What encourages students to carpool?
My discovery phase strongly suggested happiness as a key motivator behind giving complimentary services. To better understand the correlation between giving and happiness, I used cultural probes.
A select group of users were each given a carefully arranged package of activities to capture users' triggers of happiness and their thought process behind giving. During the span of three days, users wrote a journal entry and sketched a picture for every moment they felt happy. They also used abstract images that portrayed the idea of giving and wrote a summary of what giving meant to them. Finally, they built a difficult origami, gifted it, and reflected about the gifting experience.
The results showed that individuals feel happiest when they are with their community and are motivated to provide complimentary services to those that belong to their community.
Taking the user insights into consideration, I designed a mobile app that allows students to give and request carpools within their existing communities.