Thingery | Bringing Sharing and Technology Together
“Making the self serve lending library of things a more positive experience by enabling users to rent their favourite tools and recreational items using an APP”
For this project, we were instructed to create an app for renting tools and equipment. The timeframe to complete the entire project was three (3) weeks. We began by examining the existing website in order to identify pain points during the signup process and determined the pricing structure lacked clarity; there was different prices across all the Thingerys locations which identified our business goals. We then shifted our focus to examine the existing user experience which would ultimately provide more clarity in areas where we could improve and deliver the project goals by implementing key features with the user experience in mind.
We then gathered research data through surveys, interviews and examined foot traffic. Our key findings during the research phase allowed us to flush out pain points and build on those findings in order to address the main goals surrounding the business, project and user and ultimately led us to develop on a MVP that provided a frictionless user experience — we incorporated a new pricing structure, the ability to rent, reserve and return things which improved the entire user experience on a mobile device.
Team & Role
Having had previous experience in managing projects from the ground up, I led a core team of 4 designers | 2 UX and 3 UI Designers.
I coordinated and led all facets of design including: information architecture, user task flows, interaction, visual, product, and prototyping.
I also conducted research using methods such as interviews, surveys and live user testing in order to determine behaviours and attitudes.
User Research and Competitive Analysis
- Planning and Refining User Persona
- Design and Flushing out Features + Testing
- Building Mid Fidelity Wireframes + Testing
- Building High Fidelity Prototype
- Future Considerations
When I began working at the Thingery as Lead UX Designer, I learned the company had expanded quickly into many communities and had major expansion plans in the near future.
“I want to be in every major city in North America in the next 2 years” said the Founder of the Thingery.
As the subscription base grew so did the problems – hardware and software malfunctions continued to increase and what seemed like a very hands-off type of business on the surface was no where close to reality | the founder spent countless hours travelling to each location resolving the day-to-day challenges.
A major problem emerged: how could the Thingery possibly continue to operate as a hands-off self serve business and move forward with their expansion plans?
Multiple price points across different locations made it extremely confusing and difficult for new users to sign up. This ultimately resulted in high bounce rates and low conversions which did not align with future expansion plans.
Another major problem surfaced during the signup process: how could the Thingery make it easier to sign up so users could quickly access tools and recreational equipment?
Low Fidelity Wireframing
Mid Fidelity Wireframing
In order to build a robust application that would address the user needs and allow for future expansion, we began by examining the existing website. We then shifted our focus to examine the existing user experience by interviewing and conducting live user testing of the existing rental system – once we had our metrics, we could then use them as a baseline once we revamped the rental process.
After determining the feature list, we were able to identify the key pain points: users simply wanted an easier way to reserve, rent and return tools and recreational equipment so we focused on creating the MVP surrounding the user’s core needs.
The lending library of things was an integral part of the community, and we determined that all users were environmentally conscious and wanted to lower their carbon footprint. Users found it convenient to have all the necessary tools and equipment all in one location and were seasonal users of outdoor and recreational equipment.
High Fidelity Wire Frames
The object of the interface was to provide the user with the ability to quickly sign up using an existing facebook or google account, browse and reserve items before they had to fully pay the monthly subscription fee.
The Thingery is a native app that can be quickly downloaded and installed on the iPhone.
Users can quickly sign into their account using facebook or google account and password without having to create another account.
When logging in for the first time, the user can select their default location where they will most likely pick up tools and recreational equipment and they are set!
Now the user can click on the category they are interested in and select the items they are would like to reserve.
The user can browse through the selected list of tools and then click on the desired item.
On the details page the user can review the information relating to the selected item including different images and then click reserve if they are satisfied with the selected item.
From here the user selects the desired dates and clicks reserve!
Success! Now its time to pick your items.
Browse items without signing up for the membership fee!
A walk through of the final product! No more hardware or software malfunctions | User Friendly and Business Expansion Ready!
The app was very well received by with the founder and the users during testing. The users could now reserve their favourite items without having to step foot into the Thingery.
The founder took our high-fidelity native app prototype applied for a government grant in order to have the app developed.
As part of their sustainable community philosophy, the Thingery encourages donations so a donating function could be added to the app to allow users to donate tools and recreation equipment in the future.