Bird Design Challenge
Feb 27 – Mar 2 2019
How can we encourage Bird riders to park well? How can we increase rider loyalty?
Research and discover pain points
Set project goals and areas of focus
Create wireframes and flows
Design high fidelity mocks
Test, iterate and make recommendations
Call out further improvements
I spoke with five people who use electric scooters in Los Angeles, CA (18 to 35-year-olds riding between once a month to several times a week) to gather insights on pain points with Bird and/or electric scooters in general. Popular feedback focused around three main areas:
There are many experiences with scooter issues (e.g. faulty brakes, weak throttle), disrupting the “grab-and-go” experience.
Scooters left in undesignated places (e.g. middle of sidewalks, in front of entrance ways) often result in feelings of frustration or disappointment, resulting in negative brand association.
There is no loyalty to a specific brand because there aren’t enough differentiated perks to trump their need for the closest scooter to accomplish their immediate goals, getting from Point A to Point B.
I also checked out a few competitor apps to see how they are tackling similar problems with dockless scooters.
Improving existing pain points to optimize the overall user experience, emphasizing the environmental positives of scooter ridership to echo a positive brand association, and leveraging a loyalty system with differentiated perks can all work to help increase rider loyalty with Bird.
Spotlight 1: Reporting an Issue
How can we make the reporting flow easier for users? If we make the process a little quicker and also reward users with a better scooter option afterwards, we could see more issues reported.
Note that there is a “Skip” option if the Bird in question has no QR code or ID available. If that is the case, the “What Bird?” section would be updated with a location or address field (as shown in the breakdown above).
By displaying the camera/scan page right after a user has selected “Report a Bird” it avoids the extra tap that is currently required by users (when they have to select “Tap to Scan or Enter ID”).
A great user experience also tries to anticipate and meet a user’s current needs. If a ride was interrupted with the need to fill out a report instead, users should be paired with a nearby bird with no known issues after submitting the report.
Spotlight 2: Designated Scooter Zones
Bird currently indicates No Ride Zones on the map in red. It may also be helpful to designate specific Scooter Zones (available in high traffic areas such as college campuses and beach boardwalks) where users are encouraged to park scooters in designated locations. Rewarding this behavior with future free rides, tracked by a digital punch card, may help avoid frequent parking issues in the most public and trafficked areas. Giving users the freedom to pick up or park anywhere protects the freedom of a dockless scooter, the only tradeoff will be missing out on great benefits.
If users pick up or park a Bird in a Scooter Zone ten times in a given month, they could earn a free ride (e.g. in dollar credits).
Spotlight 3: Perks & Differentiation
A loyalty program can be powerful if the perks are desirable and differentiated enough. Most of the users I interviewed depend on dockless scooters on a case by case basis such as running errands, meeting friends at a designated location, or riding with friends as an activity. They desire specific perks (e.g. free reservations, discounted rides) that are equally enjoyed on a case by case basis.
Additionally, tracking and visualizing long-term impact can be equally compelling. Keeping track of total rides taken and greenhouse gas emissions saved highlight Bird’s goal to help users access affordable but also environmentally friendly transportation. This positive association aligns users with Bird’s mission and promotes continued environmentally focused user behavior.
Additional Improvements for Consideration
LEVELING UP WITH POINTS?
Above, I recommended a leveling system that is action-based (a combination of the number of rides and environmental impact). However, I wonder what a points system could look like.
Incorporating a points system however yields new considerations, namely:
Do points expire?
Is it confusing to track and follow two forms of balances (points and $ credit)?
Can points be used to purchase $ credit?
Can certain actions earn extra points (e.g. reading Safety rules, riding X times in a given week, inviting friends to the Bird app)?
There needs to be deeper research and experimentation.
Users who rely on dockless scooters for daily transportation may desire a subscription model, which could be an option offered to power users. It is an interesting option to explore, but it needs further research around how people feel about paying up front for future rides.
HIGHLIGHT PARKING COURTESY AS A PART OF SAFETY/RULES
Currently, the “How to Ride” tab combines how to use the different parts of Bird (e.g. throttle, foot placement, brakes) with the rules of Bird (e.g. where to ride, how to park, wear a helmet). The “Safety” tab also iterates the rules of Bird, but in an embedded webpage.
Although “How to Ride” makes absolute sense in that each page is following the end-to-end flow or journey of a rider, this flow can be presented comprehensively during the onboarding experience, with a slightly adjusted version when revisited in the future. By removing the rules of Bird (pages 2, 5, 7, and 9 – which already correlate to the information shown when tapped on the “Safety” tab) and making the “Safety” tab experience consistent and native to the app, both tabs would have equal importance and priority.