Product Design and Development

The Problem

As a cyclist I run into a lot of issues everyday that are crying out for an innovative digital solution. One of my pet hates is arriving at a new destination, lets say somewhere busy like Central London, and being unable to find somewhere to park. Wheeling your bike through busy streets, narrowly avoiding tourists as you hunt for a bike park is much less than ideal.

I wanted to find a way to put an end to the endless hunting, and build a database of bike parks across London.

The Process

I began the project by sketching out the basic features. I wanted users to be able to locate themselves on a map, look ahead to their destination, add bike parks to the map and understand the level of nearby bike theft.

Originally my approach was to let users add the racks themselves, which I had seen a lot amongst competitor apps. However this meant the product would provide no immediate value to new users during the early stages of development. So I decided to set out an source from the people who install the bike racks.

After several weeks of finding open data sets, and contacting councils with the help of Joe, we managed to find several sources of data to populate the first version of the app. We then combined this with the UK Police data API to show users the level of bike theft in the area.

What we had created was beautiful. A sea of pins scattered across our map, showing off a level of crime that would scare the hell out of any cyclist.

Speaking to Cyclists

Since the first version of the product started working, I've been approaching cyclists to try out the product. We've received a wealth of feedback on issues around Pedal, but through these conversations we have been able to identify our core user segment. Which has helped us direct development to better address their pains.

The current version of the product has much less focus on the number of crimes nearby, it uses several different criteria to recommend the safest bike rack options and lets the user decide for themselves.

Next Steps

The next step of Pedal is currenlty being created to address the problems we identified when talking to cyclists. We currently support Hackney, Central London, Westminster, Camden and Southwark, and we're in conversation to open up support for the remaining inner city.

If you’re a cyclist who would like to help us build the future of cycling
get in touch here.