Delivering an engaging, convenient, memorable road trip with friends. 

Timeline: 5 weeks

Team:  Rohan Chavan - Sejal Khatri - Tony Tran

Tools: Otter, Figma, Adobe Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and InVision

Project Roles: During the research phase:

  1. I moderated expert interviews and semi-structured interviews.

  2. In the design phase, I created wireframes, high-fidelity prototypes, and conducted prototype testing.

  3. I scripted, shot and edited the project video.

Design Challenge
How might we improve the airport car rental experience for travelers?
Project Mandate

For this project, I engaged in an iterative design process with the goal of creating an experience that could be prototyped, evaluated, and presented. Our mandate was to design an experience within the context of a real or fictitious organization with a mission that centered on delivering an experience 


The airport car rental experience starting from the booking process including rental desk interaction, car pickup and drop off is disorganized, opaque and difficult to understand at the first go. This understanding of the rental experience stemmed from our own individual experiences of renting cars. We conducted secondary research and discussed our experiences to hypothesize pain points.





Our final prototype design was driven by the value we could provide within aspects of experience that would make car rental pleasant, comfortable and informative.


User issues cropped up typically because their experience across the car rental touchpoints was inconsistent. The most important touch points in the rental journey were found in booking, car pick-up and a focus on the driving experience​.


For booking, Quick and easy process was central to our approach. We chose to eliminate insurance options and provide full coverage on all our cars. Trypr would recommend cars would be based on the destination, time of the year, no. of people and the travel duration. But that was not all, we decided to introduce a goodie bag packed with relevant items based on this information.

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Trypr allows you to add you and your friend's music to the trip. During and after the trip, they will also be able to add their photos to a shared album.

Trypr uses your booking details to recommend the car that you should get. This optional service provides a more seamless booking experience .

With Trypr we made it possible to complete an entire booking process with the phone app.


A quick and simple booking process

Full insurance coverage

Relevant recommendations


For in-car experience, music would be curated based on everyone’s music preferences as they would have access to all their songs in a central location. Cameras around and in the car would capture the view scenic views and candid moments without compromising safety. Built-in games will help engage users in conversations and deepen their relationships.



Curate music suggestions for the group

Capture cherishable moments

Support engaging conversations


After the trip, we designed a post-trip experience that creates a photo album containing the pictures from all who took part in the trip. Photos may be viewed in a grid or in map view for easy review. Research has demonstrated the fact that reflecting on a just ended experience goes a long way to boost the long term memory of that experience especially if seen in a positive light.

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Reminisce by viewing shared album from trip

View images in gallery mode or along the map of your drive


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The car rental experience is disorganized, opaque and difficult to understand especially for first-time customers. This understanding of the rental experience stemmed from our own individual experiences of renting cars. We conducted secondary research and discussed our experiences to hypothesize pain points.


Through complex pricing, long waiting times, multiple commute mediums and unfamiliarity of rental location, customers experience stressful situations and some tension in the relationship with their rental company.

These issues we found, led us to ideate and pursue more insight into the car rental industry.




Mainstream Car Rentals are Just Okay

We interviewed 1 car rental location manager from Enterprise Car Rental (shown in the picture), 5 users (phone interviews) and completed 1 shadowing experience where one of our team members underwent the experience of renting a car at the airport as a first-time user. Our expert interview with the location manager helped us understand the rental process from an employee’s perspective. It also helped us clearly understand what the business goals and priorities are.


Users were selected through a screener posted to Facebook and Reddit. We chose to interview users who had rented from the airports rather than city locations at least once in the last 3 months. To understand the experiential values that aligned with our user goals, we interviewed a few users to identify their rental experiences and pain points. Providing a convenient, efficient, pleasant and informative car rental experience is critical. My personal impression after all these interviews was that the car rental business was doing just fine, making our work a little harder and less obvious; just the challenge we wanted.


