Project Information

ParkUp: A web application that allows people to rent and lend parking spaces in Toronto.

ParkUp is a Node.js Express web application made as a project for CSC301 Software Engineering at the University of Toronto during the fall 2016 academic semester. I created ParkUp with a team of 6 other members. See the project's GitHub repository for more details on the team.

ParkUp is a web application that allows people to rent and lend parking spaces in Toronto! You can search for spaces on a map in a certain area by expanding or shrinking the search circle. The map, by default, starts at the University of Toronto with a default search circle representing an area within 5 minutes walking distance. There is also the added functionality of a profile page, creating and amending new listings, adding and editing reviews, document upload etc.

ParkUp was designed to have a lot of placeholder functionality. For example, we have the scaffolding and framework in place for many external systems, like an external secure payment system when booking. ParkUp's main goal is to demonstrate the user experience of such an application where users can rent and lend parking spaces.

My role in the team during this project was to be the Product Manager & UX/UI Lead. This means I was responsible for all aspects related to the product, user experience (UX), overall functionality, specific features and overall added value for the end-user. I made initial mockups and wireframes of the application. I also created user personas and user scenarios for the application. Creating these user personas and user scenarios helped myself, and the whole team, realise what the key features of our application should be and focus on developing features of value for the user. Here are two of the user personas I created for this project:

  • Paul Woods: Paul Woods is a middle-aged investment banker who works in downtown Toronto. He commutes into Toronto's financial district every day and is looking for a better, faster, more convenient and cheaper parking solution. He does not want the consistent stress of searching for parking spots every morning.
  • Sarah McKingsley: Sarah McKingsley is a retired business owner who regularly spends her time travelling to foreign countries. Hence, her driveway located at her house just outside Toronto's bustling downtown area is regularly empty. However, Sarah feels her space could make her some additional cash and help out some people looking for parking spots in the city. So she wants a way to securely communicate with potential commuters.
An example of the power demonstrated by following this user-centred process of design is the fact that from these user personas, it became clear that our application needs to tailor the needs of not just renters, but lenders too. It allowed us to clearly formulate that our application had to serve two categories of users:

  • Category 1 (An example is the Paul Woods user persona): People that are looking for parking spaces for a cheaper price than public spaces for both long and short terms.
  • Category 2 (An example is the Sarah McKingsley user persona): People that are looking to rent out a private space/parking lot in order to make an extra profit from unused private property.
This empowered us to create effective features for lenders (such as the search circle on the map that initially keeps lender addresses private) and renters with a clear vision of the final product and its desired purpose for users.

Alongside being a UX Lead and Product Manager, I also developed multiple features in the application, most notably the map search functionality where a user can look for parking spaces on a map by shrinking or expanding the search radius. It is important to note that everyone in the team was a developer and helped out in numerous areas of the application outwith their own domain, making for a good collaborative atmosphere and good teamwork.

Here is a short video, made by the whole team, that provides a quick demonstration of the ParkUp web application:

Technologies Used:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • Bootstrap
  • Node.js
  • Express.js

Skills Demonstrated:

  • Creativity
  • Organisation
  • UX Research
  • UX Design
    • Interaction Design
    • Interface Design
  • Software Development
  • Product Management
  • Good Teamwork

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