Objective: VW aimed to transform technology within their enterprise. They established a digital labs in Berlin as an incubator for enabling lean mobile products that strengthened their community and brand.
One of the many projects initiated here was an app to help users find street parking easier.
- 6-8 weeks Development
Team + My Role:
- 1-2 Product Designers (me)
- 2 Product Manager
- 4-6 Developers
I joined the VW Berlin office several weeks after implementation had already kicked off. I overlapped and took over for a designer that rolled off the project.
User Research Sprint
A team of developers were already busy working on stories for the backend and various API integrations. This gave me some space to ramp up on the project and do any user research necessary in parallel to development.
A previous team had conducted user interviews and identified a persona several months before. User goals can change as fast as technology changes so conducting user interviews in conjunction with usability tests is necessary for updating the persona.
Working with a recruiter, we invited 5 participants to the Berlin office to be interviewed in person. Interviews were 1 hour long with the first part focusing on open ethnographic questions around current behavior and user goals. This ensured that I was validating against the current persona and could update any inconsistencies. The second part was a direct usability test of mockups from the previous designer.
Some challenges to note were the language. Language at some level was a barrier. We asked our recruiter to screen for bilingual English/German speaking individuals. However, some things would inevitably be lost in translation or hard to describe given limitations.
After the interviews were conducted, we synthesized the findings noting patterns/user pain points and updated the persona.
Wants to park right at destination Owns an OB Doggle
- Time consuming to find parking
- Concerned with being on time
- Drives throughout the day to meet with clients
Cares about of price of street parking Okay with parking in a parking garage
- Often forgets where they parked
- Doesn’t mind walking within a couple blocks
- Okay with finding parking before reaching destination
- Expects navigation
- Often gets parking tickets
With new features in mind pulled from the most recent usability/user interview sessions, I worked with the PM to create a value prop. A value prop is great for evaluating and prioritizing features and goals that are the most feasible to build and provide the biggest user value.
Armed with an updated persona and a clear goal in mind, I iterated on the previous mock ups focusing on the features that served the user the most for MVP. We had a tight deadline for the first release and still had to pass internal safety and regulations approval.
Researching various integrations, the developers uncovered many technological roadblocks to some features we were hopeful about. Being an agile team and understand the limitations of technology and time, we decided to scale back and reprioritize. I continuously tested and iterated on features in two week sprints. Working side-by-side with the developers, I was also on hand to answer any questions related to design and interaction.
We successfully shipped the 1st build to the iTunes store within eight weeks from when I joined the project. This also marked the end of my engagement. The team hired a new Berlin-based designer to continue with the project. We had an overlap of a couple weeks where I successfully onboarded and enabled her on our current process.