Smart Car Parking App | UX Case Study | Meesho Assignment

Overview

This documentation is the walkthrough of all my design processes, design decisions, user flows, wireframes, and prototype for a 42-hour design task given by Meesho as a part of the product Designer — I hiring process.

Problem Statement

We are launching fully automated car parking centers in certain cities for tourists and locals. The centers are multistorey, and each floor has multiple parking spaces. People are required to book parking space as per their requirements and pay the charge on an hourly basis.

We would require an app to help people explore, decide, and book parking space and use them for the booked time. Since it’s a fully automated system, consider that the whole experience is technology-driven without any human intervention.

Design wireframes & flows covering the following phases in a user journey:

  • Discovery
  • Decision
  • Booking

Understanding the problem

We need to build a mobile app to help people explore, decide, and book parking space and use them for the booked time.

Scenario

  • We are launching car parking centers in certain cities, for tourists and locals
  • Centers are multistorey, and each floor has multiple parking spaces.
  • Fully automated systems, i.e no human intervention
  • People should be able to book parking space as per requirements
  • Charge for parking would be paid on an hourly basis

Users and customers

In order to better understand and narrow down on a TG for this problem, we can classify users on the basis of:

  • Primary basis
  1. Car owners who drive their own car (or rented — lesser use case)
  2. Car drivers who work as drivers for respective car owners
  3. Cab drivers who may or may not be owners of the cars as well
  • Frequency
  1. Lowest Frequency — Tourists, Travellers
  2. Medium Frequency — Irregular locals
  3. High Frequency — regular locals, job professionals, workers

Potential TG

  • Tier 1 cities
  • Age group: 18–45 years
  • Both professional (work) and recreational (malls, theatres etc) use case
  • Majorly local users <add why not travelers)

Primary research approach

The purpose of this research was to understand + validate user needs and pain points. This would help make necessary assumptions and prioritize user needs.

I spoke to 4 active car users in tier 1 cities for this.

What was I looking for?

  • Frequency of external car parking usage
  • Understanding factors which a user considers when looking for a parking spot
  • Their experience at organized parking centres in current world

Rough questionnaire which I followed

  • How frequently do you use your car? For what purposes?
  • Do you think about parking before leaving itself? How many times do you use an external parking space? (eg: empty space on a nearby road, paid parking grounds etc)
  • Can you describe an organized parking experience you recently went though? (eg: at the airport or at a mall)
  • What factors do you consider when trying to decide on a spot to park your car?

Insights from research

Basic parking experience

  1. The person drives to the destination place.
  2. If the place has its own parking, then goes there. If not, then search for a nearby parking area to park their car.
  3. Before entering the area, needs to collect a parking ticket issued by the watchman or someone for their car.
  4. Then finds a decent parking spot inside the parking area to park their car safely.
  5. Then after when they need to take out their car, they need to search for the spot where they parked their car.
  6. If the nearby cars arent parked in an ordered manner than faces issue taking it out.
  7. At last, goes by the exit door, hand back ticket and exit.

Insights and pain points

  • Not all places have dedicated parking spaces (eg: when visiting local eateries).
  • In such scenarios (above point), it can be time taking to identify a secure parking spot
  • In organized parking spaces (eg: malls, theatres) it can be difficult to figure out an empty parking spot on busy days (weekends, holidays etc)
  • In organized parking spaces, once the user has parked the car, it can be difficult to navigate back to and remember the parking area while exiting.
  • On busy days, there is a lot of chaos sometimes when multiple drivers end up in same lane looking for an empty parking spot
  • There’s an anxiety of losing the parking ticket (to be presented at exit) issued at the time of parking.
  • Factors affecting decision making for choosing a parking spot
  • Should be secure
  • Not too far away from destination

User Persona

  • Bharat Nittala (age — 24 years)
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • Works at Slice as Product Manager
  • Owns his own car and drives himself
  • Travels to the office daily by car. Since the office doesn’t have a dedicated parking space, he parks it on a nearby road.
  • Often goes to malls, theatres, restaurants etc for recreation during the weekends

Ideation

Before ideating on potential solutions, I wanted to list down a few assumptions and narrow down on the pain points to prioritize.

Assumptions

Some of the assumptions are taken considering the time constraint for assignment, while others are to narrow down on the problem

  • There are sufficient centers to show in a particular area
  • All centers are uniform in security and naming of slots
  • Navigation within parking center would be solved for by design of centers, i.e there won’t be a direction map for reaching a slot within a particular center in app
  • Not solving for instant booking, based on my understanding of the problem statement

Key pain points and challenges to solve for

  • Discovery of secure parking centers nearby destination
  • Seamless entry and exit experience at the center
  • Transparency in parking centres and spaces.

User Flow

App User Flow (both first time users and existing ones)

This is the brief user journey on the app prioritizing the needs and simplifying the app experience for all.

The user flow is divided into 5 phases:

  • Discovery of parking centres
  • Decision of parking centre
  • Booking of parking slot in the centre
  • Parking the car (includes QR scanning, parking, and returning back)
  • Payment and Exit

Top 3 phases are necessarily to be solved via the app.

Information Architecture

Information architecture of the 3 phases

Wireframes

Wireframes (sketches) based on the app flow and IA

App Screens

Discovery phase based app screens

The app name is ParkIt (as the 1st screen is depicting).

The second screen is the home screen. The user lands here after onboarding or when they opens up the app after. When we think of discovery of a place or where to find some place, we use google maps. Taking this fact as a user friendly point, designed the screen with a map and a search bar, provided with some nearby parking suggestion cards at the bottom.

Note : The early iteration of home screen was bulky as I put some irrelevant information in the cards. The “Book Slot” CTA was big enough and was very attention seeker. Took better decisions and came up with cool iteration.

Decision making and Booking phase based app screens

The 2nd screen is the main screen of the app as it allows user to book a parking space for a particular duration.

In the 1st iteration, instead of asking for just arriving time from the user, I was specifically asking for entry and exit time. Then realised that this would create an anxiety state in user if couldn't follow their duration time.

A design thought : After the successfull booking, when the user scans the QR to enter but due to low brightness of the phone (many people these days do this) couldnt scan then an error prompt asking to increase brightness could be shown.

Future Scopes

Due to the time constraints for the assignment, there were a couple of things which I wanted to cover but could not.

- Subscription based service

For more frequent and regular use cases for parking like going to the office, we could have a subscription based model where the user pays an amount upfront and can reserve a spot for relevant dates and time.

Eg: 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM on all weekdays

Implementation could be this way, there would be some subscription plans for a certain parking centre. If the user is regular there, then they may take the subscription which will be helpful as they should not book a slot everyday but an automated slot is given to them before handed.

Thank You

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Vaibhav Khandelwal

Vaibhav Khandelwal

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I am a self taught product designer from IIT Roorkee. Enjoy searching and designing solutions for real problems.