“How might we design a sustainable and equitable Bird
Loyalty program for students at SMC?”
UX RESEARCH - UX DESIGN - UI DESIGN - EXPERIENTIAL DESIGN
UX|UI Design Lead | UX Researcher | Experiential design
Ivan DeLarosa, Manny Hernandez Gueva
Pen and Paper, Foamcore, Sketch, Adobe XD, PS, AI, Figma, Canva
Feb 2019 - May 2019
Understand the user, challenge assumptions and define user needs
Produce visuals, displays, logos and interactive prototypes to test concept
Conduct participatory, domain expert, stakeholder and student interviews
Present a corporate presentation with recommendations to Bird and SMC faculty
In a partnership between Bird Rides Inc. and Santa Monica college we identified students current economic, social and transportation needs to create an equitable and sustainable loyalty program.
The Explorers club encompasses all forms of mobility. Local business and members of the micro-mobility sector in Santa Monica could sponsor the club through various activities and events.
Facilitated an industry sponsored scooter safety Kick-off event to gauge interest in a student club. Pitched a proposal and launch plan describing club details and benefits to stakeholders for future consideration.
Scooter riders I interviewed did not identify with any particular type of organization nor did they have many supporters. They misunderstood the rules of the road as often as people misunderstood their place on the road. This created a negative impression by drivers, businesses and cyclists alike and had fostered a low level of respect and involvement for some riders in the community .
Research showed scooter riders feel left out
They don’t have a strong sense of belonging
Riders don’t know the rules of the road
Drivers feel they are a nuisance
In teams we identified the entire ecosystem surrounding the SMC student. These insights helped guide our research in all directions and uncover hidden opportunities.
I interviewed domain experts to describe the current transportation landscape, the challenges the college faces with scooter riders and benefits of a loyalty program with SMC.
Problems at SMC: Parking in neighborhood issues, lack of available parking spaces, scooters banned on campus
Challenges: Unsafe streets. "We need more protected bike lanes"
Benefits to SMC: Integrating a scooter based program with the Culver City Bus and other transit lines could increase enrollment and create value for SMC. It would be worth the investment of a partnership.
Interviews were staged at the SMC main campus and the surrounding areas. I spoke to students who rode scooters, bikes, skateboards and commuted by car, metro and ride shares.
Loyalty: Initial surveys and interviews revealed students wanted offers from local businesses, popular services they use, free food and free rides. Some expressed an interest in textbooks and priority registration as well. Offering a variety of incentives could attract all users. Tapping into a group of “super users” could foster brand loyalty in exchange for incentives and benefits.
Education and fun: Most students surveyed and interviewed were oblivious to the rules of the road. They rode on sidewalks and wherever they felt safe. They liked the idea of group riding and socializing because they felt safer. Training in scooter etiquette coupled with group activities could be appealing.
Sharing: According to statistics, brands build stronger relationships with millennials if they help them discover new and exciting things, which they in turn, share on social media.
Research suggests students value experiences over products.
“Millennials have a very short span of attention, that’s why it’s important to engage them, and provide the best end-to-end customer experience that lasts forever”. Deloitte, Millennium Survey 2016
“Young consumers have always chosen experiences over products, but now they’re looking to let go of material goods and simplify their lives in even more ways”. Nielsen, 2015 Global Corporate Sustainability Report
I explored the various possibilities for partnership opportunities between Bird, SMC and other businesses. Based on my insights, I considered creating a Bird|SMC scooter club. Bird liked the direction so my two team members joined me moving forward.
I created the first round of logos for a club using a scooter based theme and variations of Bird's brand
Our prototype would be a kick off event to gather feedback and gauge student’s interest in a club. We had no idea of the amount of support for the event we would have from outside organizations or Bird.
What is the problem statement?
“How might we create a sustainable and equitable Bird loyalty program for students at SMC?”
Who are the key stakeholders?
Bird, SMC students, faculty other businesses
Why might it fail?
Campus not available, lack of Bird’s support for promotion, students may not find this interesting
We had nine days to accomplish our goal. We discovered how painstakingly slow bureaucracies work! It was challenging to get the space, tables, staff approval and legal permissions. One of the constraints we also had to work around was the fact that scooters weren't allowed on the campus.
The event was held successfully. Some of the highlights included Interactive games, a safety course, food donations by Whole Foods and Asian Box, and participation by Lyft scooters and Breeze bikes. Students rode scooters and bikes outside the perimeter of the campus.
In a card sort and interviews at the event, students revealed their preferences for club activities and how they would engage in a scooter based club. We encountered students that used all forms of transportation so we acted on those insights evolving the Riders club to the Explorers club.
“ I made the walking club and it was cool because walking takes a long time to do, it's a great way to meet people”
“ I think people can truly bond if it takes longer”.
Students preferred a variety of activities and mobility options but had different fitness levels and experience. Some wanted to experience "a good work out" Club offerings could measure these levels of fitness and expertise.
Q- I saw you liked to play the games here, can you tell me why?
“ I like being competitive, I like anything that's challenging”
We presented our findings to Bird stakeholders and SMC faculty. Bird's feedback is listed below.
You had some great insights that you uncovered in your research, i.e. the fact that students love riding together not just because it’s fun but because they feel safer and more visible to traffic in a group. Super interesting!
I’d challenge you to think about big-picture scalability here - the prompt is focused on SMC, but if we were to implement something like the Explorers Club it might be part of a bigger strategy for colleges/students in general and not restricted to SMC. How could you continue iterating on this idea and think about how it would work logistically for schools beyond SMC, and still be sustainable and manageable for Bird? Also, what kind of “prototype” could you create for something like this and how would you test it with potential users?
Explorers club - largest ask from the Bird perspective. Would need to know a bit more about the discount being asked for/ what we are comfortable giving and how they keep this going long-term. Would be great to leverage this “club” into the loyalty program/ rider profile.
What worked well
We successfully generated interest in a club that not only attracted scooter riders but students who utilize different modes of transportation. We refined our club vision to support all modes of transportation which would be consistent with our sponsor’s goals.
What didn't work well
Miscommunication between our ourselves and our corporate sponsor Bird, unfortunately resulted in Bird not being able to attend our Kick off event. In our subsequent presentation however, we were pleased to learn that from the interest we generated, Bird's participation is still under consideration.
What we learned
Putting on an event is difficult!
The sequence of events are extremely important. Food should have been served after the safety class and interviews were performed because some students left the event after eating. A better position for the class to be held would have been closer to the central activities. More people to help is always appreciated and necessary. Never underestimate the generosity and enthusiasm from the community. Thanks to our sponsors!
The Explorers club could be incorporated into the SMC go app. Or, as Bird mentioned, expand beyond SMC and "leverage this “club” into the loyalty program/ rider profile." I would incorporate some of my user testing data collected from my interviews and build out the flow of a proposed incentive. Drawing on my research I'd aggregate my findings into simple scenarios then create a service blueprint to show how the user would interact. "What kind of “prototype” could you create for something like this and how would you test it with potential users?" Perhaps the easiest way would be to build upon any existing programs or clubs a particular college might have and position the "club " as a complimentary offering. Bike clubs are popular on many college campuses which could be a great place to test the concept.