A mobile application that incorporates both commute and parking time estimates for reaching your destination in addition to providing exact locations for available parking spots, so your journey is as accurate and stress free as it can be.
How can we make navigating to and parking in a crowded city accurate and stress-free?
Most drivers use traditional navigation applications to help them plan out and estimate their route and time to their destination. In fact, according to Insider Intelligence, it was estimated that in 2021, around 67.6% of smartphone users would be using navigation applications (4). However, most don’t think about parking once they have arrived. So that additional time to find a suitable parking location is not factored into the original plan, contributing to a potential delay in reaching a destination and resulting in stress and frustration. A study by INRIX also found that the average American driver spends an estimated 107 hours per year frustrated looking for a parking spot. On top of that, the estimated costs from wasted time, gas, and emissions is about $2,243. (3)
In addition, with growing populations in urban areas (1), the demand for parking locations both in garages and on the street continues to grow, especially in dense locations, where “drivers are often left frustrated and spend too much time searching for a spot, due to lack of immediate awareness of where spaces are open.”(2)
User Pain Points
Conducted a survey to obtain initial user data with regards to parking. To address this problem effectively the questions were focused on parking experience alone.
In the research, it was found that about 72% of drivers arrive late to their destination because they were not able to find a parking location on time. It was also found that arriving late was not a pleasant experience for most. Of this group, most reported feeling “frustrated”, “annoyed”, “very anxious”, and “ticked off”.
These findings confirmed that arriving late definitely has a negative impact on most drivers.
In addition, the research also confirmed that about 81% of drivers do have a sense of where they will park, however, only if they have already been to that area beforehand or done previous independent research prior to going on their commute. Therefore, it is still an additional task that most users need to do aside from planning their overall commute. And even if they know where to park, there is no sense of availability unless they reserve a spot in advance.
Landing on the Solution
Based on the pain points of our potential users it was identified that the main pain point for most users was arriving late to their destination.
This confirmed the idea that overall time of the journey was equally as important as knowing where to park in order to arrive at a location on time. This helped shape the solution to be both a mobile navigation application and parking facilitator.
Explanation of the Solution
ZenPark makes planning out your entire trip more convenient and hassle-free by providing both the route to the commute and facilitating your experience when it comes to finding a parking location based on your preferences, so that you know exactly where to park and still arrive at your destination on time.
ZenPark will provide all the details for parking by combining inputs from parking data provided by INRIX, which includes off-street/on-street parking data. parking analytics, and predictive occupancy. In addition ZenPark will collect crowd-sourced user inputs to display the most up to date parking regions and their availability.
All of this information will be displayed to the user in a format that is familiar and standard with most mobile navigation applications. This allows for any user to readily use ZenPark as a navigation app with the added benefit of including the parking time estimate and finding the exact spot to park once they reach their destination.
I plan to take my experience and lessons learned with this project to develop a new product with a team of designers and engineers. If in the future I am at a point where I have the time and resources to fully execute this, this is definitely a product I would enjoy developing and bringing to life.
Product Manager Learnings:
As a product manager it is important to focus on defining a problem space that is focused on one problem. And though the solution space should be explored with your team, it is also important to have a focused approach of how the solution will be executed.
I also learned that developing personas is crucial to envisioning how your product will be used.
I also learned that defining quantitative metrics and milestones are crucial for developing a MVP. With quantitative metrics, it is easier to prove and monitor how your product is making a realistic impact in the world and with its users. These metrics tied back to both user and market research are what ultimately help define the product’s success and guide its potential growth.