Fuse was a Semifinalist in the Adobe Design Achievement Awards.
Fuse is a service that connects student “riders” to student “drivers” with mutual destinations, allowing them to aid traffic and parking congestion, the cost of travel and ultimately the quality of the commute.
Fuse has identified a gap in carpooling applications on mobile platforms, specifically iOS, for students. A large number of these users have trouble arriving to school and work on time due to traffic as well as the never-ending parking problem that exists in most urban cities today.
On average, college and university parking can cost anywhere from $400 to $1000 for 2 semesters. On top of this, students have to spend money on gas which can cost them about $200 per month, a cost that’s increasing daily with the rise of gas prices. Students that take public transportation to school and work are paying about from $120 for monthly passes.
Students have stated that on average they have to make about 2 to 3 different transit transfers to arrive at their destination. On average, our target users take anywhere from 30 minutes to longer than 1 hour to get to school and work. Some students have reported that busses are often late, sometimes even as much an hour, which in turn, results in them arriving late to class. Students that drive have reported that they often have to drive around for as long as 20 minutes looking for an available parking spot, which again, results in a late arrival to classes.
Monthly Public Transit Passes
Parking for 2 semesters
Gas for 1 month
Car insurance for 1 month
We conducted a survey targeted towards students to better understand them and the issues they face with daily commuting. Upon analysis of the results of the survey, we concluded that we needed to develop a product that would alleviate the stress students’ face with their daily commute, focusing on the two biggest pain points: cost and time. We also asked students in this survey if they would be interested in carpooling to school to save money and time, and 75% of those who participated in the survey said they would definitely be interested in a carpooling service.
We created a persona based on the initial research. The persona represents users’ goals and pain points that helped us to prioritize different the user needs through our design process and ultimately to the synthesis of our solution.
Dave is a 21-year-old Design student at Sheridan College. He works part-time as a server at Jack Astor’s. He is currently living in Mississauga, thus commuting is takes up a large part of his day.
Dave is a busy and ambitious guy with quite a lot going on. School is one of those many things, and he likes to give it his all. As such, he drives to school but being a full-time student he wants to save on parking and fuel and to waste as much time as possible finding parking.
The many cars on the road cause major congestions getting to school and finding parking. Also, parking and fuel costs add up considerably.
He needs to get to school in a timely fashion and wants to save money wherever possible.
All the insights gained from our research guided our design and proposed features, essentially allowing us to define our product. Understanding the issues posed for both public transport commuters and drivers who commute to school we were able to create a high-level definition of the product.
We analyzed different services that give students an alternative way to get to their destination. These included Uber, Lyft, and Flok. At the time this project was developed, there was no everyday commute carpooling apps specifically made for students. Flok was the only app targeted towards students. However, Flok’s primary goal is to connect people who are heading to the same event or city, it’s focus isn’t on everyday commutes to school and work. Upon analyzing these services, a few gaps that lead to user frustration were discovered.
Services like Uber and Lyft are too expensive for students to be using daily. These services, although time-saving, are more costly than public transportation. They are also the most expensive for students who already have their own vehicle.
There are currently no services available for students to carpool together to school or work.
Upon the creation of prototypes, we tested these on real users. We had enough of a foundation that allowed testers to understand the service and immediately find value (or not) in the service. We created a list of tasks for the testing upon deciding on a list of user testing goals.
Most of our initial work was quite successful! However, users had difficulties identifying how to request a new trip or look for riders. Also, they also had problems finding their carpooling requests.