Insight 1

The confusing opaque insurance process poses a higher risk for renters on a long distance road trip

I have to google insurance terminologies every time I rent a car. - P2

I want insurance for safety reasons but don’t want to think about it. - P4

Insight 2

The rental desk causes frustration for the group through price complications, wait times, and miscommunication

I want to have peace of mind and not deal with the rental desk. - P1

Comfort and convenience are my priorities on a long road trip. - P5

Insight 3

Interactions with friends make a road trip memorable

Old memories were triggered due to the songs we were playing and that was the best part of the trip. - P1

We didn’t have itinerary for the trip and decided based on what all of us wanted. - P4

Insight 4

The existing in-car rental experience doesn’t facilitate group engagement

Music is a driver for the conversations and we generally pass around the aux cable to play our music. - P3

Friends bring in games they know like 20 questions which engage everyone. - P5




Following the Seven Rules for Structured Brainstorming, we created 25 original ideas for the experience you could provide. The process of ideation was not easy. I forced myself to ensure that my ideas were divergent. Our ideation was based on insights and experiences that our participants wanted. It mainly focused on improving how in-car engagement happens and how rental booking can be streamlined.

After generating about 25 ideas, we categorized them based on where they fell in the customer journey and what issues they addressed. Each idea was evaluated based on our criteria. This included simplifying existing steps, enabling engagement with the group and tailoring the overall experience. Finally, we chose to focus on two major steps in the process. Booking and in-car experience for long distance road trip car rentals. 


Customer Journey Map

Catering for Emotions

The customer journey mapping helped us understand the key touchpoints and identify the interactions to focus our energy on during our experience prototyping stage. 


Based on the findings and ideation, we identified the key areas in the customer journey (the in-car and post-trip phases) where we wanted the users to have a positive experience. For example, we introduced goodie bags during the pick-up stage and added a post-trip reflection touchpoint to provide users with an emergent experience after the trip.

After mapping the user's emotions, thought process and their front end and backend interactions with Trypr, we recognized our users want to be feeling confident and efficient during the booking process.


Overall, we observed that the emotions of remembrance, relatedness, and happiness to be providing the highest valence, these stages are the part of users' in-car experience.  


The experience prototype was run in 2 distinct phases, the first was the booking experience and the second was the in-car experience. Participants were asked to go through the booking experience in at an indoor location and then the team took the participant out to the rental vehicle to simulate the pickup of the rental vehicle. Browse gallery to view process.

Positive Feedback

  • People appreciated the music playback features and the collaboration

  • They were all surprised by the goodie bag, one participant actually wanted to keep the bag after it was over. They liked receiving useful items

  • They enjoyed the voice interaction when given the option

  • We iterated between tests, increasing readability on the in-car dash


  • There were some things that were extremely hard to realistically test, such as the games that were aimed at facilitating a conversation to help create these moments of connectedness between friends. We would’ve needed to go on a real road trip with a group of 3-4 people for a few hours which was difficult to do. So I think if we had more time we would like to set up a realistic test to test that scenario.

  • Integrate in-car controls as right now it users have to toggle between two interfaces for entertainment and controlling the car.

Changes We Made

  • The interface had to be readable for the passengers in the rear and when the car was in motion.

  • Increase the size of navigation elements, keep interactions simple and limit text.

  • Voice assistance was necessary and preferred. Users needed some signifiers to indicate what the system was capable of. 

  • Enable voice interactions on all screens and provide some sample commands to establish a baseline

  • The interface navigation had to be consistent and flat to easily access all the features. 

In High Resolution

For our interfaces, we worked hard to digest all the feedback we got into the final iterations of both our in-car dash interface and mobile app interface. 

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For our interfaces, we worked hard to digest all the feedback we got into the final iterations of both our in-car dash interface and mobile app interface.



  • Easy and simplicity of music playback was appreciated

Users were surprised by the goodie bag and really enjoyed the receiving useful items

  • Users favored voice UI interaction when given the option to do so


  • A longitudinal study with participants in-car to simulate a more realistic situation

  • Integrate with in-car controls

Getting to design a holistic experience was a thrill. I enjoyed the process thoroughly. We picked a design area that was already matured for the most part. The car rental industry already has a tightly monitored service model that left very little room for innovation. Most convenience features were already mostly available but for more money in some cases.


As a result of these limitations, we were pushed to do even deeper investigations into the customer’s journey for any fertile niches we could address. We also spent a lot of hours thinking about how we might design an entire experience. The customer journey map also helped us eliminate sections that we were no longer actively designing for.


 Through working on this project I was able to put my new knowledge in designing for experience, user experience, customer experience, and information experience. I could pinpoint what the relevance of each section was and what importance each step held for towards the final deliverable. I was able to glean a few insights along the way as well. In conclusion, I am glad I took this class. I have been sensitized to a lot that will put me at an advantage to my peers who do not have the knowledge and experiences I have been fortunate to have.