Navelo

e-Ink navigation for shared bicycles

MHCI+D Immersion Studio September 2017
5 Days
In collaboration with Xinbei Hu and Minjun Chen
Product Design, User Interface Design, Rapid Prototyping

Navelo is a built-in e-ink onboard navigation system for dockless bike-share bicycles such as Ofo, Spin, and LimeBike. Navelo is designed to provides riders a safer, more efficient, and convenient trip to their intended destination.

This project was part of the MHCI+D program's week-long Immersion Studio.

The cohort was randomly split into teams of three. We were then given a hypothetical scenario and four days to research, ideate, generate concepts, prototype, test, design, and present.

Problem

Hypothetical

A recent manufacturing innovation means that the square-inch cost of e-ink will plummet. How can we create a desirable use of this innovation, in any environment, for any user, or any form factor?

Challenge
How might we encourage bike share users to better plan their trip?

Our solution

Navelo is a built-in e-ink onboard navigation system for dockless bike-share bicycles such as Ofo, Spin, and LimeBike.

Provides riders a safer, more efficient, and convenient trip to their intended destination.

Eliminates the need to use a smartphone for directions throughout the ride, thus increasing safety of riders.

Allows the number of bike-share riders to increase and amount of accidents and injuries to decrease.

How it works

To use Navelo, the rider simply enters the desired destination upon unlocking the bike as they normally would, using a smartphone. The rider will then be able to choose the desired bicycle-friendly route and follow the chosen route using the handlebar mounted e-ink display.

Research + Insights

Given the timeline of the challenge, research needed to be conducted in a quick, efficient way. We employed primary and secondary research methods to understand what e-ink is, and the feasibility, viability and desirability associated with it. Beyond an understanding of e-ink, we also looked to understand the role of dockless bike share systems in large cities and any problems that people may encounter.

12

In-Depth Interviews

30

News Research Reference

2

Key Insights

Insight #1

Riders engage in unsafe navigation practices.

Insight #2

Unfamiliarity with bicycle-friendly roads leads people to choose alternative methods of transportation

People use unsafe navigation practices while riding.

Unfamiliarity with bicycle-friendly roads leads people to choose alternate methods of transportation.

Concept Generation

With the insights in mind, we generated a total of over 15 design concepts. The 15+ concepts were then narrowed down to four loosely related concepts- an on board navigation system with GPS map display, a built in universal phone mount for the bike, and two versions of an on board navigation system with visual and auditory navigation cues.

Down-selection

Criteria + Rationale
GPS map is too distracting and compromises safety.
Phone case is inconvenient for the riders.
Headphones are unsafe and unsanitary

We decided to move forward with the on board navigation system that uses an e-ink display for visual navigation cues and auditory navigation cues in the form of a built-in speaker.

We decided to move forward with the on board navigation system that uses an e-ink display for visual navigation cues and auditory navigation cues in the form of a built-in speaker.

Prototype exploration

To test the concept, we developed digital and paper prototypes using Adobe Illustrator, InVision, cardboard, tape, and glue.

What we wanted to understand
How people look at screens when they are riding.
How people understand visual cues.
How people react to the new sharing bike with navigation system build into the app.

Design Iteration

What we found

People found progress bar misleading: is it displaying progress to the next turn/move or overall progress to the destination?

Initial ETA metrics (distance to destination, time to destination, and time of arrival) were overwhelming and unclear.

It is too loud to hear auditory navigational cues in a city environment.

Takeaways

What was learned

Throughout the course of this project, we learned about the e-ink technology and how bike-share systems work. A bike-share navigation system is feasibleviable, and desirable. This project was also a great exercise in designing within constraints. The screen size on the bike is comparatively small; hence it become much more important about how we design the layout to make it understandable to everyone.

Combining our knowledge of e-ink and the rather-new dockless bike share systems we arrived at two insights that shaped our design process.

Considerations

Moving forward with this concept, we would need to consider the charging method of the navigation system andthe potential privacy issues that were expressed during our final critique.