Worked on identifying pain points through user research. Conducted usability testing. Used gathered knowledge to produce wireframes and prototypes.


Kellie Higa, Kyle Rico, Shelly Bae, Tayte Duong


Adobe: ( XD, Illustrator, Photoshop ), Figma


Looking for parking sucks!

My team and I were tasked with finding ways to improve the commute for San Diegans. We decided to hone in on the problem of parking. We saw that parking was something that most commuteres with automobiles had to go through so we felt it was a good area to focus our attention on. I interviewed daily drivers and commuters about what they most disliked about finding parking and found that people felt that they were wasting time and gas. Some people also saw the time wasted and gas spent as a waste of money. Many people felt stressed or even angry while searching for parking. My team and I did more online research to see how much of a problem parking was and we found that the search for parking contributed greatly to polution due to cars lingering and emitting fumes, and also contributes to collisions.



We wanted to make sure that SPOT had these features to alleviate the pain points as much as possible. Because finding parking involves many uncontrollable variables, we tried to minimize cognitive overload and stress while driving.

Reduced Stress - The core feature of SPOT should be hands-free. Driving is already a cognitively heavy task. Reducing cognitive overload by making the main function of the app hands-free would give users more mental freedom.

Reduce wasted time, gas, and money - By using parking reporting, location broadcasting, and parking heat maps, users will be able to find parking as quickly as possible reducing time on the road.

Reduced Anger - Having Google Maps API integrated into the app will allow seemless transition from destination route to the parking space. This reduces the interaction with other drivers and the blame one might attribute to others from not being able to find parking quickly.


Communication is key

During every step of the design process, we performed user testing and talked to professionals in the industry in order to really understand what our design was doing and whether it accomplishes what we wanted it to do. Feedback from these discussions helped us make changes that would've been more difficult down the road. I originally pitched the idea of installing cameras at key vantage points and using a machine learning algorithm to monitor parking spot availablity. It was ultimately decided against by my team because it was considered to be too expensive.


Storyboards were used to better communicate our thought process and intended usage for SPOT. Storyboarding helps with visualizing the use case of the design by showing a need that is resolved through the design.


I did some research by conducting surveys and interviews of daily drivers. The research showed that many people aren't willing to wait to give other people their parking spot unless the incentive was big enough.


We wanted SPOT to continuously monitor the users location for better parking location through automatic data communication with other users. After usability testing, some people expressed that they were not comfortable with having their location data constantly shared or given away. In order to fix this problem, we decided that location tracking should be an option.



In order to identify problems with user interactions in our design, we decided to perform a service enactment with a random user.

5. We switched spots.

1. We texted our participant to simulate a match. He texts us that he is about to leave and asks for our ETA.

2. We give him our estimated arrival time based on the location he shared with us.

3. Arriving at the parking lot, we had trouble finding him. After some time he decided to turn on his hazard lights. This helped us find him.

4. We texted him that we found him.

After conducting the service enactment, we discovered two main usability problems.

1. It was hard to find the car we were looking for.

2. Due to varrying vehicle knowledge, some people didn't know what car they were looking for even when told the make and model.

To solve these usability problems we came up with two solutions.

1. User giving away parking should turn on blinkers.

2. Image of the vehicle user will be trading spots with should be shown within the app.


Our solution to the parking problem

Incorporating everything that we learned from our interviews, user testing, and service enactment, we were able to come up with the final design for SPOT.


Opening the app brings users to the home screen where they can view a heat map of the parking spots in their area.


Google API lets users easily navigate to their destination and look for parking.


Users are able to give and take parking. Users who give away parking can redeem points to spend on future parking spots.


Users input their vehicle information so that they are easier to identify when giving away parking.


What I learned

Working on Spot was an incredible learning experience. I was able to talk to industry professionals and really understand and experience a design process that is iterative and uses really tries to understand not only the underlying issues of a problem, but also the interactions that can lead to a solution. I believe that Spot is a unique solution to a growing problem and it's implementation would make a big impact on San Diego.

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