Stress Free Parking

About the Project

ParkPlease is an online event parking service that makes parking as easy as using a friend's parking space. Anyone with a space can rent it for cash and drivers can easily reserve and enjoy the prime parking locations. I co-founded ParkPlease with 3 others and we proceeded to operate for the following 2 years.

My Role

I managed the product roadmap, led the design process, oversaw the development and kept everyone running in the same direction in a fast paced environment. I also created the website flows, interactions and layouts from the ground up.

A Hair Pulling Experience

If you're driving to a busy area I'd bet there's at least one thing on your mind - parking. Will you be able to get a spot close to your destination? Will there be parking meters? Are there any lots nearby? Which ones have the best price? The last thing you want is to end up circling the neighborhood, tearing your hair out and yelling at pigeons, entirely flustered by the ordeal of finding a spot.

And the worrying doesn't end with finding a spot. If you've parked at a meter, you're a slave to the timer at the risk of an expensive ticket. If you've found street parking, you wonder if your car is safe or if you interpreted the sign correctly.

And I'm sure we've all experienced that moment of shock of and awe when leaving a lot - you want how much for two hours?!

Bottom line: parking is stressful. Spots are hard to find, posted rules read like complex riddles, and miscalculations are costly. Its stressful from the minute you start to plan your trip until the minute you return home. People want to plan ahead for parking. In an age where you can reserve you car, your room, your table, your seats, and even your outfit ahead of time your parking spot should be no different. So why are we putting up with all this nonsense?

Stress Free Parking

The overall goal of ParkPlease is simply to de-stress parking. The challenges with the service are that parking is inherently stressful given that one’s automobile is likely her most expensive a valued possession. What else is up there on the list of expensive and valued possessions? One’s property. Therein lies the challenge of the experience surrounding the ParkPlease product: to create a worry-free, fun experience even when dealing with the things people tend to worry about most. So how can you accomplish this goal with interaction design? Make it accessible. Make it social. Make it fun.

Make it Accessible

In order to make the ParkPlease design accessible, I wanted to (1) deliver all relevant information as quickly as possible to the user and (2) be completely transparent about how the processes in the site work.

The design of the homepage reflects goal of bringing all pertinent information and actions to the forefront and giving the user the tools to easily find exactly what they need. The navigation was designed so that the most important actions - park and post - are easily accessible and always available. As a buyer, the most relevant pieces of information to renting a parking spot are location and price. For this reason, the map takes up the most real estate on the page, and

the pins are marked with the daily price of the spot. Just one click away, is the spot detail modal if the user wants more information about the spot. The filters help narrow the spots further and the spots turn grey after they have been viewed so the user knows what they have already clicked on. The flows for posting a spot and for booking a spot were designed with the goal of being completely transparent to the user about what to expect. The pages for posting a spot show exactly the steps that the user will go through as they post their spot front and center, so the user knows where he is in the process at each step of the way. The flow for booking a spot explains to the user how the requests work at the header of each screen.

Make it Social

How do you put people at ease with where they will be parking their most valued possession? How do you make people feel comfortable with allowing a stranger on to their property? Introduce them. Seeing a name, a picture, a Facebook profile, and activity associated with each user gives a sense of who that person might be and works towards the larger goal of de-stressing parking. That is why the ParkPlease product spec is permeated with social

features. Each spot posting and each reservation request has a picture associated with it so that ParkPlease users remember its real people they’re dealing with to hopefully maintain a high quality standard throughout the service. Each user has a profile with their activity on the site. There is concept of following other users to plant the seeds of a social network community.

Make it Fun

I have always believed that the way to have happy customers is to have happy suppliers. Because of this belief, I have envisioned a very interactive seller dashboard with hints of game mechanics, to excite and motivate sellers to continue to post spots and confirm their reservations. Sellers can see all the activity that has occurred on their spots in their dashboard to help them understand why their spot may or may not be booking and also to give them the tools to reach out to people who seem interested in their spots. The ultimate goal is that the seller activity feed -

and other eventual features - will turn the sellers into our own product evangelists, inspiring them to chase after the sale, bringing in the mutual benefit of income and additional users. The large “upcoming payments” number reflects the total amount pending for confirmed reservations (sellers do not get paid until after the reservation is complete). Each time a seller confirms a reservation, the number will go up. The positive reinforcement will motivate sellers to confirm reservations and the pot of gold at the end of the line will encourage sellers to carry out the agreement with integrity.


The main lesson I took away from this project was never to prioritize shipping something over shipping the right thing. I believe our emphasis on time to market in at the start of the project, really blinded us from seeing that the right thing to do was to create a holistic experience, rather than to tack On Demand onto our existing functionality. Had we taken a holistic approach from the start, we may have saved some time. However, I was lucky to have been working with a team that was so resilient once we realized what the right path was and know the on Demand app will turn out to be a great product.

Dinamundo Prototype

Exploring a Novel Concept

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