Spotless emerged as a prototype platform attempting to address the very familiar consumer pain point of parking in high-traffic urban centers by connecting parking-spot-seekers to private parking spot owners with available spots. Interactions were conducted on a dollars-per-hour basis and relied on geo-location services.
By the time I was introduced to the concept, the team had successfully navigated infrastructural bottlenecks (mostly in enforcement) in the limited number of markets in which they were active, and the service had proven popular among buy-side users, while sell-side users enjoyed the prospect of monetizing their unused parking spaces on a per-hour basis, allowing them to earn while out of town, at work, or while their owned or rented spaces were otherwise unoccupied.
By this point, the Spotless team was looking to modernize their interface to better allow them to scale in markets saturated with familiar transportation apps such as Uber, Lyft, and Google Maps. Additionally, while up to this point the Spotless platform had been used almost exclusively by so-called "impulse users," the team was exploring means of reaching additional populations of "planners," or users whose use was planned in advance as part of leisure or event-going itineraries.
The Spotless team was determined to keep their interface as minimal and intuitive as possible. As a result, the iterative phase was heavily influenced by Google's Materialize framework and Google Maps API parameters. Spotless set out to ultimately pave a roadmap to become an efficient companion app to more robust transportation apps, so interfacing called for as few steps as possible and a familiar on-boarding process.
The research phase was similarly informed, and centered on data provided on use-case tendencies from Spotless' existing user-base in its limited roll-out markets. Needless to say, a Google-Maps-based interface was essential, but so was a list-based interface, providing a list of available spots to be filtered by distance to desired location, distance to the user, price, and length of the window of availability. This would prove to be especially essential for accommodating the "planners" in the new roll-out.
Visual design on the part of the Spotless team up to this point was extremely limited, so much of the design and development process involved refining existing visual assets to align with the platform's mobile-first approach and mobile use-cases, and to adopt a cooler and simpler color palette more compatible with mobile tech consumers. The new palette, while starting from the familiar blue of contemporary tech branding, relies on notes of warming greens and deep aquamarines to lighten the visual weight of pure blue/white contrasts and hyper-cool rigidity. Rounded edges, consistent value shifts, and WYSIWYG interface design make for a pleasing, approachable platform with which the Spotless team was very pleased.
Ultimately, paper prototyping proved sufficient for the iterative leg of the development phase, and the project moved quickly into high-fidelity mock-ups. We began in Webflow, which proved insufficient and too browser-dependent. InVision would be the logical next step, but I took the opportunity to experiment with Adobe's newer Experience Design Beta, and found it to be a very solid mix of robustness for fidelitous wire-framing, and lightness for quick mock-ups and flexible design. Its interactivity, however, was limiting given the scope of the platform, so its utility was limited in conducting more hands-on UX research. Nevertheless, the team was pleased with the mockup and I moved into coding.
Spotless is still quite early into its new roll-out, so I'm confident there will be changes to be made as new pain points arise and become new opportunities for evolutions in Spotless' design. Nevertheless, I am equally confident that we have set Spotless up with a sustainable and scalable foundation.