SaveBiking is an Italian start-up born with the vision of promoting the use of bicycles to build a sustainable society. With this idea in mind, their team asked Things to revise the service and re-build their mobile application, bringing new ideas to the table. I was responsible for the entire design process with the help of Maria Kharnaukhova, a service designer who helped me in the discovery phase.
User Research: what we discovered
SaveBiking is a mobile application that rewards bikers who constantly use the bike to move around the city. The original version of the application was created around the concept of “the more you bike, the more you earn”, but our team developed a user research that led to a new value proposition and a new brand identity.
A new brand: not only about money
We discovered that money and discounts are not the key drivers for our user-base: sustainability was one of the main reasons for bike lovers to use their bike instead of the car. In the second place, we discovered that the original reward system of the app rewarded long-distance riders only, so we changed the way the rewards were given: the new SaveBiking application now rewards users based on consistency and not only by distance covered.
Despite the changes we introduced, the foundation of the product should have been intact: bike, gain points, spend points. The screens below show how I approached the core features of the App: thanks to the GPS-tracking the user can start a bike ride, save it, and explore the marketplace choosing between products according to the number of points collected. This user flow does not motivate or raise any awareness, and that's where the real challenge comes into play.
Gamification & Awareness
In order to increase motivation, fun, and sense of community, we designed a gamified system consisting of streaks if users ride their bike for consecutive days, and badges if they ride despite adverse weather conditions. We also added levels, challenges, and friend referrals.
We introduced the possibility to participate in challenges, with the aim of providing extra motivation with additional prizes and reinforcing the community spirit.
Finally, we wanted the user interface to highlight the sustainability aspect. SaveBikers can see their impact as individuals, as well as a community, through impactful data such as gas saved and CO2 saved. We also introduced special green elements and screens designed specifically to elevate and recognize good behaviour, with metaphors such as growing a small forest.
I was also in charge of the entire UI process. The idea was to create a simple and minimalistic interface, where white is the protagonist. Great care was taken in preparing all the icons and illustrations. For the onboarding screens and tutorial, custom illustrations were created by Katja Pekhotina, visual designer in Things.
This project is extremely important for me. First of all, it reflects the values in which I believe: to clarify, I'm a bike commuter too, trying to do my best to reduce my impact on the planet. Moreover, it's one of the projects in which I had more responsibilities since I was in charge of all the phases of the process.
The product was a success, it received good reviews on the App Store and it won several start-up competitions to receive funds and sponsorships. Being an MVP, the application can still grow in terms of new features and collaborations. We are working with their team to plan the next phases of the project, providing a long-term vision for future developments.