This project is still in progress, so things might look a little wonky!
 Feel free to take a look now, but please check back in the coming weeks to see updates.
Sherpa
2019  |  Georgia Institute of Technology
What's this about?
Within this semester-long project, we explored various ways of improving a user's competency with basic bicycle maintenance. Throughout the project, we stayed engaged with users via surveys, feedback sessions, and usability testing.

I was responsible for most of the design decisions and content creation, including wireframes, prototypes, and mockups.
Role
Design Team Lead
Team
Varnit Jain
Kevin Key
Yunfei Wang
Benton Humphreys
How might we promote self-sufficiency for cyclists ?
Research
User-Interface
Industrial
Systems
There are many types of cyclist, and most have something in common.
As a starting point for understanding our user group and the context in which they might experience problems, our team fielded a survey to a local cycling group. Surprisingly, how long someone had been riding did not necessarily correlate to how comfortable they were with bicycle maintenance.

From this research, we determined that it would be best to target those who were unfamiliar with maintenance in general, but who had an interest in being self-sufficient.
Cyclists want to get back to their journey as quickly as possible.
Online Survey
Our survey generated 67 responses from cyclists of different experience levels, different competencies with maintenance, and with different purposes for riding.

We structured the survey to first discover demographic information to better inform how we might best design a solution for our users. Following this, we wanted to understand our user's technology habits, confidence with maintenance, and how what resources they find helpful when (if) they perform maintenance.
This data is still being visualized! Please check back soon to see the results.
What does a cyclist need to be self-sufficient?
Following the survey, we needed to extrapolate data and define our user group from their feedback. This consisted of affinity modeling from the survey data, discovering problem areas, and inferring how we might be able to turn these problem areas into definable pain points.
Cyclists who want to repair their bicycles are typically hindered by a lack of knowledge or resources.
Affinity Modeling
After concluding our two research methods, we decided to use affinity modeling to combine the information we had gathered to find common themes and pain points. We turned the survey data and interview answers into high quality notes for modeling and created the affinity model found below. After completing the affinity model, we added our own design ideas and questions to areas we found relevant to help with concept generation.
Pain Points
The affinity model revealed several distinct themes about our users, which informed the pain points listed below. These pain points served as the basis for brainstorming, and were used a point of reference to validate or justify certain directions, concepts, and features, throughout the design process.
1
Users lack the resources (e.g. space and tools) to adequately perform bicycle maintenance
2
Those unfamiliar with maintenance rely and depend on others with more experience
3
Community resources are not readily available
Users feel helpless when they are unable to perform maintenance tasks themselves
4
5
Instruction guides don’t directly correlate to the user’s own bike components or situation
6
They have difficulty performing maintenance tasks for the first time
7
Community resources are not readily available
User Needs [         ] to Promote Self-Sufficiency
Diverse approaches can lead to a more unique solution.
To facilitate idea generation we brainstormed ideas based on the 7 discovered pain points and the resulting user needs, then grouped similar ideas under umbrella categories. These umbrella categories served as the basis for very distinct ideas, which were then defined further and are presented below.
To target the pain points, we focused on 3 distinct solution areas:

1. Promote self-sufficiency
2. Leverage community resources, and
3. Reliance on others with more knowledge
Brainstorming
After defining our target user group a bit more concisely, we performed a 2-part brainstorm session. The first part of the brainstorm session remained at a higher level, as we attempted to define areas for diversity of ideas. This resulted in several "umbrella" categories, which ranged from applications focused on improving independence and self-sufficiency for the user, to improving access to community resources, and even a "gig-economy" style approach that would connect users to maintenance experts.

Within these umbrella categories, we defined more specific concepts that targeted the previously mentioned pain points. Finally, we performed a matrix-style evaluation to select concepts that most appropriately targeted our user group and their problems.
Concept Selection
The below concepts were chosen from part 2 of the brainstorm session, and were then further developed to better illustrate the design intent.
Sherpa: Repair App
Northstar: Interactive Kiosk
Life Cycle: "Gig" Service
Personas Targeted:
Sherpa is a mobile application that provides the user with step-by-step guidance for diagnosing and fixing common maintenance issues. The user has the option to use a standard version of the app, which will offer guidance based on the type of bicycle they select (e.g. mountain bicycle, or road bicycle), but it will not be specific to the make or model of the bicycle. The app will use the phone’s camera and computer vision to recognize parts, and prompt the user with questions to help them discover and fix the problem. If the user cannot diagnose or fix the problem themselves, they can use a paid function to connect with an expert, who will be available by video stream and/or an onscreen “drawing” feature.
Personas Targeted:
Northstar is a concept that redefines what a public-use bicycle repair station can be. It provides users with free-to-use tools and resources that they might otherwise not have access to, and is offered at various locations within urban settings. It is similar in concept to existing repair stations, but has the added element of an interactive screen that can guide users through general repair processes. It is designed to be integrated with Google Maps to make discovering repair station locations more accessible. Further, it leverages community input in the form of users reporting issues that inform others of the repair stations availability.
Life Cycle is a “gig-economy” service that connects users with nearby bicycle repair technicians. It is a pay-per-use service that can help a user who does not know how to repair their bike connect with someone who does. In the event of an emergency maintenance situation, the user has the option to request a pick up from a certified bicycle technician, who will attempt to fix the bicycle on location, or transport it (and the user, if necessary) to a better location.
Personas Targeted:
self-sufficiency
trust in others
cost efficiency
self-sufficiency
community resources
convenience
gig-economy
emergency situations

