Uptown Waterloo or Downtown Kitchener has many small shops and places to eat without immediate parking spots in front of them. Drivers are usually not sure about the closest parking spots until they are there and trying to find parking spaces are rather difficult and frustrating.
How might we increase drivers' efficiency by finding parking spaces?
This project was created for Waterloo Codefest, a 36-hour hackathon hosted by City of Waterloo. The challenge presented was to use open data and their APIs to solve problems around the City of Waterloo.
Research & Discovery
— User Research
I started the hackathon off with surveying people at the event such as mentors and asking what the common problem they had in the City of Waterloo. Many had talked about finding parking spaces around the city. Through user interviews, many people would like to have known what kinds of parking is close to the destination they are going to and the parking lot fee. In addition, they would like to know certain amenities that would help the user in that parking lot.
— User Journey Map
Based on this problem, we mapped out the user journey of a driver going to a restaurant in Uptown Waterloo and all the pain points and frustrations they had. This will allow for our next step which is to find opportunities for a solution.
— Industry Scan
The first research I did was the app by City of Waterloo: PingStreet. I foud the app had information about overnight parking however, there was no further details about local parking lots, its locations, and accessibility. I’ve also done an industry scan and found that there are some parking apps and listed the below for inspiration.
We decided to create for mobile as from the user journey, the user is often found in the car looking for their directions to their destination or for parking spots. From the primary research completed and analyzed, we decided to create a parking app that would show the user the location, prices, and accessibilities in relation to their current driving location or their chosen destination.
— Site Map
I created a sitemap of the app structure. I had condensed the navigation to have fewer and more direct options which allow the user (often the driver) to digest the content better.
Site Map of ParkIt
Based on the user journey map, I sketched out wireframes of the mobile app that would solve the problem in the most simple way with the necessary information from the user and then added other important features that would enhance the user’s experience. Then, I created rough wireframes on Balsamic and then exported an interactive pdf similar to a prototype.
Wireframes created on Balsamiq
— Usability Testing
I completed a few user tests on mentors or sponsors at the event to see the usability of our wireframes, observe their first impressions and analyze their reactions on every decision they make.
From the feedback of the usability test, I revised some of the interactions with the screens and changed some of the wordings because they might not have made sense.
— Iteration 2 + Prototype
From all the feedback received, I incorporated the recommendations and designed high fidelity wireframes on Sketch and a prototype on Invision.
Wireframes created on Sketch