Park AllWays: The app that's ensuring accessible and hassle-free parking for physically challenged people.

The presence and accessibility of parking spaces designated for individuals with disabilities hold profound implications for the daily lives of people with mobility challenges. We designed a mobile application that would make finding these spots and parking more accessible and convenient.

Client:

IterateUX_Logo

team:

Four creative individuals:
Mythili Ravishankar, Tania Verma, Bhupinder Bath, and myself.

my role:

UX/UI Designer, Graphic Designer, Project Management 

duration:

August 14th – September 17th 2023

Title_Picture_ParkAllWays

About the client:

IterateUX_Logo

Iterate UX is a non-profit, community-centred platform for hands-on learning. They organize different Virtual Events, Design Challenges, Portfolio and Resume Reviews, Whiteboard Challenges, and Interview Mockups.

UX Design Challenge:

Our project came to life by participating in the UX Design Challenge organized by IterateUX. We were given five industries to choose from:-

  1. Health & Fitness
  2. E-commerce
  3. Education
  4. Travel
  5. Accessibility

We opted for the Accessibility Design Challenge.

Accessibility Design Prompt given by IterateUX:

Develop a parking app that caters to diverse users, including those with disabilities. Design features such as reserved accessible parking spots, real-time availability updates, and a seamless payment process that considers various user needs.

Reasons why we choose the Accessibility Prompt:

  1. Build a solid case study for my portfolio
  2. The topic is both challenging and rewarding, offering numerous possibilities for exploration.
  3. Less saturated market: Not so many apps for physically challenged people
  4. There is a high demand for accessibility features in both apps and websites. Almost everyone wants to ensure their digital products are accessible to all users.

PROJECT SUMMARY

Background:

The presence and accessibility of parking spaces designated for individuals with disabilities hold profound implications for the daily lives of people with mobility challenges. It extends far beyond the simple act of parking a vehicle. It can significantly influence their decisions and choices in various aspects.

In essence, accessible parking goes beyond mere convenience; it plays a pivotal role in shaping the autonomy, mobility, and lifestyle choices of individuals with disabilities. Ensuring its availability and usability is not just a matter of convenience but an essential step toward fostering inclusivity and improving the overall well-being of this community.

Design Prompt:

Develop a parking app that caters to diverse users, including those with disabilities. Design features such as reserved accessible parking spots, real-time availability updates, and a seamless payment process that considers various user needs.

Core Idea:

A comprehensive parking app meticulously tailored to address the distinct requirements of disabled drivers and passengers, ensuring accessible and hassle-free parking experiences.

Challenge:

Creating a parking application designed to cater to users with disabilities requires careful planning, prioritizing the needs of the user, and a firm commitment to accessibility. This involves addressing technological, design, and regulatory challenges to ensure that the application is functional and user-friendly for everyone, irrespective of their abilities.

DESIGN PROCESS

DesignProcess_ParkAllways

PROJECT TIMELINE

The_Timeline_ParkAllWays
   The Research    
   Let’s start with understanding the users' needs   

INITIAL RESEARCH

In this UX Design Challenge, two team members were from Canada and two from the USA. To better understand the problem, we analyzed data and perspectives from both countries.

What is a disability?

Physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Canadian Stats

PercentageDisability_Canada

USA Stats

PercentageDisability_USA

HYPOTHESES

  • Physically disabled people have difficulty finding an easily accessible parking space.
  • Physically challenged people gets anxious whether they might get the parking space due to limited number of spots.
  • Those people find it difficult to get access to some basic requirements like wheelchair access, restrooms, and shopping carts in their vicinity.
  • Physically handicapped people have difficulty in drop and pickup reservations for themselves to get to their appointments.
  • Those people get anxious if they have booked the parking spot in advance but might not be sure that they will get it when they reach their destination.

TARGET AUDIENCE

The next step in our initial research was to define our target audience. To address this concern we decided to target both drivers and passengers with some kind of disability.

TargetAudience_ParkAllWays

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

We analyzed the competition to know how to stand out in a specific need. In our search, we discovered a total of seven applications, and during our evaluation process, we identified both positive and negative aspects within each of these apps. Our assessment was guided by the categorization provided below, enabling us to comprehensively analyze and assess the strengths and weaknesses of each application.

