Research, User Flow, Visual Design
Trip is a case study and passion project of mine. While taking care of my grandmother during her battle with cancer, some of her friends would visit her from near and far. Most of her friends were no longer driving, some would take the bus while others would ask for rides from family members. One popo (or grandmother in Chinese) surprised me and told me that she took an Uber from her house. I asked her how she knew to use Uber and she said that her grandchildren taught her. This got me thinking, why don’t more people of older generations use rideshare apps? How could we encourage them to use these applications so that they become more mobile and less reliant on the schedule of others?
Trip is not your typical rideshare app, the major difference being the focus on building a network of drivers. Studies have shown that unlike younger generations, older adults prefer to ride with family, friends or someone they know . To help alleviate the stress of riding with strangers, it would be helpful to match drivers with riders that have similar interests and potentially help users build a network. This allows users to feel more comfortable with their drivers while also providing an opportunity to meet new friends.
I started exploring the idea of rideshares amongst older adults by conducting a literature review. I found research about older generations and technology use as well as older generations and the use of rideshare. One study found that older adults prefer to ride with family, friends or someone they know (Payyanadan, Rashmi P., and John D. Lee). Studies also show that it is expected that virtually every country in the world will experience a substantial increase in the size of the older population over the next 30 years. By year 2050, there will be about 1.6 billion people age 65 and older which will represent 16% of the world’s population (Czaja, Sara J., et al). With a growing population of people age 65 and older, it is vital that we develop apps with older generations in mind.
I conducted a competitive analysis of what other rideshare apps had to offer. The two competitors I focused on were Uber and Lyft. Recently, Lyft was approved to become an enrolled Medicaid provider in California. Lyft is one of the first national ridesharing companies to bring its transportation solution to millions of Medicaid beneficiaries. This means Lyft will now be a covered transportation option to get eligible patients to and from medical appointments. With that in mind, Lyft and Uber do not seem to have added feature to help with the concerns of older users.
Interviews were conducted with older drivers, older riders and older adults who do not use rideshares. Those that do not use rideshare felt uncomfortable riding with people they didn’t know. Some also felt intimidated by the idea of a smartphone. Some of the current drivers are retired but took on the job to meet new people.
Archetypes were created to help guide design decisions. Meet Judith, Ronald and Karen! Karen just started driving for Trip because she wanted a new way to meet people. All her children are off to college so her and her husband are empty nesters. Judith is an older adult who can still drive but doesn’t feel comfortable doing so during poor weather conditions or at night. She uses Trip to visit friends and family. Ronald is a senior who can no longer drive and feels like he is a burden having to ask family and friends for rides. He now uses Trip to schedule rides ahead of time for doctor appointments.