HELPING HANDS


CASE STUDY

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

This project was created for a UX class design challenge: a mobile app prototype that supports a neighborhood favor and ride-sharing exchange platform, which our team named Helping Hands.

UX CHALLENGES

Combining two mental models might be confusing for some users. Mitigation of potential user to user conflict, as observed in other platforms such as NextDoor.

ROLE

Research, UX design

PARTNERS

Nate Lubben, Lauren Hightower, Robert Solis, Yunfan Li


PROCESS

This section focuses on some of my personal contributions to the team project. With The Future of Mobility as a starting point, our team began by conducting individual research.

TRANSPORTATION AUTOETHNOGRAPHY

I performed an autoethnography that tracked my usage of different transportation methods over the course of one week, including: Walk, Bicycle, Automobile, Bird Scooter, Lyft Rideshare, City Bus, City Light Rail.

Complete autoethnography: PDF

Autoethnography: data organization

CONTEXTUAL INTERVIEWS

Based on our first round of research we developed a “what if” question: How can community members engage in “Last Mile” mobility by using a time bank or barter system? We chose two groups when we set out to conduct contextual interviews: people engaging in “last mile” transportation, and members of co-op organizations. My focus was on the former, while the research location was a local Farmer’s Market.

Complete contextual Interview: PDF

Contextual Interviews: looking for interview opportunities

USER FLOWS

Two other design artifacts I created were a diagram for user flows and a service blueprint. Diagramming the user flows helped us to consolidate multiple app screens into one central hub (first screen shown in the SOLUTION section, below).

User Flow Diagram

SERVICE BLUEPRINT

Service Blueprint


REVISED “WHAT IF” STATEMENT

How can community members engage in “Last Mile” mobility by using a cooperative (co-op) or barter system?


SOLUTION

The proposed visual system, user endorsement, verification and onboarding processes were designed with ease-of-use, positive community engagement and safety in mind.

  • Rides are assigned a value within a favor bank: a virtual community bulletin board where users trade and perform tasks.
  • User endorsements, private blacklists, direct user to user communication, but no open forum; all to minimize friction between users.
  • Local ambassador to assist with sign-ups, edge-case outreach and mediation.
  • An equitable exchange rate that values all services equally.

Action Screens [left to right] Exchange, Earn & Endorse – Nate

Digital Prototype: InVision


FEEDBACK

The project – shared as a prototype and via multiple presentations – was met with positive responses, from peer student groups, test subjects and educators alike. Just as the project was wrapping up we stumbled upon a strikingly similar platform called Urban Helper that had just launched; we felt that it’s existence validated our effort as a worthwhile pursuit.


ROLE

SHARED ROLES

Team leader (five member student team, leadership rotated weekly between four members), personas, journey mapping, wireframing, user testing, desk research, use case scenario, contextual interviews, presentations.

PERSONAL ROLE

Transportation autoethnography, maintaining a process blog, and creating the diagrams for the service blueprint and user flows.


NEXT STEPS

One future possibility that I came up with was Helping Hands Jr: A companion app for children, revolving around shared activities like free play, after school study and making friends. Plus integration with Helpings Hands for adult mentoring, babysitting and parent carpooling.