This app has been imagined and created in 48 hours as an entrance exam for the Codaisseur Coding Academy and their UX Design Academy. The mission was to create an app solution for a problem of traffic congestion on the roads of the Netherlands. As you can imagine, there was not a lot of sleep going on during those 48 hours.
•● 2019 •● 2 day deadline •● Entrance exam
First step in tackling this was to research as much as possible on the issue of traffic congestion in the Netherlands, all the ways it is dealt with right now and all the solutions proposed for the future. What do the government officials, experts, media, and the people who travel the roads on a daily basis say about the issues? What would they like to see changed and in what way?
I performed several phone interviews with my acquaintances, who I know spend a considerable time driving. That helped me find out how they feel when they are stuck in a traffic jam, whom do they blame, how they deal with it and what would they want to see changed. Approximately 40% of the available time was spent on research and writing down the conclusions.
Using the information gathered during the research, I created imaginary but plausible actors and put them in Jobs To Be Done framework. After that came the empathy maps for 4 of those actors. What do Anna, Dries, Finn and Mila feel, think, say and do when they are stuck in a traffic jam?
After the research and empathising phases, I finally allowed the brain to start thinking of possible solutions. Looking for something that is ambitious but plausible, and still not technologically that far away in the future such as a network of self driving vehicles. As I found out later, most of the applicants to the Academy created a ridesharing app. As I was aware of the already existing ridesharing and carpooling apps, and that market is crowded with entrants and solutions, that course did not seem interesting.
During the research I discovered that, in the last 10 years, a number of car companies have been testing the platooning technology, especially on trucks. This looked like a perfect link between our present-day driving habits and the future of autonomous driving network. Imagining that the present technology already included in the modern cars could with very little change achieve platooning on the highways, I ran with that idea.
ChainGain is an app designed to make platooning available for the modern vehicles on the highways. It searches for the fastest travel route and handles entering and leaving the chain of cars.
What if you could avoid traffic jams, spend less fuel, help the environment, drive safer and even... Make road trips relaxing?
Every year the roads are getting more crowded, and every day everyone is trying to get to that meeting faster: changing lanes, overtaking, pushing their car in front of yours, because, well ... they really really need to be somewhere right now. But in reality, all that aggressive road activity is making things worse than we think when trying to “just switch to a faster lane”.
Drivers’ frustrations and hurry result in rash, inconsiderate and aggressive decisions. This behaviour is making roads a chaotic place where we brake way too much, when instead we should be driving. We are worrying, bottling up anger aimed at people that are in the same situation, when we should be enjoying the view, our trip and life. We need less individual driving decisions. In order to make the traffic flow smoother, we need help making some of these decisions more calculated, cooperative, far-sighted and even automatic.
Until we get to the self driving future, we have a chance right now to make our highways a better place for all drivers involved, and we can do it with the current technology that all modern vehicles possess. We are talking about “Lane Keep Assist” and “Adaptive Cruise Control” technologies connected with Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
Auto companies like Mercedes-Benz , BMW, Volvo, Toyota and Volkswagen have been testing this technology on trucks for years, and we have developed it on similar principles, and made it ready for cars and highways. Our patented ChainGain technology connects all the smart hardware in your vehicle with road condition tracking.
Install ChainGain app on your device now and check if your vehicle is supported. Get rid of the road rage while helping the environment, and enjoy the ride!
Everything shown here was created in 48 hours, including the logo, poster, app design and all the app screens seen in the video. Additionally, after the assignment was done, I created an animated prototype of the app and a promotional video shown above. As a result of this work, I got accepted to the Codaisseur UX Design Academy.
The process of working on this and, even more importantly, afterwards while I was going deeper into the practices that I had to use here, helped me become comprehensively acquainted with Jobs To Be Done framework, emergent customers, customer personas, empathy maps, user journeys, user flows, wireframing, etc. I learned to design and prototype in Figma, animate the prototype in Principle and to make a promotional app video in After Effects.
This was the work that opened my mind to the complexity of the UX and UI design, all it’s work processes and the beauty of Design Thinking. It opened a whole new world of design for me and I enjoyed every bit of learning that I had an opportunity to apply here.