We were asked to create a product/service that addresses a newly defined opportunity area created by
recent technology innovations.
March 2021 - May 2021
Human Computer Interaction
Professor Clark Delashment
The uprising of electric vehicles pose a threat to the lives of small auto shops focused on gas powered vehicles. Obtaining adequate accessible EV training is time consuming and expensive.
Electek is an ecosystem that connects consumers to chargers, consumers to certified mechanics, certifies mechanics to fix EVs, and promotes small businesses.
User Interviews and Cultural Probe
How Might We?
Coming into this project, none of us knew a lot about electric vehicles, let alone their impact on our economy and job market. We researched everything we didn't know as well as what we thought we knew in order to strengthen our knowledge and designs.
Auto manufacturers pledged to spend $225 billion developing new EVs.
At least 50% of all cars will be electric.
The President promised to have at least 500,000 EV chargers installed across the U.S. under his $2 trillion infrastructure bill.
As of Jan 1st...
The gas and oil industry have approximately 10 million employees.
Gas stations across America employ nearly 1 million people.
We sent out a survey across various social media platforms seeking information on how electric vehicles impact their lives. We accumulated 58 responses with more than half aging between 46-55 year olds.
Out of 58 people...
are over the age of 25.
are driving new cars.
buy cars instead of lease or finance.
currently do not drive an electric vehicle.
rely on gas cars for their job.
are highly interested in electric vehicles.
people do not know where the nearest charging station is, or find charging stations to be inaccessible when it comes to their day to day lives.
and Cultural Probe
Through our secondary research and survey responses, we began to recognize a lack in understanding and research about how electric vehicles impact local, small business mechanics. Being unable to find up to date data, we set out to talk to real people and listen to their stories.
"I love my electric vehicle, but I hate the dealership... (they) are very impersonal."
"If all cars were EVs... actaully even if most of them were (EVs), I would have to shut down my mechanic shop. That's it."
"I've worked on a few Nissan Leafs, mostly exterior... Once you open the hood it's a completly different system."
"Yeah we all got (EV) trained... We are young it was the smart thing to do... we get lots of customers now and are comfortable."
"I just hope that a charger is open at my work...Sometimes I have to find one a few blocks away and walk."
Learning how to work on electric vehicles required a lot of time, therefore not many mechanics are trained.
Mechanic shops could switch over to autobody shops when electric cars become more common than gas cars.
Mechanics must have an associates degree to work on newer electric vehicles, requiring time and money.
Autobody shops can not generate enough income for all employees and shop fees. Most shops rely on mechanic operations to stay open.
Electric vehicles do not require as much maintenance as gas powered vehicles.
Electric vehicles do not require as much maintenance, but owners are often unaware of when their cars need attention.
Electric cars are brought to local mechanics for maintenence when needed.
Most electric vehicles are brought to large car dealerships where mechanics are EV trained, taking business away from the small mechainc shops.
From data collected in our secondary research, survey, interviews and cultural probes, we developed key insights to help us better understand the problem we are designing for.
Mechanic shops are considering changing their business or closing due to the influx of electric vehicles.
Charging stations are expensive to install at existing local gas stations.
Many mechanics have only worked on the exterior of electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles are still not mainstream, therefore knowledge is not widely available.
Finding an available charger causes stress to electric vehicle drivers.
How Might We?
From our insights, we developed how might we statements to help us focus on our target audience and goals.
Create affordable and accessible EV training for car mechanics of small auto shops?
How Might We...
Facilitate tools for auto mechanic shops to be prepared for an influx of electric vehicles?
How Might We...
Create more accessibility to fast charging stations?
How Might We...
Instill trust in customers with newer electric vehicles to come into small auto shops?
How Might We...
Our persona were created through our insights and acted as a guide through our design process.
We created an interactive prototype of the app for our stakeholders to test out. Our goals were to see which areas they lacked understanding and trust in, and how we can apply successful aspects to those interations.
Using our mid-fi prototype, we had evaluators with different EV background knowledge use the app. For drivers, we gave them the goal of "book a charger near you" and for mechanics, we gave them the goal of "complete a lesson and take a quiz." By giving the evaluators' goals within the app, we are able to see if the architecture of the app is understandable and easy to navigate for certain functions.
Was the interface
easy to use and read?
What interactions were the
Most of the evaluators had a fairly easy time navigating the app without any guidance.
Some simple changes will need to be made, such as swiping in adition to a back arrow. It was also brought to our attention that a walkthrough of the basic features would be beneficial.
Confused during the first 5-10 seconds on where to go in the app.
Instantly understood what each option was used for.
Often went to the hamburger menu to find tabs rather than the icons on the bottom.
Many evaluators did not know the model of their car.
Lots of questions stemmed from the driver and charging side of the system.
How do you link or hook up your car to the charging station?
What chargers are Electek and where are they located?
Do users have the ability to reserve a charger?
Can I still use the charger if I do not have the Electek app?
How do I get money back at specific stores?