Evercar was a fleet management company that bridged the gap between carshare and rideshare. What the heck does that mean? Well, the founders of Evercar saw opportunity in the fact that approximately 1/3 of drivers who apply for Uber or Lyft do not have a car that qualifies. What we offered was low cost hourly rentals from our fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles to drivers without qualifying vehicles, or to drivers who simply did not want to use their personal car for rideshare. Our hourly rates - which were as low as $5 - included all vehicle maintenance, fuel/energy, and rideshare insurance.
Design Team of One
I was brought on as the company’s first full-time Designer. My primary responsibility was defining the core user experience and designing interfaces for Evercar's diverse range of digital products. As the only designer at the company, I was to work hand-in-hand with the technical product team to leverage their experience while I was conceptualizing and designing both consumer and internal facing products.
When I started working at Evercar, we had about 20 vehicles and less than 100 members in the Los Angeles metropolitan region. During my time at the company, our membership grew to over 1200, we expanded into the San Francisco Bay Area, and our fleet grew to over 110 vehicles.
Being brought into a rapidly expanding start-up as the only designer is a challenge. Add to that multiple interfaces, two external development teams (on two different continents nonetheless), and extremely limited resources… and suddenly the word ‘challenging’ becomes an understatement. To do my job required meticulous organization, a deep understanding of the products and their various use cases, constant communication with our Head of Product and development teams, and extremely lean usability testing.
Here are some of the products I worked on...
Also known as the “Network Operations Center.” Our in-house telematics dashboard (Responsive Web Application).
Designing an interactive telematics dashboard that is responsive enough to scale from a mobile phone all the way up to a 4K Television screen.
The Evercar App
Consumer facing native applications (Android and iOS) for making reservations, unlocking vehicles, finding charging stations, and much more.
Moving user onboarding entirely into the app. Teaching users how to reserve, find, unlock, and drive an Evercar without any human interaction.
The Driver Acquisition Portal
A consumer facing web application where new members were approved and signed up to drive (Responsive Web Application). I inherited the primary interface designs for this Portal, but the designs needed constant work, largely due to the complexity of our sign up process and the fact that our insurance requirements for new users were almost always in flux. Updating the Portal flow without adding complexity was one of those endless and ongoing projects I worked on at Evercar.
Seamlessly customizing user flows on the backend to provide a tailored experience for each unique user.
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And Now Hear About My Process...
Generally any project would start with a Kickoff meeting where I would meet directly with internal stakeholders and Evercar’s Head of Product. Factors that were discussed included what problem are we trying to solve, what are the requirements, how does this project fit into the company's technical roadmap, and when should incorporate it into a sprint. If the project was especially complex, I would try to host a Design Studio within a week of Kickoff in order to dive deeper into the problem.
Because we were such a lean team and deadlines were always tight, I generally moved from hand drawn wire flows and initial wireframes directly to medium fidelity wires in Sketch App. This isn’t necessarily an ideal design workflow, but it was what we found most efficient for our team at the time. I sat directly next to Evercar’s Head of Product, and would solicit his opinion constantly throughout my entire design process. This made the whole operation move quickly while making sure that technical requirements were always in check.
Because our users needs were so diverse, my personas acted almost as a backbone to the majority of my design decisions. I made sure to have them printed out and easy to access on my desk at all times, as well as prominently displayed in Design Studios and Kickoff Meetings. I created my personas after months of research using data from Google Analytics, in-person and over the phone interviews with members, usability testing, and consults with Evercar's Customer Operation team who manned the phones.
Garnering Feedback from Stakeholders & Users
After I had received feedback from the internal stakeholders on key medium fidelity screens, I would start working on file organization and mocking up different UI states; including error states and key interactions. For larger projects I would then create a clickable prototype using Invision and conduct usability testing with of our members. For usability testing I generally kept the test pool between 5-7 users. I would create a script so that all users would be presented with the same test even if they came in on different days. I used Trello to track responses, observations, and inferences. I really enjoy usability testing, and I even did a Lunch & Learn to the entire company about my process and findings. Check it out here.
After final iterations and approvals from internal stakeholders I would export slices (visual assets) and send them along with applicable wireflows and prototypes to our development team. I design in Sketch in 1x so exporting slices is pretty easy. I also upload all of my Sketch docs to Zeplin to make sure that spacing, fonts, and hexadecimal codes are all understood by development.