Smart bike sharing

Client Info
  • Class : Human centered design

  • Team : 2 people

  • Target business: Spinlister

  • Project duration: 2 month

Spinlister was created as a peer-to-peer bike rental platform to connect the cycling universe, help the environment, and encourage peer-to-peer sharing. Since then, Spinlister has expanded to skis, snowboards, stand up paddle boards (SUP), and surfboards. With their seamless web, iOS, and android apps, built-in security features, and a database of user reviews, Spinlister has won the trust of communities of athletes all over the world.

Early this year, 2015 , this sharing economy lead was raising its second round of funding for a new service launching this summer : Smart bike model, which was co-created with Vanmoof, a European bike manufacture company . This project is looking into this new model as well as the whole business from service design point of view, in order to provide feasible solutions to foster its rationality, help target the potential market and enhance the experience for potential end users.

Business Analysis

Service Analysis

Service blueprint - lister pov

We want to design a simpler workflow, in which the bike owner can easily assemble and log in with his bike, however the most notable question is how to retrieve the bike when it is out there in the city? Why do they need to retrieve bikes ? Are there any other simpler ways?


The first goal for the renter is to be able to find an ideal bike around his area. what’s more, the condition checking system is not intuitive enough for the bike owner to acquire useful information

Customer aquisition

It is concerning that right now spinlister isn't marketing for the Smart Bike in an accurate way. It is branded as a money making machine instead of a bike that you can ride from time to time. Moreover, it is certain that , before the volume reaches a certain scale, the bike can’t have much chance to be searched and rented, thus it doesn’t make much money at the beginning of the business, which will negatively impact  on customer’s loyalty to the product .

User research

I placed down the research on different groups of people,  to whom bikes are somehow relevant in their daily lives, to discover their potential needs and pains in commonality.  I designed a survey on aspects of bike purchase, usage, and experience on public bike renting service, and casted interviews accordingly for deeper insights.

Joel Bryon

Age: 27
Singer / Guitar player
New York City, NY

Key characteristic

  • loves music

  • likes showing off his gatgets

  • sophisticated road biker

  • like traveling and social

  • has two bikes at home


  • wish to make more supplemental without making too much effort so he can focus on his music career.


  • both bis bikes are listed on Spinlister, but sometimes he doesn't have time dealing with the renters, or feel like spending time for a short turn rent 

  • He's not making that much money Spinlister has promised.


  • Less pressure-Cultivate and improve the skill of listening

  • better communication skill-Become self-efficiency


  • flexibility of Spinlister

  • Own a music studio

  • Travel around the world

Jaya Mayur

Age: 31
Portland, OR

Key characteristic

  • feel hard to make choices

  • first time here in portland

  • tech savvvy

  •  has a car but he hate driving

  • has nostalgia for biking to school


  • wish to buy a bike for ride, and additional selling point would be appreciated


  • too many kinds of bicycle in the market and not sure what he likes

  • afraid he can't use it for a long term


  • Be ambitious to his new job

  • a new bike that suits his identity

  • a good sense of teamwork spirit

  • try new things and meet new people


  • a reliable bike disposal  platform once he's done with biking

  • a neto get used to Portland's environment

  • a successful career

Affinitized concepts

Upgrade your spare bike and list it

Spinlister has a huge inventory of listed bikes across the globe, and there are still countless spare bikes around. Other than selling the whole bike, we are launching a set of smart gadgets that can be installed to any spare bikes connect it to the server to make it perform as the Vanmoof Smart Bike does.

Bike retriever / ownership swap

The bike owner should be able to retrieve the bike if he wants to. As for the Vanmoof Smart Bike, due to its unique feature, and overall maintainence service, a bike owner actually doesn’t have to retrieve his bike when he wants to ride one, he can just simply reclaim another nearby smart bike to be his, thus the ownerships of the two bikes are swapped

Rebranding the Vanmoof smart bike

Unexpectly, there are a certain amount of researched users would like to invest to this new sharing model, regardless of the fact that they may not essentially own the bike as a rider. That’s a finding that we want to see, but still, it would be better we rebrand this product as a high-level bike at the same time , to appeal users as bike riders, which is  the biggest potion of our target market.

Bike monitoring and maintainence

The bike owner should be able to track the bike’s condition and instantly acquire  feedbacks from renters. Maintainence service can be instantly accessed to

Gadgets add-ons that enhance safety

The gadgets must ensure that  only the owner and the renter can unlock the bike.  Any theft methods should be considered for the gadget design. It should have a ingenious sensory system and alarm function.

