Before any design started, we decided to narrow down our target users to purely commuters. These were the people who's daily amount of walk were below the national average. We gathered both qualitative and quantitate data by interviewing users and having an online questionnaire. We found patterns based on the data, then based on that we brainstormed possible solutions and designed. In the end, the effectiveness of the solution was evaluated in an office complex.
To evaluate what motivates people to walk to work, we interviewed 23 commuters and surveyed 200 users with Amazon Mechanical Turk. These studies showed that
Based on the research insights, we brainstormed ideas that uses social incentives to influence users to park further from their workplace. We evaluated each idea based on our goals and understanding of the challenge.
We decided to make a mobile application that leverages group incentives to make parking farther from work attractive and enjoyable. Besides, we designed a Facebook event page so that active members of the community are encouraged to create ParkSocials events and invite their friends. Driving-commuters are invited by their peers to park farther from work and walk with their coworkers. Note that this project was conducted on 2010 where Facebook event feature dId not exist yet.
The Facebook application gives users feedback (i.e. distance walked, number of participants) about the events they've attended and the upcoming events they are invited to. It also encourages participation by providing a group goal - getting on the "Top ParkSocials" list, or becoming the most-attended ParkSocial.
We modeled the design of the ParkSocial event-creation page after Facebook's event-creation to give it a familiar feel.
To keep the users more engaged, we designed a ParkSocial mobile application. The mobile application encourages users to announce when they successfully participate in an event in order to provide positive feedback and a sense of group identity.
Our intervention in an office complex suggests that social factors can be an effective way to influence where individuals park. The ParkSocial design concept has the potential to affect commuters' behavior and foster a positive association with walking.