Responsive Web App
Reduce overhead for carpooling student athletes
We developed personas for these stakeholder groups, which would later inform our design process:
By analyzing these interviews through affinity diagraming, we generated several key insights:
Some of the lowest points in parents' emotional journeys involve the time commitment of getting their kids to practices and games.
Conversely, coaches are most frustrated with time spent on planning and logistics, communication with parents, and player absence.
By speed-dating our storyboards, we identified a common need among parents and coaches: To spend less time getting their kids to practice and games.
We decided that a responsive web app would best meet this need by improving the existing carpool network. Carpooling already reduced parents' drive times and fostered community. Yet, from our research, we knew that even with carpools, parents still struggled with the time commitment of their children's sports.
We identified opportunities in three areas:
We implemented a mobile-first approach, since we knew a majority of our key interactions would take place on the phone.
In this step, our goal was to realize our vision onto a whiteboard so that we were all on the same page before we proceeded to the low-fi prototyping stage.
We were able to identify several key screens we needed to build next, such as:
Reconvening, we looked at our different prototypes and selected screens that best conveyed the mental model parents have about carpooling for sports practices.
We decided to focus our home screen on an event-based model rather than a request-based model. Each upcoming practice, game, or other team event will be an “event card” on the home screen. Each card will have a status (“matched”, “pending”, “driving”, etc.) and parents can tap the card to see more details.
This led us to three natural flows from each event card:
At this stage, we each built a screen in high fidelity in our individual design styles.
We arrived at this style guide for the rest of our app.
We received feedback that the UI and colors felt hectic and overloaded. We also received feedback that the event name (“Soccer practice”) felt more emphasized than it needed to be, and that the actual useful information (i.e. event statuses) felt secondary. Next, we focused on reducing the amount of data presented and emphasizing event statuses.
The following GIFs showcase our final design solution. Our main focus in these prototypes is to have a simplified, straightforward interface.
Users can tap a card for which there is no ride arranged to either offer a ride or request a ride.
Need met: Parents act as both drivers and ride-requesters, and our UI needs to serve both those needs.
The ride requesting flow allows parents to specify pickup location, number of seats, type of trip, and driver selection.
Tapping on the header shows the driver leaderboard, which displays token counts for parents on your team.
Need met: The token system is an in-app currency to encourage equal contribution to carpooling.
Giving rides earns tokens, and requesting rides costs tokens. Tokens help parents avoid awkward conversations by providing automatic indirect feedback to under-contributing parents.
Tapping on an active event-details page shows the driver’s route status and a live tracking dot for the ride. There are also affordances to contact the driver.
Need met: Children’s safety is a primary concern with this platform, and the live tracking and driver contact give parents peace of mind.
Tapping on an event that you’re driving for shows pickup information, incoming ride requests, and turn-by-turn navigation.
Need met: Parent drivers don’t need to leave the application to navigate to their pickups. They can respond to incoming requests from within the app.
Parents will be given a link by their coach to join their team’s Kidspool community. Parents create an account, fill in their contact information, and most importantly, fill in their driving availability (bottom-right in the image).
Presenting this in the onboarding also establishes a precedent that parents are all expected to drive in addition to requesting rides.
Since safety is a primary concern for parents, we take advantage of the bigger screen size to give parents a more comprehensive map. Yet the design is still consistent with the user interactions and elements of the mobile application to ensure learnability.
This image shows our development across our hi-fi prototypes:
We learned a great deal about youth sports and its positive impact on the Pittsburgh community. Based on the positive feedback our design received, we believe that it has real potential to improve carpooling and, by extension, youth sports in real world settings.