PEER-TO-PEER CAR RENTAL
OuiCar is the first peer-to-peer, fully insured, car rental with in France. List your car for free and earn money by renting your car to your neighbor — or drive his or her car for your next week-end getaway!
OuiCar online service was already up and running at full steam when I was first comissionned in 2012 by the company CTO Marc Lebel to help them design a OuiCar iOS MVP (minimum viable product).
As a “fun fact”, the app first enabled users to rent a car but the feature of actually putting a car up to rent was unavailable at this time.
The company ultimately decided to start the native app Android development in early 2014 and the product team has worked on it throughout the year. As a personal standpoint, working on such a big Android app was a bit scary at first but it turned out to be a complete refreshment and an exciting project once you overcome the popular platform clichés and subtleties.
Along the way of OuiCar development we had to face several problematics. Completely rethinking the calendar on iOS is one those, as standard UI elements such as UIPickerView was not satisfying enough.
Duplicating and using some hotel or traditionnal car rental calendar would have been the easiest – and laziest – way but we felt like it truly deserved some thoughts and extra care.
When you rent your very own car -or drive your neighbor's car-, you won't most likely need it for more than 2 or 3 days, so I had to harness this along with a few other data, OuiCar team collectionned along the way.
Two important things I had to keep in mind when designing a new calendar:
• Renting a car on OuiCar implies to choose whether you need it in the morning or the afternoon. This also applies when you return the car back to its owner.
• More than 90% of rentals are within a 3-day timeframe.
Ultimately, we settled on a iOS version that used both standard and custom UX which would easily be understand by users.
The key was to “hint” and lead the user towards the next action to be made: selecting a starting day would automatically switch to the ending day selection, and vice-versa. Along with some nav bar infos, a visual vertical path is also here to help understand the total length of the rental.
On Android, things were more straightforward as standard UI navigation and selection dialogs allowed us more flexibility for a range of date selection.
While following standards and breaking conventions for some of the app interface navigation elements, some extra care was also given on visual design, including car categories icon set a user can select from when using OuiCar mobile apps.
We iterated a lot on onboarding processes. Those are strategically important and need to perfectly include OuiCar branding in its look and feel.
OuiCar users are thrilled by both iOS and Android versions and the whole product team is working hard to improve the apps and release new exciting features.
In June 2015, OuiCar announced that they just raised 28M€ with french national railway company, SNCF. Consequently, the company adjusted its branding accordingly to fit the global brand (Ouigo, Ouibus, Ouicar), and while the app UX remains intact, the look and feel might look different in 2016 than what has been showcased here.