

  • Testing solutions early on can help identify potential errors

  • Iterative testing and development can help create a user-friendly product

  • Gathering user feedback is essential for UX Designers to create effective solutions

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