Primary Competitors

We identified two primary competitors and five secondary competitors, and then we did research on the tertiary competitors in the market targeting the disabled population.

Secondary Competitors

SecondaryCompetitors_ParkAllWays

Tertiary Competitors

TertiaryCompetitors_01

USER INTERVIEWS

With the goal of improving parking accessibility for disabled users, we aimed to address
a challenge that would alleviate the frustrations experienced by the users.

We conducted user interviews to gain valuable insights into their needs, preferences, and pain points. This deeper understanding of our target audience allowed us to create more effective and user-centric solutions.

We worked together to create a script to ensure we were asking the key questions in each interview. We made sure while interviewing our users that:
– We remained neutral
– Allow our users to finish their thoughts
– Avoid sharing our beliefs.

User_Interviews

User Profile

Key Findings from the Interviews

We needed to first gain a comprehensive understanding of the problems. Hence based on our user interviews we first listed the key problems our users are facing and the impacts it had on them.

Problems

  • Difficulty finding disabled parking spots
  • Lack of real-time information on parking availability
  • Difficulty navigating to unfamiliar parking areas
  • Lack of Enforcement and Awareness
  • Challenges with traditional payment methods
  • Concerns about Safety and Accessibility
  • Misuse of Accessible Parking Spots

Impacts

  • Frustration
  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Uncertainty
  • Potential Delays
  • Reduced Confidence
  • Slower Payment Processes
  • Inconvenience

After the interviews and key findings, all our hypotheses were validated.

VALUE PROPOSITION

To construct our product’s value proposition, we utilized the Business Model Canvas and the Value Proposition Canvas. These complementary tools enable businesses to strategies effectively, align with customer needs,
and work towards their objectives by delivering value.

Business Model

Business_Model

Value Proposition Canvas

Through the insights gained from both the Business Model Canvas and the Value Proposition Canvas, we’ve ascertained that the features listed below form the core of our value proposition.

  • Real-Time Availability Updates
  • Peace of Mind
  • Offering a Tailored Parking Experience
  • End of Search Frustration
  • How to employ a mechanism that temporarily locks your reserved spot to prevent others from taking it?
VP

VALUE PROPOSITION

Our app guarantees a stress-free parking experience for both drivers and passengers. Drivers can relax knowing they’ll find a parking spot, while passengers are assured of being dropped off at a reserved location.

USP

UNIQUE SELLING POINT

Uncertainti_Past

“Uncertainty is a thing of the past”

Begin_Journey

“Begin your journey with confidence”

PROBLEM STATEMENT

While formulating our problem statement, we employed an iterative interrogative approach known as the “Five W’s.” This technique delves into cause-and-effect relationships that underlie a specific issue, aiming to ascertain the root cause of a problem and identify potential solutions. The fundamental objective of this technique is to uncover the core reasons behind the challenge and develop strategies to effectively address it.

5 W's

5-W's

5 W’s Approach

5W's_Approach
Defined_Problem

DEFINED PROBLEM STATEMENT

People with disabilities face significant issues finding accessible parking that meets their unique mobility needs. Existing solutions fall short, leading to limited accessibility and frustration for this group.

HOW MIGHT WE…

Create a Parking App that comprehensively serves a diverse community of drivers and passengers with disabilities. Which Offers them customized benefits and features that specifically target their distinct mobility requirements. Which will minimize the obstacles ultimately enhancing, optimizing and simplifying their Parking Journey/Experience.

PERSONAS

From the insights gained from our interviews, we developed two personas that represented our core users.

ALEX: “An Independent Professional”
Who thrives on independence and efficiency. He navigates life in a wheelchair due to a spinal cord injury.

TAYLOR: “A Vibrant Explorer”
Who exudes independence despite her congenital mobility impairment. She resides in an assisted living facility, relying on caregivers for transportation.

Persona 1 - Alex

Alex

Persona 2 - Taylor

Persona#2_Taylor

EMPATHY MAPPING

After creating personas, we developed empathy maps to explore their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and motivations. These maps provide valuable insights into the personas’ emotions and needs, helping us uncover challenges and opportunities. By visually representing these insights, we identify pain points and ensure our solutions align with their real-world experiences, making them both functional and resonant with their perspectives.

