UX Design Part 1: Designing human centred experiences to delight customers
30 November 2015
If you own a smartphone parking just got easier, thanks to Wilson Parking's clever new app.
The app takes the stress and guesswork out of parking with its 'simplicity first' design. Using GPS it shows you your nearest Wilson facilities on a map. Once you've parked, rather than nominating the duration of your stay, you simply press a 'start' button on the app when you park and a 'stop' button when you return to your car. The app guarantees you the cheapest rate available and charges your credit card at the end of your stay. No walk to the pay station, queueing, or even texting required. And no stress because your meeting ran over time and your parking expired.
"We want our customers to spend less time worrying about their parking and more time enjoying what they've come to do."
"We want our customers to spend less time worrying about their parking and more time enjoying what they've come to do." - Matt Ryan, Sales Manager, Wilson Parking."
The app was developed by Sandfield for Kashin Mobile Payments who were already managing text and web-based parking payment solutions on behalf of Wilson Parking. Kashin's Gordon Morrison says he appreciated the level of depth to the conversations prior to and during development of the app as Sandfield worked to understand Wilson Parking's business needs and respond with the ideal solution.
"The app is all about ease for the customer," says Jonathan Clarke, Solution Manager at Sandfield. "From an operator's point of view it is also cheap to roll out and doesn't rely on gate infrastructure. And It's very flexible, so it allows for things like short term or special event parking to be put in place easily."
It's early days for Wilson ParkMate, but so far feedback has been very positive, says Matt Ryan. "I think that people appreciate the intent of the app which is to give them control over what they are paying for."
Ryan cites the example of an Earlybird parker who decides to stay in the city for dinner and can extend their parking without returning to their car. "People are making comments about that and that's good for us."
"The aim is to make it so easy that people will drive past one of our competitors to go to a Wilson's park."
The app will be promoted in Auckland over the next quarter, then rolled out to the rest of the country. Kashin plan to 'white label' the app for other clients, such as city councils.
Users download the free app and sign up by providing their name, registration number and credit card details. GPS is utilised to show you the Wilson carparks near your current location where you can use the app. Once you have parked the app allows you to start Earlybird parking if still available, or start casual parking. The app guarantees you the cheapest rate. Wilson Parking check the registrations of the cars parked in the facility against their database to ensure you've 'started' the clock.
You nominate how frequently you'd like your phone to remind you that you need to 'stop' your parking when you return to your car. You can be reminded as frequently as every 15 minutes and as infrequently as every three hours. Earlybird parkers can determine at what point prior to their parking expiring they will begin receiving reminders on their phone. If you decide to stay longer you can extend your parking without returning to your car. If you are in a different car from usual, you simply type over your on-screen 'registration plate' with the registration of the car you are driving.
You can check out and download the apps here: