Redesigning rideshare: Zipcar 2.0

I couldn't have asked for more freedom to have fun. Plus, I got to work with some brilliant people on a service that decreases personal car ownership and increases a sense of community. What more could I ask for?

The Client's Needs

Zipcar needed a new app that had to solve some complex user scenarios. They had some new business rules that would offer their customers instant registration and far more travel options, but how could they blend them into their current offerings? How could they highlight the new service options to previous users, but make them feel natural to new users?


They also needed to update their app visually. Their design was looking dated, and didn't represent the fun, adventurous personality that's part of the Zipcar experience. The app was also different between iOS and Android - there were certain parts of the app you could access on one platform that you couldn't on the other.  

Lastly, they needed to reform their native registration process. User interviews had shown that people weren't fully understanding what Zipcar had to offer prior to joining, which caused high levels of attrition. They needed to find a way to attract better qualified members and a way to keep them coming back.


Clearly I need to buy stock in Post-its.

Ramping up

The team working on the 2.0 app was made up of myself, in the role of Visual Designer with contributions to UX, and three other talented UX Designers. I came onto the project after the others had been on the project for 10 weeks, and at that point they had gone through a few rounds of testing their wireframes for the Search & Reserve portion of the app. To get myself acquainted with the Brand Guide and assets provided, I spent a little bit of time playing around in Principle creating the initial app load animation. The great thing about Principle is you can do quick, rough animations by pasting in assets and produce a lot of value in a short amount of time. I showed the Zipcar Creative Director about five or six approaches, and he excitedly came back with even more ideas. 


A lot of wireframes had been created when I came on, so it was pretty easy to just jump in and begin putting some styles on things. I began by creating some very simple atomic styles around the basics: buttons, headers, cards, etc. I needed to design for both Android and iOS, so it was a task to make sure that the interactions I chose for one didn't go against the guidelines for the other, or if they did, to find a solution that kept them in parity as much as possible. 


The best parts

I was given a lot of freedom to use my two favorite things in this project: illustrations and animations! I began building a pretty robust library of images to use as flavor throughout the app. I also built many, many transition animations in Principle so that our software engineers could get all the easing and timing just right.

Outcomes and take aways

I really enjoyed working on this project (at the time of writing, I was actually asked to come back to work on another portion of the app!) The Zipcar people are such a fabulous team and the product allowed me to fully use my creativity. I can't wait for it's release so I can use it for myself!


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