UI / UX Case: Automation of Airport Parking
We are in Glow specializing in the design of products for the transport industry. Unfortunately, in Ukraine, the parking sector is developing slowly, with a delay of several years – in Europe and the United States, people are trying to automate any work processes. And we help them with this.
This case study describes the process of turning the tedious workflow of a parking manager into a simple and comfortable process. Our goal is to preserve the health and nerves of the staff, increase the productivity of the team and reduce the costs of operating systems.
Some dry statistics (for example, the USA)
Until recently, parking and innovation were considered incompatible things. Street parking accounts for about a third of US parking revenues, most often controlled by city authorities. The owners of such parking lots are not eager to introduce any innovations in principle. And why?
Reserving a parking space during a match at Cowboys Stadium, for example, can cost up to $ 100.
Off-street parking, which accounts for about two-thirds of all parking revenue in the United States, is largely private. It turns out that innovation should be applied here first of all? But no. Here are several reasons why private traders are also in no hurry to “break the system”:
- Off-street parking is a complex system and area with a large number of players.
- Most people only look for a parking space after they have reached their destination.
- The vast majority of owners rely on parking operators rather than automatic equipment.
But we decided to get the industry off the ground.
What is the challenge for drivers?
Take, for example, you – an ordinary person who sits at home in quarantine. Like many, you, most likely, do not go out and think about what to do with yourself. But a few days ago, every morning you sat in your Tesla Cybertruck, drove the children to school and rushed to the office. How it was?
You have arrived at your favorite job and are looking for a place where you can park and leave your car without fear of being taken to the impound. But there are no empty seats, and your Cybertruck does not fly. After 5 laps around the block, you finally find a place for yourself, but on the way to your workplace you curse this whole system. The same thing will happen tomorrow.
It has been found that drivers around the world spend an average of 20 minutes looking for a parking space.
How about a vacation? Let s say you bought plane tickets, loaded your whole family into your car, and rushed to the airport. Before you leave, you most likely leave your car keys to the parking manager and fly away to rest. But you don t even think about what happens to your car next …
In our article, we will tell you in detail about the life of parking dispatchers and try to turn their workflow into a less routine one.
Meet Vasya and Petya!
Vasya works as a parking lot manager. He takes over, controls and releases cars. Every morning, just like you, he wakes up, commutes to work – only in a Hyundai Accent – and wants to do less work for a higher paycheck.
Each shift is a huge amount of work. In order to take a car, he needs to meet you, take you to the office, fill out the necessary documents, offer car services (for example, a car wash, charging an electric car, cleaning the interior, etc.). Vasya must take the keys, inspect the car and deliver it to the parking lot. To do this, he needs to go around the entire parking lot (do you recognize yourself?), Find a free space for your car, remember or write down on a sheet of paper the floor, section, place number. And that s not to mention the return.
At the same time, Petya makes a round of three floors, ten sections and more than a thousand parking spaces. And also – with a piece of paper, a pencil behind your ear, to report to your boss about the state of the parking lot, any problems or shortcomings that may arise.
Let s try to simplify Vasya and Petya s life?
When we know what kind of stress these guys (parking operators) are experiencing every day, we want to quickly find a solution to their problems.
We at Glow have created an admin panel design for parking management. It is adapted for iPad, as the tablet will make Vasya and Petya more mobile. The product contains all the functions that employees may need – from monitoring bookings and services to checking the status of a parking space and its device.
Where to begin?
In order to automate the process of these managers work, you need to start from the most important thing – from the parking lot itself.
Each parking lot is a unique object that can accommodate several floors, dozens of sections and thousands of parking spaces.
How can we transfer parking to electronic form? Moreover, so that Vasya and Petya are well oriented in it and understand what to do.
How do I transfer 5 floors of a parking lot to the tablet screen?
One hour of team “brainstorm”, and we made an ingenious decision – to draw a parking scheme similar to the one in reality: with the number of floors, sections and places. Several long iterations – and we got the very scheme that the staff knows so well.
Small areas (along the edges) have been added for easier navigation through the sections. These are the so-called Shortcuts – for switching between sections. After another 15 minutes of discussion, for a clearer understanding, the location of the company s office was added.
Since the staff quite often switch between places, the ability to quickly view the details of the parking space has been added. That is to say, without leaving the checkout. This makes it possible to check information about a specific place without switching between pages each time and without opening new tabs.
In the meantime, let s return to the fact that all parking staff need to control the workload, the general condition of the entire parking lot and a specific place.
According to the classics of the genre, we have created a main page – Dashboard, in which you can track all the main parking indicators in a few minutes:
- the number of free places;
- number of reserved seats;
- the number of upcoming tasks (more on this – a little below);
- table with the latest reserves;
- the number of new reserves per day;
- flight schedule for timely delivery and preparation of cars for the arrival of the client;
- a table for tracking future services.
Features that improved the lives of Vasya and Petit
Of course, it is not possible to track and control all bookings on the Dashboard page. For them, we have created a separate screen with an opportunity. sorted by status, type and date. All new bookings are automatically added to the table after the client has booked a place in the public version of the site. However, the manager can also fill in the reservation manually.
Colored tags have been used to make the booking details easier to read – to quickly identify the status. Also, information about the car (make and number) has been added.
After a quick search for the desired reservation, staff can open the details and view the details of the transaction. For example: has the customer entered billing information, has ordered services for his car, at what stage is this booking.
One of the most important functions on this page is the assignment of a parking space. Even before the client arrives at the place, the staff finds a free slot on the parking diagram (we showed it above) and books it.
Time for innovation
After parking the car, the parking sensor comes into play.
This unique technical development saves a lot of man-hours. The sensor is a small device that is attached to the floor in each parking space. Accordingly, after the car gets into place, the system automatically understands that it is busy. After that, the booking is automatically transferred to the Car is Parked stage. That is, the sensor greatly simplifies the process of receiving and dispensing cars. And Pete will no longer have to go around the entire territory several times to check the total parking load.
If there is some kind of failure with the sensor, or the charge level is close to a low level, then the system automatically sends a notification and issues an alert on the screen.
The system also has a calendar in which staff can track all future services planned for the current day / week / month. Managers see the service that the client has booked and select possible performers from a smart list: it can show performers with the best price, reviews and speed of work). The calendar will help you not to miss deadlines.
Health is most important
Remember when I said that we focus on keeping the parking staff healthy? So, these are not just words: as I said above, most of the staff use the iPad for greater mobility. Another important point is that parking works around the clock, and people who work the night shift will become a little happier: a dark theme will save their eyesight at night.
Do you think we managed to save the staff nerves and a little vision?
Right now we are working on another project from this area and very soon, we will be ready to share our experience and results with you.
We are in Glow we specialize in projects in the transport industry.
Have an interesting project for us? Write to [email protected]
Dribbble Instagram Clutch