As one of the world’s largest car-sharing services, Zipcar gives its network of 900,000 users access to about 10,000 cars and trucks at hourly and daily rates. I conducted a usability study to evaluate the interface of Zipcar’s website, zipcar.com. The following report details my process of conducting the study, observations made during the tests and recommendations for redesigning the site.
- Questionnaires and surveys
- User interviews
- Interface testing
- Testing conditions: silent observer, think-aloud, constructive interaction
Since 1999, Zipcar has provided a transportation service to people who need access to a car but do not want to deal with all of the logistics that go into owning a car, such as paying for parking or handling auto insurance. Zipcar.com provides visitors with information about how and where members can reserve cars. New members can register directly on the website and read about Zipcar’s benefits and rates.
This particular study targets millennials, one of the largest subgroups of the Zipcar member community. Zipcar, which defines millennials as people between 18 and 34 years old, conducts an annual survey on this population and most recently found the majority of surveyed millennials find car ownership difficult, care strongly about the environment and are more attached to their phones and computers than their cars. Thus, this population subset is a prime group to the Zipcar team to analyze. Ideally, the usability test will provide insight to millennials’ opinions and preferences so that Zipcar can attract more users in this age bracket.
The usability test focuses on areas of the website that are accessible to the general public. To attract new members, Zipcar must ensure its web interface is easy to navigate so first-time site visitors can quickly find all of the information they need to make an informed decision about registering for the service.