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BuddyRider: a friend
at your handlebars.
My role:
UX research & design, UI design, Branding
September 2019
Remotely from South America
Motorcycle dedicated navigation is a crowded niche market.

All the apps use the same strategy: adding more and more features to stay at least as functional as the competition. It results in polluted experience by unnecessary complex features.

For the end-user, it means difficulty to use, long onboarding time and unsatisfying global experience.
So... What if?
What if today, we decided to focus on simplicity, accessibility and experience to make a difference on a crowded niche market?
We need a plan.
From the early stages, we wanted to do something to improve riders’ experience. We had a few ideas, but wanted to design based on real users insights to build the product around users needs from the start. So we set up a clear design process.
Discover
  • Heuristic analysis
  • Competitor analysis
  • Problem statement
Define
  • Research plan
  • Survey
  • Affinity map
  • Empathy map
  • User personas
Ideate
  • Brainstorming
  • Refining problem statement
  • User flow
  • Information architecture
  • Sitemap
  • Design goal
Prototype
  • Sketching
  • Guerilla prototyping
  • Wireframing
  • Prototype
  • User testing
  • UI design
Discover & define.
We started by a market analysis: we tested existing apps and analyzed their strengths and weaknesses. Soon, some became recurrent, allowing us to put into words our first problem statement:
Lots of apps use the same strategy: adding more and more features to stay at least as functional as the competition. Therefore, users are overwhelmed by not so useful features revolving around a very good untapped idea.
Online survey
It is time to learn from the users: how do they behave with a navigation app? On the field? What experience do they have?

We began asking riders on few popular Facebook groups about their navigation habits. 423 motorcyclists answered this survey and revealed that:
  • 60% use a classic navigation app rather than a motorcycle-dedicated solution.
  • 51% usually ask friends for tips and places to see when planning a trip.
  • 87% usually plan their ride: 21% do it systematically.
TAKE ON THE SURVEY
1 to 1 user interviews
Amongst our survey participants, we invited 6 to a video interview of 20 minutes to get real users insights and learn about their riding habits and behaviour.
  • Riders use multiple apps to plan and ride.
  • Riders need to stop to modify an itinerary as the screen is not easy to manipulate wearing motorcycle gloves.
  • Riders love to share their experience and are proud to be part of their community.

Interviewing users from a co-working space in Peru

Compilation
We had a better idea of whom we were designing for, so we compiled all the interviews and survey insights. Affinity map, empathy map and personas allowed us to keep a clear definition of our users all along the design process.

New posters for the office: keep an eye on your personas, all along the process.

Ideate & Prototype.
Ideation is the creative phase. It is time to put every idea, from the simplest to the craziest on the table and see where they lead us.

To stimulate creativity and give these brainstorming sessions a bit of guidance, we started to ask ourselves basic questions about our project, and sketch ideas very quickly: How Might We...?

Sketching ideas answering the question “How might we...”

Examinating these ideas, some stood out and we decided to build a very smart chat bot that helps to plan by answering only one question: where do you want to go?
Let’s design a biker’s friend:
A chat-bot that evolves with the user, suggesting itineraries, places to see and things to do on the way.

First chat-bot idea sketching

Structuring the user flow.
It needs to be clear: how will the app behaves? What are the steps the user will need to take to use the app efficiently? The most we define it clearly, the most we’ll save time on a long term, preventing potential errors in the flow... from the team, but also the users.
Wireframing.
Sketching gave us a clear overview of the app meaning and global mindset. Wireframing is very helpful to get a better understanding of how the final product will behave, how the user will interact. It also allow the whole team to improve these said functions focusing only on the behaviour, not on design. And, as designers, we also iterate way quicker without having to design every screen. For now.
Testing prototype.
We had already tested our first sketches between us, but we needed again real user feedbacks. So we built a low-fidelity prototype to observe people using it and interacting with the chat-bot idea.

Feedback was really positive. Users told us multiple times being glad to take part in the development process, and enjoyed the fact that a brand take user’s opinion in consideration before launching a new product.

Even before publishing on the app stores, we started to build a community of beta testers, giving testers exclusivity.
TEST LOW-FID PROTOTYPE
Make it pop.
How could the interface design serve the user experience? Now it was the only question left. But it’s a tough one, right?

We got back to our user insights and... Ho wait, navigation apps are using a lot of battery. Dark mode is trendy and can save battery consumption up to 43%.
From pixels to code.
Finalizing the user interface design, we needed to find programmers to make the app alive. We explained our concept, found enthusisatic persones, made sure designers and developpers were on the same page and brought creativity to the next level.

Finalizing the first version, we still have plenty of ideas for the next steps, to make an even better experience, improve security at the handlebars and reliability of indications.
Interested in working together?
Just send me a message or request a call to see how I can help creating or improving your digital product or brand identity.
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