Empathy Map - Alex

EM_Alex

Empathy Map - Taylor

EM_Taylor

AFFINITY MAPPING

To better understand the different categories under which our users had their pain points, we created affinity map from the raw data gathered from the user interviews. This map enabled us to identify recurring patterns and shared aspects among our participants.

Affinity_Map

Key Findings from the Affinity Map

  • Delays in finding accessible parking spots
  • Lack of awareness of their disabilities and their needs among other people
  • Lack of real-time availability updates 
  • Misuse of accessible parking spots by non-disabled drivers
  • Need a secure and seamless payment method
  • Turn-by-turn navigation
  • Maintenance of parking spots

CARD SORTING

To better understand Information Architecture and the different features we will include in our App, we did a card-sorting activity with the data that we got from our participants. Based on all the data that we gather from our affinity mapping and card sorting we filter different key features that we will be including in our App.

CardSorting_ParkAllWays

Key Features

ParkAllWays_KeyFeatures
     The Design      
     Let’s design a user-friendly app for our users     

Flow Chart

To ensure that we have a comprehensive grasp of the app’s flow, we developed a flowchart to gain a thorough understanding of our app’s features and functionalities.

FlowChart_ParkAllWays

Wireframes

We then created the low-fidelity wireframes to outline the basic structure and layout of our app interface and continue to iterate our user flows and features.

Wireframes_ParkAllWays

DESIGN SYSTEM

We chose Alaya a Figma UI kit by Allan as our design system. The main reason to choose this kit is that it has both light and dark modes. To create an inclusive and accessible user interface, it’s essential to offer both light and dark mode options and allow users to choose their preferred mode based on their specific needs and preferences. This flexibility ensures that users with disabilities can customize their digital experience to suit their comfort and usability requirements.

Moodboard_ParkAllWays

Colour Palette

For our primary secondary and tertiary colours we choose the bright colours because these visible colours can provide good contrast against many backgrounds, making it potentially suitable for users with visual impairments or those who require elements to stand out.

We make sure that our design should prioritize a balance of colors and consider factors like contrast ratios, user preferences, and the overall user experience.

ColourPalette01_ParkAllWays

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

We wanted to make sure that our app follows the wcag.

Typography

Jost is a San Serif Google Font which is designed with accessibility in mind. It adheres to web accessibility standards, ensuring that text is readable by users with various disabilities, including those who use screen readers.

Typography_ParkAllWays

Components

The Alaya design system has many components for both modes which we use to make our App consistent and visually appealing.

Comp1_ParkAllWays
Component02_ParkAllWays
Component03_ParkAllWays

Grid & Dimensions of the Elements

The Alaya design system has many components for both modes which we use to make our App consistent and visually appealing.

Grid_ParkAllWays

The Name for the APP

Park + Always

Park + All + Ways

Park AllWays

The name “Park AllWays” was chosen to convey the idea that the app provides parking solutions for everyone, in all situations, and at all times.

  1. “Park” emphasizes the core function of the app, which is to help users find accessible parking spots conveniently.
  2. “All” signifies inclusivity, suggesting that the app is designed to cater to all individuals, including those with disabilities, ensuring equitable access to parking.
  3. “Ways” implies versatility and flexibility. The app offers multiple ways to find and reserve parking spots, accommodating various user preferences and needs.

So, “Park AllWays” was selected to reflect the app’s mission of making parking accessible and convenient for everyone, regardless of their mobility or disability status.

Logo Design

We created some sample logos

SampleLogo_ParkAllWays

This was the final Logo, we aimed for simplicity and cleanliness to effectively communicate our brand’s message.

THE FINAL DESIGN

Onboarding Process

The onboarding process for our parking app is straightforward, and user-friendly and is designed with user convenience and accessibility in mind.

  • Placard Information: As our app is tailored for disabled drivers and passengers, we understand the importance of placard information. To make parking as seamless as possible, we kindly request users to input their placard details. We emphasize that this information is crucial to access reserved parking spots and any available accessibility services.

Search for an Accessible Parking

  • Home Screen: The user-friendly interface is designed for seamless navigation and optimal convenience.