Click to enlarge.
Sherpa: Repair Guide
self-sufficiency
trust in others
cost efficiency
customized experience*
Sherpa is a mobile application that provides the user with step-by-step guidance for diagnosing and fixing common maintenance issues. The user has the option to use a standard version of the app, which will offer guidance based on the type of bicycle they select (e.g. mountain bicycle, or road bicycle), but it will not be specific to the make or model of the bicycle. The app will use the phone’s camera and computer vision to recognize parts, and prompt the user with questions to help them discover and fix the problem. If the user cannot diagnose or fix the problem themselves, they can use a paid function to connect with an expert, who will be available by video stream and/or an onscreen “drawing” feature.
Northstar: Interactive Kiosk
self-sufficiency
community resources
Northstar is a concept that redefines what a public-use bicycle repair station can be. It provides users with free-to-use tools and resources that they might otherwise not have access to, and is offered at various locations within urban settings. It is similar in concept to existing repair stations, but has the added element of an interactive screen that can guide users through general repair processes. It is designed to be integrated with Google Maps to make discovering repair station locations more accessible. Further, it leverages community input in the form of users reporting issues that inform others of the repair stations availability.
Personas Targeted:
Life Cycle: Gig Service
convenience
gig-economy
emergency situations
Life Cycle is a “gig-economy” service that connects users with nearby bicycle repair technicians. It is a pay-per-use service that can help a user who does not know how to repair their bike connect with someone who does. In the event of an emergency maintenance situation, the user has the option to request a pick up from a certified bicycle technician, who will attempt to fix the bicycle on location, or transport it (and the user, if necessary) to a better location.
Personas Targeted:
Filtering the concepts through the user resulted in a more informed approach.
We fielded these 3 concepts to users via online survey, and received valuable feedback that informed a refined concept direction. We were able to "mix and match" features from each of the concepts to define a new approach that better targeted the original pain points and user needs.
Overall, users preferred to remain self-sufficient, but most still lacked the necessary resources to perform maintenance themselves.
This data is still being visualized! Please check back soon to see the results.
Narrowing the scope.
From the online feedback of the 3 concepts, we were able to narrow down our concept scope. Users noted that they found "Sherpa" to be the most valuable, and we chose to develop a refined concept using this concept as a basis. Additionally, we generated a lot of valuable feature-specific feedback that was incorporated into the final direction.
Users must inherently know how to use this app, as they will likely not frequently use it, and therefore will not commit much to memory.
Key Features
Diagnosis Tool
Part Identification
Repair Guide
Repair Station Locator
Information Architecture
I began to structure the information architecture from a high-level, using the defined features as a starting point. To minimize ambiguity, the tasks of each feature would belong on separate pages, but would be discoverable on the home page for quick access. Though the "Diagnosis," "Repair Station Locator," and "Begin Repair" functions are the most important functionalities of the system, users aren't likely to use one feature more than the other, therefore, all of these are given equal hierarchy.

Click to enlarge.
Quick Interactive Prototypes
From the feedback we received on the 3 initial concepts we were able to determine which features our users found the most valuable and incorporated them into a more refined concept. I built the initial wireframes mid-fidelity in order to have a second round of feedback with them before producing anything that might look too "final," which might dissuade our users from giving appropriate feedback.
Mockups
I generated screen mockups for the home page while taking an initial pass at the wireframes. Each concept represents a different method for the user to select the bicycle they want to perform the diagnosis or repair on. The user can create bicycle profiles on a separate page, and utilize these profiles to have more targeted repair processes.



Home Page
Given that use of this app is likely to be infrequent, they probably won't select a bicycle prior to beginning a ride. For this reason, visual priority was given to the bicycle selection feature. While in the app, users can quickly cycle through their bicycle profiles before beginning diagnosis or repair. It would be a time-consuming error to begin a diagnosis or repair, only to discover that the bicycle you were working on isn't the correct one.

Ultimately, the carousel was chosen as the final method of interaction.
Bicycle Profile

The user can access the their bicycle profiles simply by tapping on the image of the activated bicycle on the home screen. Here, they are presented with data specific to their bicycles (e.g. manufacturer and model), which they can modify as needed. Further, they can input custom components. This information will better inform the diagnosis and repair processes, and present information that is more pertinent to their use case.

Additionally, the user can link their Strava account, which will automatically populate information like miles ridden per bike, and upcoming maintenance tasks.
User Profile

The user can customize their account by including personal information. This is accessed by tapping the profile icon.
Diagnose, Repair Guide, and Find a Repair Station

The main value of the app is with the diagnosis, repair, and repair station locator functions. These are presented in a similar visual hierarchy, as it isn't likely that users will choose one option over another with great frequency.
Stay tuned!
Looking for something specific?
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Made with love by Benton Humphreys, 2020.