This is my grad project from 2012. The reason I wanted keep this piece in my portfolio is this is what got me into design in the first place, generating positive impact in the world with the value my designs create. Below are the exact same descriptions from 4 years ago. Yet with real world impact from global warming affecting our daily lives, I strongly believe the cause is becoming more important than ever.
Since then, one of the most important realizations I had was not on the designs, but on the business aspects of how to take an idea and turn it into a real business. Witnessing the development of both Uber and Lyft right before my eyes, and seeing them entering the carpooling space, it made me realize you must first build the inventory of rides available, before converting the rides into carpools.
Another problem to solve is the issue of trust and communication. A lot of times, carpooling even with friends can be unreliable. Communication is key here. One idea I had recently is pivoting the service into a messaging add on, allowing communication to be at the forefront, while the carpooling service being the add-on experience.
Sustainability has always been a big passion of mine, and for my graduate project, I wanted to tackle the problem of successfully raising people’s awareness in environmental and sustainability issues. During the process, I was able to narrow down the idea and focus on a single issue, which is how to get people to travel in a more sustainable manner. Carpooling became the perfect alternative to driving or using public transit.
Pain points that users must face with existing carpooling services:
- Too big of a hassle
I was able to solve those problems by taking advantage of the latest technologies offered on current mobile devices. This project became a true reflection of all my ideals; simplicity, building a product or service that serves a single purpose; feature driven by need, always discover the need and points of pain, then use specific feature to solve them; technology and design, the combination of the latest technology with well designed user experience.