Valet Parking Optimization app. It provided a way for a customer to summon their car in advance through a cashless and convenient experience. It also optimized the valet parking antiquated process. Fun Fact - NCOM stands for "No Cash On Me".
Role: Sales, Design, User Research, Business Development.
Duration: Aug 2014 - Jan 2015
After having dinner with a friend, I noticed heavy inefficiencies in the way the valet guys were getting the cars. They only know that the customer wants to leave, when the ticket number was handed back to them - a clear bottleneck on a busy venue. And because of the longer times, in many cases the valet guys were not getting tipped.
Fortunately I had a friend that worked valet. After interviewing him and seeing him work one night I drafted my hypothesis; “If the valet company’s current manual system was digitized and notifying them when a customer is ready to leave, then waiting times would decrease, and customer experience would improve yielding more revenue (tips)”.
I needed two separate experiences; One for the Valet guys, and another for the customers. The Valet guys would have an iPad that would let them keep track of requests. The customers would have a mobile app where they could not only submit the request but also tip in advance. From the start, I didn't want to disrupt the way the valet parking companies were already working so I designed the process so that it would simply complement their existing practices making their process more efficient. I created an early lofi clickable/tappable wireframe using PDF’s and Fireworks (this was pre Sketch or Invision).
I took that wireframe everywhere I could and showed it to any valet guy I knew. I would sometimes sit and watch them work while talking about life and ordering food - I even parked some of cars myself. Getting close to them allowed me to tweak my wireframe and design several times. With their help, I was able to talk to the owners of one big Valet company in Atlanta and presented the idea with the wireframe. They loved it and asked me to pilot in 3 locations so I set out to build a lightweight prototype.
At the time I had no coding experience so I had to outsource some of the work. After several failed attempts to hire a freelancer, I had run out of money. That is when I took the initiative to learn to code my own ideas, but that is another story. At the end, I never finished the lightweight prototype and did not pursue the project further for personal reasons.