Vehicles are to products as shoes are to clothing. Vehicles, or more specifically micro-mobility vehicles, need to cover all of the same design criteria as products plus more. Micro-mobility products are a subset of consumer products. Therefore, micro-mobility products don't always follow the same rules, but do always require an extra level of design strategy to account for their extra criteria.
Here are three ways you can sabotage the success of your micro-mobility product:
1. Don’t Design Around The Rider
The most significant difference between a micro-mobility product and a consumer product is the rider. Micro-mobility products move people. If you ignore the human in this equation, humans will ignore your product. Here are two main factors to consider:
Your rider needs to fit in/on your product. The design of your product needs to accommodate the size, movements, and ergonomics of your customer.
Ingress & Egress
Your rider needs to enter and exit your product comfortably and efficiently. Transportation designers refer to this criterion as the ingress & egress of your product.
2. Ignore the fact that it moves
The most obvious difference between a micro-mobility vehicle and a consumer product might be the fact that it moves. Just add some wheels? It's not that simple. If you don't thoughtfully design around your product's movement, your product runs the risk of being visually boring or worse yet, confusing. Here are two main factors to consider:
Because your micro-mobility product has wheels, it has a relationship with both the ground and movement. The angle, width, and wheelbase of your vehicle all contribute to its stance, which in turn conveys your product's character.
For intuitive use and a dynamic appearance, your design should clearly communicate the direction in which your product moves. Humans are accustomed to vehicles having a "face" and a "rear."
3. Strip it of soul
No, this one isn't exclusive to micro-mobility. However, a micro-mobility product is hyper-conducive to captivating your customer. Vehicles portray a character and therefore a personality. It is this personality (or soul) that your customer resonates with. If you don't go the extra mile to push your design to a state of desirability, you'll simply be missing out on a prime opportunity to catch your customer's attention. Here are two main factors to consider:
Stance, colors, materials, finishes, graphics... Many elements come together to capture the character of your product. Your product's mood should align with how you want your customer to feel.
The person who buys your product wants to be in the story that your product is telling. Make sure your product is telling the right story.
To ensure that your micro-mobility product is NOT a flop, make the rider your champion, thoughtfully design for movement, and give your product soul. Micro-mobility products are more complex than consumer products and therefore require an added level of strategic design. Before diving into the development of your next micro-mobility product, remind yourself of these three elements to maximize desirability.