Gas Station Experience
Putting gas in your car sucks, but what if it didn't?
- Problem Fueling your vehicle is repetitive and inefficient, not to mention costly.
- Solution Updated fueling pumps, a sleek screen-based interface, and savable rewards preferences for faster fueling.
- My Skills/Roles User experience designer, User interface designer
- ToolsSketch, Google Survey, OmniGraffle
- Project DetailsThis was completed as a school project.
Anyone with a car can tell you getting gas is no fun. It's repetitive, inefficient, and costly. Moreover, there are few incentives for gas stations to improve upon the user experience since the majority of gas stations make money not by selling gas but rather by selling convenience items.
I interviewed several drivers, circulated a survey to uncover feelings on gas stations, and conducted a need-finding exercise. I learned:
- Gas station kiosks are confusing. The PIN pads and screens don’t always map to one another.
- Safety and hygiene were top concerns for many.
- Gas stations with the most brand loyalty offered financial incentives.
- Unsurprisingly, commuters and families purchased more gas.
I also spent some time observing people as they pumped gas.
Mapping the User's Flow
Opportunities: From an Economic Perspective
In order to minimize the economic impact of wide-scale gas station remodels, I decided to work within the constraints of gas stations that had already been built. I kept the existing station layouts the same, but the pump kiosk and interface were swapped out for a shorter, narrower pump to allow for a clearer line of sight throughout, as well as a large touch screen interface. In order to bring more people into the convenience store, I upgraded to a cafe and store where visitors can expect a more premium experience while they sit and wait.
Opportunities: From a User Perspective
To address the tedium of filling up your car with gas, I created a rewards account and preference system that allows for users to store payment method, gas type, and receipt preferences. Each rewards account can hold various combinations of payment, gas type, and receipt preferences, a perfect solution for multi-vehicle homes and families.
Rewards account holders can opt for either a keychain card or digital card (to be stored on their phone) that keeps their information safe and secure. After pulling up to the pump, users can scan their rewards card, select their specific preference, and enter their PIN. PINs are attached to preferences, not accounts, so families can manage gas spending on a preference basis.
Best of all, the more gas you purchase, the more fuel points you earn. Fuel points can be redeemed for discounted gas or for cafe/convenience store items.
In hindsight, I would have liked to have also focused more on electric charging as an option for the gas station experience. In focusing entirely on reducing the economic impact of the redesign, I missed an opportunity to reflect on a more sustainable and future-forward experience. In researching more on this topic, I learned that a lack of charging stations was a massive barrier for electric car adoption. By incorporating more of this into the station design, it could help shape the global impact of transportation for the better.