  • AI Voice Assistant: This AI-powered assistant can enhance accessibility and usability by providing spoken guidance for finding accessible parking spots and answering questions through voice commands.
  • Car Locator: A new feature is available to help users remember where they parked their vehicle. It is greyed out until a location is selected.
  • Weather Information: To enhance the overall user experience, we’ve included a weather information widget. Users can quickly check the current weather conditions, ensuring they’re prepared for their journey.
  • Free and Paid Parking Options: Find real-time availability of parking spots, including both free and paid options. The indicators are color-coded for easy identification.
  • Search Option: There are two ways to find accessible parking either by zone ID or by location. The search button allows users to quickly find accessible parking spots based on their current location or by entering a specific destination.
  • Amenities at the Parking Spot: Users can check the amenities that are available at the selected parking spot.
  • Search Along the Route: Different options are available that can be added to the trip like gas stations, cafes, restaurants, and much more.
  • Turn-by-Turn Voice-Guided Navigation: This enhances accessibility, safety, and independence for disabled drivers, making it an essential tool for their everyday travel needs.

Main Menu

The menu offers various user-friendly options to help users navigate the app effortlessly.


  • Account: In the account section, users have the flexibility to configure various options.
  • Profile: Users have the ability to modify and save their profile information.
  • Wallet:  Users can conveniently add and modify multiple payment methods for smooth transactions.
  • Vehicle Info: It helps identify the user’s vehicle, ensuring they park in the right spot. It assists disabled drivers by providing accessible parking options based on their vehicle’s requirements.
  • Placard Info: They are important because they make sure accessible parking spots are used fairly.
  • Settings: Our primary objective is to ensure that our app serves the needs of both disabled drivers and passengers effectively. To achieve this, we prioritize accessibility throughout the app’s design and functionality. This means that every feature and aspect of the app is carefully crafted to be inclusive, user-friendly, and accommodating to individuals with disabilities. We are dedicated to making sure that no one is left behind when using our app, and that it provides a seamless and equitable experience for all users, regardless of their abilities.
  • Report Violation:Accessible parking spots are designated for individuals with disabilities who genuinely need them. When these spots are misused by unauthorized vehicles, it can create barriers for those who depend on them for accessibility. 
    Reporting violations helps ensure fairness in parking. It discourages individuals from wrongly occupying accessible spots, which can lead to frustration and inconvenience for people with disabilities. In many regions, parking in accessible spots without proper authorization is against the law. Reporting violations can contribute to enforcing these regulations and holding violators accountable.

Services

Services have three main options which serve both our target audience, drivers and passengers.


  • Book a ride: It has two more options. There is this common feature in both the options that they choose what kind of vehicle they will be needing, regular or assisted.
  • Book a Solo Ride:  It is a convenient option designed for users who prefer to travel independently.
  • Book a Ride with Someone: This is a collaborative feature that allows users to share a ride with another user heading to a similar location. 

    Key Benefits:
    – Cost Sharing: Split the fare with another user, making transportation more affordable.
    – Community Connection: Meet and interact with fellow users travelling to nearby destinations.
    – Environmental Impact: Contribute to a more sustainable environment by carpooling.

  • Parking Reservation: “Reserve a Parking Spot” is a hassle-free option that ensures you have an accessible parking space waiting for you at your chosen location. This feature is designed to make your parking experience convenient and stress-free.
  • Select Date and Time: To secure a parking space, input the date, as well as the start and end times. Complete the payment process to confirm your reservation.
  • QR Code:  The user will be provided with a QR code that they can scan at the designated spot upon arrival.
  • Extend Parking Reservation: Users can easily prolong their parking time without needing to physically return to the parking spot. Users can enjoy their activities without worrying about parking expirations.
    The app will send users a notification one hour prior to the end time, ensuring they can manage their parking without stress.

Dark Mode

Dark mode has gained popularity among a broad range of users, including those with disabilities, for the reasons, such as reduced eye strain, improved readability, and reduced sensitivity to light. To ensure inclusivity and accessibility in our design, we provide the option for our users to switch between dark and light modes. This way, users can choose the mode that best suits their needs and preferences, regardless of disability status.