YBuy is a mobile app that helps people lend and borrow things easily and effectively, all in one platform. The app is geared toward people who don’t have extra space and money to buy and store unnecessary items that are used sporadically and would prefer to borrow from people in their community, making sustainability-friendly choices.
With YBuy app users can rent gear for a weekend, vacation, or even try a gadget they've been planning to buy.
I did this project with a Product Manager and mentor, Aaron Wang using the GV Design Sprint approach.
Timeline: 4 weeks
Skills/Tools Used: GV Design Sprint, Secondary research, user research, Sketching, Sketch, InVision & Figma
Role: UX/UI Designer
Responsibilities: User Research, Concept ideation, User flows, Visual design, Prototyping, User Testing, Design iterations, and Quality assurance
Why do people feel restricted when purchasing recreational gadgets?
Uncertainty in Frequency of use
Recreational gadget needs can change seasonally and as our interests develop. For ex., Exploring the city on a Hoverboard in summer, or a desire to capture drone shots when you travel to a National park, etc.
Value for Money
Not having certainty in the frequency of use questions the Value for money, especially for expensive products with low resale value.
Limited space for storage, especially in Metro cities can restrict the hobbies and interests users can invest in.
Very few renting platforms
Most of the renting platforms are B2C and are typically not around the corner or have online services. Moreover, they do not deal with a diverse inventory of electronics, sports, travel, and musical instruments.
Difficulty in getting and returning big items
Users in metro cities like NYC or even students may not own a car and this can be another hassle to deal with when renting bigger items. For ex., Camping equipments, Kayak, etc,
"Gadget Lover" and an "Adventurer".
We started with an understanding of key customers and their user pain points.
KEY PAIN POINTS
Most users were new to the neighborhood and did not have many friends around.
The apartments were small, making it difficult to store things such as mountain bikes, camping equipment, etc.
Students were excited to try new gadgets such as drones and cameras, but they were not affordable to them.
How can we help them effectively and sustainably?
Rent when needed and list owned gadgets for income
Easy access to rent gadgets in the neighborhood; also earn by listing their items for rent as well as sale.
Try before you buy
Platform to try before you buy, with an option to purchase the rental item at a reduced price.
Promote consumer sharing in local groups
Use this as an opportunity to reduce consumption but not interest. Give rewards for sharing and promote it in closed groups like schools, apartment buildings, gyms, etc.
Peer to Peer online rental marketplace
Renting through the peers means an opportunity to connect with people who might share similar interests and accessibility to diverse range of equipments and gadgets
Uber Drop Service
Provide Uber Drop service at the time of reservation at an additional cost; provide a feature to track items from Pick up to Drop off.
How might we?...
By asking HMW we turned the existing problems into opportunities. We prioritized these HMWs to solve for our MVP
Solutions to some of the challenges
BORROWER - Search and rent the product
LENDER - List the product for side income
I took inspiration from competitors’ products that were solving similar problems. This helped us get a large amount of information on the table and quickly build understanding.
Crazy 8 exercise led to finding the best solutions to explore the possibilities and features in detail for each critical problem.
Uber drop service at additional cost
Friend/community groups for easy sharing
Compare options for the wish-listed items
Search and locate on the map
Courtney (Persona) downloads the app to rent a drill for some pending handy work at home. She explores through the Tools category to find a perfect match by filtering her search to minimum distance and her prefered date.
She finds what she's looking for and proceeds to make a reservation by making the payment.
I invited 4 users from the neighborhood for the usability testing over a zoom call.
Users raised privacy and authenticity concerns
Hesitation to list products incase of damage and loss.
Small/low value items seemed more of a hassle than benefit.
Users preferred to get "How to use" instructions
WHAT USERS SAID?
“Why would I put up small things, like games and books for little money?"
“How will you address privacy if I'm not comfortable with sharing my address to strangers?”
“I would prefer to see instructions or videos of how to use the gadgets I'm new to.”
"What if my item goes missing or is damaged?"
"I love the "Uber Drop" concept, now I can get bigger things delivered given I don't own a car "
Week 2 challenge was to iterate on the original idea, taking into account the insights from user feedback and our goals. We started with a short Lightning Decision Jam workshop for reflection and ideation to brainstorm how we could improve the features and flow of the app to meet users’ needs.
Limit the product categories to slightly mid to higher price range so the business model could be profitable and motivates users to list their items.
Trust & Safety
Provide Damage Protection and Liability Guarantee to protect against a personal injury claim.
The idea is to have third party insurance incorporated for the business model.
These were added to the Home Page to provide transparency as well as gain user’s trust.
Authenticity concerns were addressed by adding ID Verification. For pick-up, users could select a public location close to the actual address, to protect their privacy.
The category page was merged with the product page by adding a category selection tab on top and subcategories under it, hence preventing the category repetition from the Home page and making it more accessible.
Product description page was updated to accomodate User Manuals/Instructions and Videos to help the user understand the product functions better.
Tabs for key Info
EXPLORE THE FEATURES
*Hover over to see the interactions
Filter Tab hovers over for easy accessibility. It is available in List view as well as Map view.
Now you can wishlist your items and compare to get the best.
Renting an item has been made super quick with minimum clicks and ease of access to main categories on Home Page
Uber Drop Tracking
Reviewing past orders and keeping a track of delivery is super easy.
Friends & Groups
You can do it all, make a friend in your neighbourhood or create common groups for sharing and earning.
You can list your item for some extra money, by just filling up this listing form.
LEARNING & OUTCOME
Problem-solving on a strict timeline: GV sprint was a very fast approach to test an idea at an initial stage opens because it opened a lot of doors. This challenging project taught me how to prioritize features and empathize with users under time constraints. With stakeholder meetings taking place every week, the expedited sprints gave me an opportunity to practice and present my prototyping and UI skills specific to the user’s needs.
Major breakthrough: Initial idea was to create a goto app for renting all small and big things including games, sports, tools, electronics, vehicles, etc. but during testing, the users expressed hesitation in listing their belongings. This helped us dig deeper into the damage/liability problem while sticking to the goals we had set in the beginning.
Validating Iteration: By asking the same questions in the 2nd usability test and A/B testing, we were able to validate improvements and compare results to round 1 tests. Users were excited to try the gadget's dedicated rental platform and appreciated policies addressing damage, safety, and privacy concerns.
These were the initial design sprints and currently, the founder is in the process of fundraising. I would love to be a part of their future design sprint where we would work on refining the design and ship it to developers.