Caruma cam is a dashboard camera with connectivity features that make any car a connected car! My team and I were hired to deliver a mobile prototype that made the camera a seamless extension of the driving experience.
Drivers want to know their car is protected when they are away from it and feel safer while they are driving.
Design an app that allows users away from their vehicle to monitor their vehicle via Caurma Cam, and receive driving feedback to have a more connected growth-focused relationship with their vehicle.
Initially, the product strategy was focused on the hardware and technology solution without assessing a product-market fit. There wasn’t an existing product to learn from—only two mockups and an idea. This left us with a number of questions, including: Would drivers find dual cameras useful? Would drivers find gesture control valuable? What would it take to teach drivers the gesture controls?
We wanted to gain a better understanding of the current dashcam market and get inside the minds of motorists to achieve product-market fit.
We started by surveying motorists at a high level to get a pulse on their needs, fears, and desire for more technology in their vehicles. Then moved quickly to interviews and contextual inquiries to gain a deeper understanding of the types of drivers who would benefit most.
We learned most drivers already feel overwhelmed by devices, sounds, and other distractions while driving. However, drivers welcome a device that encouraged driving safety and vehicle security features, and not entertainment features Drivers are, however, interested in a device that encourages safety and vehicle security without the distractions of entertainment.
Using our research insights we saw the biggest opportunities for rideshare drivers, parents, and automobile enthusiasts. The needs of these individuals revolve around safety when driving, security when away from their vehicle and connection to their vehicle.
The needs of these personas paired well with the potential capabilities of the Caruma Cam and served as an excellent guide to align with when prioritizing potential features.
While the platform was capable of both safety and entertainment, we needed to determine where the value was with our three personas. Did they place equal value on safety and entertainment? Was one more important than the other?
Through mixed research methods, including surveys, interviews, and field research we learned that drivers were primarily concerned about their personal well being and their vehicle’s security. They saw their vehicle as an investment and they wanted to protect it. All of this translated into three themes: safety, security, and connectivity. With this new information, we proceeded to explore concepts through a paper prototype
In the event of suspicious activity, the system will alert users with actionable steps that the user feels appropriate.
The flows were designed so that users could react quickly by tapping their finger and with a visual hierarchy of urgency.
We gathered participants to test the Caruma App using paper prototypes. This approach helped us quickly gauge users' understanding of three primary features: driving/park mode, timeline and the alert system.
Paper prototyping answered questions we had about the design and timeliness of feedback without the cost of hi-fidelity design or development. Getting our ideas out on paper allowed us to collaborate quickly, involve users early and focus on the overall functionality instead of granular details. Important decisions regarding the timeline, real time feedback and navigation were sorted before creating digital screens. This ensured we designed the right product and gave us time to focus on the polish of our digital deliverables.
Onboarding serves drivers by preventing cold starts, introducing the Caruma Cam's features, its brand and quick user registration for multiple users.
"Park Mode" gives users reassurance when they are away from their car. Users can quickly view their car's location and around its proximity. Parents can check on minors when concerned about their location.
Second to the users’ well-being, people wanted to be notified of any suspicious activity and have more interaction options than a notification. We added controls so drivers can have that instantaneous connection to their investment and possibly deter theft or suspicious activity.
Safety is valued above all else when people are driving. Users didn't want to add to the distraction heavy environment that exists in the vehicle. However, people did want to know about their habits, review events, and have clips for insurance purposes. Parents also have the reassurance of checking their secondary driver's driving habits and recorded events.
Our greatest takeaway was that while entertainment was nice, customers were more concerned with safety, security, and connectivity for real-time, or just in time updates. In addition, many drivers were concerned that the entertainment feature would become a distraction, which would compromise their safety.
Fortunately, we were able to save the company valuable time and engineering costs with our discovery.
In a time of car karaoke and flat screens being added to every modern vehicle, you'd expect users to want innovative entertainment features. Our research shows that personal safety and vehicle security are their top priority. By discovering these insights early on we potentially saved the product owner tens of thousands of dollars and app development cycles.
Our research and prototype helped us learn not just what kind of information drivers wanted, but when. Live feedback would create an unsafe environment through distractions that actively fight for the drivers’ attention. With this in mind we made driving behavior a feature to be reviewed at their leisure. Leisurely analysis of their driving behavior builds mindfulness, time to digest behaviors, and enables a growth-focused mindset.
In just 3 weeks, we were able to identify a product market fit the Caruma Cam IoT device. Drivers can seamlessly connect with their vehicle, track their driving behavior, and protect their vehicle regardless of their location.