I’m Sarah, a Designer, Photographer and Musicianer, currently working as a Social Innovation Designer at The Big Idea, a creative programme empowering the next generation to tackle the biggest problems society is facing. 

With a 1st class honours in (MA) UX and Interaction Design and self-taught in Transition Design, I’m passionate about using these skills to have a meaningful impact on people’s lives. 

Got any questions or want to chat? Drop me a line.

Want to see my experience? Check it out.

In other news, I recently launched my debut album and research project ‘The Housekeepers’ with musician Doireann Glackin. Have a listen and then go empty your pockets!











The Opportunity:
Design a booking experience that meets both user and business needs.

The Outcome:
Prototyped a quick and easy booking experience, with features that put safety at the heart of every RideShair.


Sector: 
Travel

My Role:
UX Designer, Interaction Designer, UI Designer.

When:
2019-2020


Background:
RideShair is a white-label, digital platform that enables airline passengers to share taxis to and from the airport. As a pre-paid and pre-booked service, it aims to provide a cheaper, faster, reliable and more sustainable mode of travel.

RideShair is an early stage Irish start-up. I worked with them on designing their booking experience. 







Research Techniques:
User Survey, User Interviews, Personas, Customer Journey Map, Competitive Benchmarking & Usability Testing.


While I worked with RideShair specifically on their booking experience, I considered the entire user journey. Taking this holistic perspective enabled me to uncover potential pain points at other stages of the journey, that could be addressed at the time of booking.






User Survey
I conducted an online survey with 26 participants that represented the target audience: Solo travellers, business travellers, and budget holiday makers. It concentrated on understanding people’s motivations towards ridesharing and identifying potential pain points.

Key Findings

38% had previously shared a ride with someone they didn’t know using apps such as Uber and Lyft.
65% had not previously shared a taxi with someone
from their flight.

80% would consider sharing a taxi with someone from their flight.
People arrange their transport to & from the airport at different stages. The most common were: ‘when booking flights’, ‘a few weeks in advance’, ‘within a week of departure’, ‘the day before’, ‘last minute’ and ‘in situ’.

For those who had previously shared a taxi with someone from their flight, these a the following issues they had encountered: ‘being overcharged’, ‘miscommunication’, ‘a language barrier’, ‘not feeling safe’ and ‘not getting dropped of at the exact destination’.

Reduced fare’ was the most common reason why people would choose to rideshare. Other notable reasons were convenience, safety and organisation.




User Interviews


I conducted 5 in depth interviews that were centred around understanding people’s needs and goals during both the booking and the ridesharing experience.

Key Findings

Booking experience
“When booking, I’d want to see both shared price and typical price.”

“I would want to view the route and how long it will take.”


“I’d like to see photographs, names and ratings of the drivers and other passengers... for safety reasons”

“it would potentially be a great way to meet people when travelling alone. I’d like to book into a taxi with other travellers my own age.


Ridesharing Experience:

“I would need to feel safe.”

“I would like to see a map of the route in real time so I know I’m not being taken astray.”


“Airports can be stressful and hard to navigate so I would need to know where exactly to meet the driver. A map might be helpful. Or a way to contact the driver.”


“I shared before and it was unreliable and there was no-one to ask for help or complain to”

“If I was delayed would the taxi wait for me? What if another passenger was delayed, I wouldn’t want to wait?”




Personas








Competitive Benchmarking





Customer Journey Map





User Research Analysis and Design Opportunities

1. Design for safety


A safe RideShairing experience is paramount to success. A number of features that could improve safety before the ride has even begun, were identified.1. Women’s only ridesharing groups 2. Driver ratings
3. Choose driver’s language
4. View driver’s name & vehicle registration


2. Design an efficient booking experience


An incredibly fast booking experience is required so RideShair can compete with the likes of UBER.
1. Eliminate unnecessary steps.
2. Minimal UI reducing cognitive load.
3. Search by Saved Places.
4. Recommended taxi groups (cheapest, fastest, women’s only, eco-friendly).
5. Saved cards and control over payment method.



3. Design an efficient ridesharing experience

People traveling are often time sensitive and anxious and unfamiliar airports can be difficult to navigate. A number of features that could ensure pick-ups are fast, effortless and stress free, were identified.
1. Checked baggage determines taxi groups.
2. Save booking and driver details.
3. Message the driver post-book.




Prototyping The Booking Experience


I prototyped the booking experience at low- theough medium- to high-fidelity according to prior research findings, identified design opportunities and usability testing results. Defining the minimal number of steps necessary to complete a booking was the critical first step. 


Task Flow Diagram





Paper Prototype (within Ryanair)






Medium-Fidelity Prototype (within Ryanair)




Usability Testing Insights



Successes:
- Checked baggage is a good idea.
- Enjoyed CTAs ‘LET’s GO’ & ‘Welcome Aboard’ & personalised content. - Liked the idea of recommended groups. - Easy to nagivage back to desired location. - System status is clear throughout.

Room for improvement: 
- Flight details too small.
- Information overload on the groups page.
- Female only icon does not stand out enough.
- Not clear that you can click the Filters.
- ‘Create new group’ button is unclear.
- ‘Create new group’ placement makes it look as if it’s the primary action.
- Create group was time consuming and choosing times was confusing.
- ‘Time before taxi cut-off’ is confusing.
- Doesn’t like the idea of uploading passport. - Would like more group recommendations.
- Would like to see an image of the driver & vehicle. - Suggested ‘saved places’ feature on home page.
- Suggested the ability to share flight details with contacts.



High-Fidelity Prototype 


Testing uncovered usability problems, particularly cognitive overload, accessibility issues and visual
hierarchy issues. 


During the next iteration I paid much attention to 3 guiding principles: ‘Less is more’, ‘design for legibility and readability’ and ‘match users mental models’.  




Medium-Fidelity Prototype
High-Fidelity Prototype



Medium-Fidelity Prototype
High-Fidelity Prototype



Medium-Fidelity Prototype

High-Fidelity Prototype




Usability Testing Insights


Successes:
On average users were able to complete tasks 40 seconds faster using the high-fidelity prototype. These were some other things they said:
- The taxi group page is very clean. 
- Navigation and completing goals is easy.
- Image of the destination adds a sense of excitement.
- Liked the swiping interaction on groups and cards.
- Vehicle registration and in-built messaging is handy.


Room for improvement:
- Input for ‘pick up’ and ‘destination’ could be clearer.
- Should ‘female only’ be renamed as ‘women's only’?
- Doesn’t like having to select gender.
- Suggested ‘enable finger login’ for speed.