She Rides

An end-to-end project from concept ideation to prototyping.

Project Overview

My Role

Picture this scene: It is dark and late, you are alone walking back home, nobody is around, and you see a silhouette coming in your direction, what is your worst fear? If you are a woman, there is a high chance that you hoped the silhouette to be a scary ghost, but not an unknown man. Unfortunately, this fear accompanies many women in several situations, especially when using in ride-hailing services alone. On the other side of the coin, women who work as drivers in this segment also are in constant tension when picking up male passengers.

She Rides is a solution for businesses in ride-hailing services that wish to display an optional feature that will make their female drivers and users a little safer when completing a ride.

I created the concept of the feature application, where I am conducting research to develop the design strategy.

Problem

According to the Metropolitan Police Report, over 21.090 cases of sexual offences in the UK happened in taxi and private hire drivers in 2021. While Uber's first safety report, more than 3,000 passengers were sexually assaulted. The numbers are expressive!

Unfortunately, in the society we live there is no short-term solution to prevent sexual violence. I got inspired by major metropolitan cities in Brazil and Japan that designated a few train carriages for women-only passengers, in order to tackle the extensive sexual harassment in public transportation. She Rides is an integration application for any ride-hailing service that will offer female users a search filter for a female driver, as well as for female drivers an option to only female passengers.

Design Strategy

As a woman and a user of ride-hailing services myself, I can't count how many times I had the sight of relief when my driver turned out to be another woman. I wanted to design an integration app that turned this "fate chance" into a chosen option.

I created a new design system to filter established requirements to ensure She Rides encompasses best-in-class usability, especially considering it would be incorporated into any existing ride-hailing service.

I employed the Design Thinking model in the project, which consists of 5-stages (Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test), and the User Interface of the application.

In the conclusion, I will conduct usability tests to evaluate the designs, where I can ensure that the application is on the right path.

woman in white long sleeve shirt driving car
woman in white long sleeve shirt driving car

Research

Strategy

  • Market Analysis

  • User Interview

  • User Personas

The main goal was to document the market demand for She Rides and understand how users perceived ride-hailing apps regarding the specific problem of potential danger for women. In this context, several user interviews with female drivers and female users are required, in order to understand their perspective on the concern and develop the personas.

Empathize

To better understand the market's potential demand for this feature, I conducted user interviews with female drivers and female passengers of hailing-riding applications. Additionally, I conducted thorough research on the major cities of Sao Paulo, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro regarding their implementation of women-only carriage in public transportation, in order to understand the behaviour contrasts in users before and after the implementation. Further, I conducted a sample quantitative research of 50 users. I developed a survey with 22 questions aimed at revealing the user behaviour on ride-hailing services, specifically on what concerns them the most. Lastly, I developed user personas using the collected data from the aforementioned research.

I decided to design a persona of the passenger/customer and another of the driver, considering both users had faced the same problem in different contexts. It is my understanding that the personas in this project would highlight the ideal user's pain points, as well as the relevant attitudes and the specific context associated with ride-hailing services and women.

Personas

Define

Unfortunately, in the society we currently live the rape culture is real and normalized by many. It is usually disguised by "harmless" comments or justified by fashion choices or intoxication levels that a person may have. What was she expecting by being this intoxicated? Well, I can assure you she was expecting only a hungover, nothing else.

In this context, when considering ride-hailing services used daily by several users on different sides of the coin, drivers and passengers, this matter becomes terrifying. If you are a passenger you are vulnerable, because the driver has all the control of the vehicle. On the other side, if you are a driver you are just as vulnerable as your attention will be focused on avoiding accidents and on the journey itself.

After extensive user interviews and research with female drivers and passengers, I identified that the majority of the pain points unveiled by them are connected to a time of the day and the vulnerability of not knowing who your driver is. The available features for safety are not enough to make the user comfortable with the service in some specific circumstances, which leads to frustration with the company providing the service. I detected that simply adding an optional filter to give the female users one more option for their safety would prevent most of these users' issues with the service and companies providing the service.