Challenge

GasBuddy is a smartphone app providing crowdsourced information to help drivers find the best gas prices, stations and much more. GasBuddy is the leading source for the most accurate, real-time fuel prices at more than 140,000 gas stations in the U.S, Canada and Australia.

In order to ensure accurate pricing and provide a fun experience for all users, GasBuddy needed to establish a baseline of the price reporting process. The focus of this study was understanding how users report pricing, the context in which they report and how to encourage more frequent reporting to keep prices accurate.

My Role

I was tasked with gaining a deep understanding of the users – who they were, their driving behaviors and habits and how they use the GasBuddy app.

Problem Statement: Users are not reporting prices because the process for doing so is confusing.

Process

UX Methodology:     Phone Interviews

Design Stack:           Customer Journey & User Flows

Project Length:        3 weeks

Discovery

I needed to understand driver needs and behavior. 

I had 42 pre-scheduled phone interviews with GasBuddy users who had reported gas prices within the preceding month. This allowed me to gather feedback from users in different geographical areas to provide rural, suburban and urban perspectives and account for differences in gas policies and laws.

Key Insights:

  1. Users are motivated to report prices by contributing to the community and returning the favor of saving them money.
  2. The process for reporting prices could be shortened by eliminating steps. Reducing the number of clicks will also make the reporting process safer for those on the road.
  3. Users found the Quick Report feature confusing and avoided using it. Clarification of how it works could increase frequency of reporting.
gasbuddy user flow
Gasbuddy User flow

Recommendations

User stories

  1. As a user, I want to report gas prices, so I can help the community.
  2. As a user, I want to be able to update prices quickly, so I can submit a report before the stoplight turns green.
  3. As a user, I want to see the nearest station automatically, so I can more quickly report the gas prices.

“I only have a moment to update all the prices I can see, including at multiple stations, before the light changes.”

For a user who is trying to update prices, the current interface has extra features and steps, especially if they are on the road. By hiding most of the features that would not be used while on the road, the potential for missclicks could be greatly reduced. One option to consider is creating an on boarding process for users to set preferences and create a profile. Another would be to disable those features if the app senses a user is in motion. A third could be incorporating voice control.

gasbuddy task analysis
GasBuddy Task Analysis

Regardless of what might best simplify the flow, we have to consider what will improve the app experience for the majority of users, not just those reporting prices. Additionally, changes will have to be made incrementally and tested because users are familiar with the current UI.

Next Steps

Next, I will work with the design and engineering teams to come up with concepts and conduct usability tests to incrementally improve the overall app experience.

 

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