Drake Rorabaugh --- 2021
UI/UX/Commercial/User Research

For the Auto-Ride project, I delved into the world of UX/UI design and commercial advertising for a speculative self-driving ride-sharing app. To complement the visual aspect of the project, I also undertook an audio-only exercise to hone my storytelling skills without relying on visual context.

The project began with preliminary user research, which involved data collection, deep reading, interviews with friends and family members connected to the industry, and the creation of user personas to identify the pain points that my product would address. The challenge of translating this research into not only a functional and user-friendly app but also an engaging commercial that effectively advertised the app's unique selling points was an exciting and rewarding experience.

In the end, the Auto-Ride project showcased my ability to combine research, UX/UI design, and storytelling to create a comprehensive and appealing solution for a hypothetical self-driving ride-sharing app. The project also highlighted the importance of considering user needs and pain points in the design process, ensuring that the final product is both useful and appealing to the many categories of the given target audience.

01 First Advertisement

The first advertisement was concepted to capture the audience's attention while also explaining the app's process without using any dialogue. This approach challenged my visual storytelling skills and pushed me to develop a clear and engaging narrative.

After writing several drafts to refine the storyline and ensure its simplicity and impact, I enlisted the help of a friend to film the commercial. Together, we brought the concept to life, creating a compelling advertisement that effectively showcased the app's unique features and benefits without relying on verbal explanations.

The final result was a visually striking and easily understandable advertisement that demonstrated my ability to create engaging and persuasive visual narratives, even in the absence of dialogue, even making quick directorial decisions on the fly. The production required submitting for a few permits or permissions, location scouting, post production, color grading, music editing, and more.

02 Second Advertisement

The objective of the second advertisement was to provide a clear and comprehensive understanding of the app's user experience, specifically within the context of a self-driving car. This commercial aimed to showcase the seamless integration of the app with the autonomous vehicle technology, emphasizing the convenience, safety, and efficiency it offers to users.

The production required minor location scouting, rehearsal, post production, color grading, music editing, and even a first time acting appearance from yours truly after someone on set had a last minute COVID exposure. (They are happy healthy now, and actively working on some great animations, wishing you well paul!)

03 App Walkthrough

Here's a walkthrough video of the application designed for the commercial, showcasing the tablet version of the app, designed in Figma. In this video, you'll see a step-by-step demonstration of the app's features and functionalities, providing a comprehensive overview of how the app works and interacts with the self-driving car technology.

The walkthrough covers various aspects of the app, such as:

    • The user onboarding process, including account creation and personalization options.
    • The process of scheduling a ride, including selecting the pick-up and drop-off locations, date and time, and preferred vehicle type.
    • The navigation interface, which offers real-time route updates and estimated arrival times.
    • In-app communication with the self-driving car, allowing users to monitor the vehicle's progress and make adjustments if necessary.

I landed on these elements by considering the pain-points, user personas and schedules, open-call interviews and optional feedback/response forms, user-testing and other forms of user research provided below.

04 Behind-the-Scenes Photos

I cherish these behind-the-scenes moments on set the two days of filming with talented friends.

05 User Persona and Schedule #1

To gain a deeper understanding of the target audience for this type of application, I focused on creating user personas and crafting scenarios that would help identify their pain points more effectively. This approach was based on research I conducted through posting on platforms like Reddit and other online forums where both ride-sharing app users and drivers could provide valuable feedback for the project.

The user personas represented a diverse range of individuals with different needs, preferences, and backgrounds. This allowed me to better understand the various challenges and expectations that users might have when interacting with a self-driving ride-sharing app.

06 User Persona and Schedule #2

07 User Persona and Schedule #3

08 App Wireframe

09 Reddit Research

In order to gather valuable information about users' concerns and fears related to transitioning from traditional ride-sharing services to self-driving cars, I posted questions and reviewed discussions on various online forums dedicated to both self-driving cars and ride-sharing services. These forums provided a wealth of user-generated content that offered insights into the concerns and expectations of potential users.

Some of these pain-points included:
    • Safety: Many users were worried about the safety of self-driving cars, particularly in terms of their ability to navigate complex traffic situations, respond to unexpected events, and avoid collisions.
    • Loss of human interaction: Some users expressed concern about the lack of a human driver in self-driving cars, feeling that a human touch could be reassuring and helpful during the ride.
    • Hacking and cybersecurity: Users expressed concerns about the potential for self-driving cars to be hacked, leading to safety risks or unauthorized access to personal information.
    • Legal liability: Questions were raised about who would be responsible in the event of an accident involving a self-driving car, particularly if there was no human driver present.
    • Job displacement: Users expressed concerns about the potential for self-driving cars to displace human drivers, leading to job losses in the ride-sharing industry.
    • Trust in technology: Some users were hesitant to trust a self-driving car's decision-making abilities over their own instincts or those of a human driver.