Travel region and drop-off zone settings

The bike owner should be able to track the bike’s condition and instantly get feedbacks from renters. Maintainence service can be instantly accessed

Design concept

Introducing the new product : Rediots. Ridiots connects spare bikes in the city to build a new bike sharing network. By installing the bike with Ridiots Gadgets (A high security-level Lock and a Geo tag), a spare bike owner is free to release his bike into the crowd and let it make money for him. A bike renter can search and find an ideal bike nearby,  get authorized to rent it , make payment through the app, and he’s allowed to drop the bike and finish rental anywhere within a limited zone, and the bike becomes available again for the next renter.

Enhanced service

Spinlister has a huge inventory of listed bikes across the globe, and there are still countless spare bikes around. Other than selling the whole bike, we are launching a set of smart gadgets that can be installed to any spare bikes connect it to the server to make it perform as the Vanmoof Smart Bike does.


Ridiots enhances security for your journey. Bluetooth technology allows the bike owner to unlock the bike through mobile app. The lock and the Geo tag work correspondingly to detect intentions of damage in any situation.


A bike owner can list a bike with Ridiots gadgets installed through Ridiots App. A serial number is given when a pair of gadgets is purchased, which is used to bound the bike with the Spinlister account in order to activate the bike.

Service prototyping

I did sketches based on the affinitized concepts and did a interactive prototype by using INVISION,  and had several participants test it by going through the basic workflow. Most feedbacks were positive while negative experiences are basically resulted from limited information in one page because at the current stage, the prototype is only one scream scale per one page

Scenario simulation

Ownership Swap
Retrieve Service
Instant Rental

I place down the test in a small region around Gulfsteam school of design, planning to give tasks to participants to go back and forth betweem Gulfsteam and the Family Dollar acoss the steet. I used two different bikes to simulate Vanmoof bike and Ridiots bike. What’s more, I use Wechat to send notifications to participants and use money transfer function as the payment process.

WeChat - Texting app

- Send text to deliver info
- Transfer money as payment

Red Road Bike

assume it is the Vanmoof Smart Bike. And every Smart bike looks like this

Blue Road Bike

assume it is the personal bike upgraded with Ridiots gadgets

Testing insights

  • Instant aeration service is expected

  • Ridiots owner desires a tipping standard, based on which they can customize the tip and do “one- click tippping ”

  • “Before the sharing network is fully available, I wish to spend money on a functional bike  that worth the money ”

  • Ridiots owner desires a tipping standard, based on which they can customize the tip and do “one- click tippping ”

  • Desire instant info for each bike renter

  • Credit system, where Ridiots owner can rate deliverer, bike renters can rate bikes.

  • Integrated wallet, where the registed credit card automatically deposits a certain amount of money in the account for quick pay and violation fine in case the card happened to have problems.

  • Bike owner feel excited when someone rents his bike

App iterations  (rating page)

The objective is to minimize the steps before renter can start riding, meanwhile to let the lister receive useful information about the bike's condition when it's negative so he can take actions as soon as possible .

Iteration 1

The first version of prototype is similar to what is demonstrated in the commercial video. The renter is asked to check frame and tire , which is believed to include the whole body condition.

Iteration 2

Testing feedback has revealed  the significance of letting the renter know more about negative condition, so a typing box is added for literal description other than good or bad.

Iteration 3

In the iteration 3 , rating mechanics is extracted and integrated into a pop-up box that has plain text and enriched animation, making everything clearer with a stronger sense of layers

Info architecture

refined blueprint - smart bike owner


Reserve a bike

Condition check

Report problem

Ridiot Bike retrieve

Your Ridiots bike can be searched and rented just like Vanmof Smart Bike, and you can request a manual retrieve  whenever you want ( regardless of that the bike is reported damaged or flat fire, but you can contact the nearest partner bike store for maintenance first ) . The deliverer can ride the bike for free as long as he commited to deliver the bike in time. The bike owner set the tipping amount previously so everytime a delivery is made , he can do one click tipping

Smart bike swap

As a smart bike owner, when your bike is far away and you need a bike for ride , you can either rent a nearby bike as a normal user or swap your bike with one of a nearby bikes to make it yours. In this case ,  the user selects his Smart bike NO.998 to swap NO.10021, and pays a service fee.

Business impact

Now we have a new customer segements composision, in which we added Ridiots godgets buer , and a gerneral name for both bikes’ renters: Instant bike renter. We have new revenue streams from gadgets sale and Ridiots bike rental service fees. We got new partners as gadgets manufacturer and local bicycle stores that provide instant maintainence service in outdoors.