Better Design Makes Faster City Bikes
How can UX and design make city bikes faster, you might think? Isn’t it only about battery, engine power, or a good pair of legs? The simple answer is ‘no’. It is also about how fast and easy you can find an available bicycle, book it, lock it up and return it again. And of course, it is also a matter of how easy and fast you can join the many thousands of Copenhageners who already adapted the city bike.
The City bike, or ‘Bycyklen’ in Danish, is thought of as a ’fourth leg’ in public transportation, it can both be congestion-reducing but also promote a healthy and green transportation form. The city bike is of course also an experience for the tourists. For the Copenhageners – and the fund behind the city bike - it is a tool for transportation. And this "tool for transportation" will only be popular – and capable of changing traffic habits, when the solution is even better than the alternatives. Fast, cheap, and reliable.
The screens attached to the city bikes are indeed the weak spot for this ambition. The City Bike has unfortunately many experiences with massive vandalism with hundreds of destroyed city bike- screens.
Therefore, the City Bike saw the need for screen-free bicycles – and therefore also an updated, user-friendly and intuitive app, that will make the screens unnecessary. This was the task.
The user experience is simple and direct. It is part of a full transportation experience that needs to be effortless each day. From logo to the design language, to navigation, user flows, and price structure. Easy and direct – so the digital service supports everyday use – each day. And of course, even across iOS, android, and the web.
The City Bike has now gained a new identity, that is recognizable and also associated with the vibes of the metro and the S-train, and at the same time the app provides a good overview of all available bicycles near you, it tracks your spending and much more.
The price structure is provided so it’s easy to see how cheap the city bike is when you compare it to other battery-powered means of transportation in the city. It is for free the first time you try it – and the price per minute is down to only 37 Danish coins.
So – the 22nd of April 2020 – the new website for the City Bike was launched, and even though “it is just a website”, we are still very proud of the result.
We think that we have succeeded in communicating precisely what the City Bike can offer to Copenhageners and the tourists – and we have finally found a project, where ‘parallax scrolling’ really matters in terms of communication and the experience.
You can visit the website and see if you agree. Or even better: Visit the website, create a profile and take a trip on the most ‘corona-secure’ public transportation form. By the way, ”don’t get our CTO started”, but the technology under the bonnet is pretty cool. The website is built as a server-site rendered SPA (Single Page Application).
It makes good sense in exactly this case because the content on the website is rarely updated, and hereby we receive a really high speed and also save the hosting cost at the same time. The content is maintained in a headless CMS based on Drupal 8 and delivers content for both the website – and the City Bike native iOS and Android apps.
The solution makes keywords like “easy” and “fast” a reality. We can not cut time from the average 30 minutes, the user normally sits on the bicycle, but we have indeed made it much easier to find them, book them, and return the bicycles again.
20.000 have already downloaded the new app and the feedback is very positive. The final verdict will be available this coming winter, and at this time, around 6000 regular subscribers would have tried out our solution.
”Dwarf has challenged us in a creative way which affected our way of thinking business – and the results exceeded our expectations. Dwarf is simultaneously very service oriented with a strong project leadership; they always return to us as promised and in a nutshell, they truly guided us safely throughout the whole process, and for this, we will always recommend Dwarf.”, says Tina Füssel, CEO for City Bike (Bycyklen).
Mikkel Honkanen Larsen
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