My role: Product Manager/UX Designer
Shipbird is a crowd-sourced courier service. Its aim is to leverage the efforts of people who are already going that way, to deliver local shipments at a fraction of the cost of traditional courier services.
The primary functionality included in the MVP is the ability to send and receive, with distinct users and use cases for each. Senders would tend to be located in an office at a desktop computer, whereas Deliverers would be just as likely out on the road as back at home.
Explaining and Promoting a Disruptive Service
When this project was in development, there was nothing else in the market like it. Shipbird was seeking to disrupt the longstanding courier industry with an entirely new model. Explaining how this service works, and why someone should use it, became our primary communication challenge.
User Authentication and Payment Gateway
To provide a sense of security and confidence to this new service, we needed an authentication scheme and set of payment methods with which users would be confortable. For Shipbird, the priority was to get an MVP up and running quickly, forgoing the large job of developing our own custom e-commerce and authentication functionality.
After researching several options, we decided on PayPal as the ideal solution, providing users with the security they expect while enabling Shipbird to implement a solution quickly.
Send Shipments Seamlessly
A shipment requires some data entry. The pickup point and dropoff location and times, the recipient's details, and any additional helpful info all need to be provided. This needs to entail as little friction as possible.
Since all locations were going to be displayed using Google Maps, we decided to use Google Maps for type-ahead and address validation as well, reducing actual typing and ensuring that all addresses are valid.
Instant Notification to Deliverers
Shipbird promises quick turnaround of deliveries. To make good on this promise, we need to inform deliverers immediately when a shipment is entered into the system.
We achieved this by introducing Availability Profiles. An availability profile consists of Availability Windows, where a deliverer specifies a particular time and place when he or she is available to deliver for Shipbird. When a new shipment is added, we check all availability windows that match the pickup and dropoff time and location, and send out a notification via email or SMS to matching deliverers. The result: shipments are typically claimed by a deliverer within 10 minutes of them being added.
All shipment systems require a way for the sender to track his or her shipments. This includes checking on status as well as the ability to report any problems.
Deliverers need a way to browse through all shipments in the Shipbird system to find ones that are appropriate for them. We implemented a dynamic, sortable table, with additional plans to include advanced filtering, which was not included in the MVP.