Designing a co-basket solution for e-scooters of Tuul in a one-week Hackathon

TuulKott

Our project, TuulKott, came out of the Tuul x EKA one-week long hackathon in the autumn of 2020.

Partner: Tuul-Comodule OÜ

The team: Derin Baykal, Nursultan Barun

Instructors: Mihkel Mäll, Sirle Rohusaar

Duration: 5 days ( 19–23rd. October 2020)

Our partner: Tuul

Our partner for this project was Comodule, a company that provides B2B IoT solutions worldwide. Not only do they boast both hardware and software solutions, but they produce their products locally with sustainability in mind.

Comodule offers connectivity for mobility as IoT solutions for light electric vehicle manufacturers and fleet operators.

We enjoyed working with “Tuul”, a branch of Comodule and a leading scooter rental service provider in Tallinn. They already had an amazing product that knocked the competition out of the park, but listening to user feedback, and they realized that their scooters needed some additions to improve their user experience.

The challenge was to design accessories for Tuul that would improve their scooter's user experience, both customers who bought the scooter outright and those who used the rental service.

The challenge

The criteria were to make the solution:

Durable: We are expected to make something durable and foldable if it is possible. Besides, it should not break when the scooter falls.

Fits one full shopping bag: An average shopping bag should fit inside the product.
Load capacity 15 kg: The solution should carry around 15 kg.

● It could be (but do not have to) be foldable.

Target user

Our given target users were from 20 to 40-year-old, everyday riders who are technologically competent and live close to the city centre. Despite various means of transport, Tuul is at least the second most important vehicle for them.

They had determined that some of the most requested accessories were:

● Co-hook

● Co-mount

● Co-basket

The participants all chose to tackle a different accessory. Amongst the 3 options, Nursultan and I chose to design a co-basket.

Sander Ots from CoModule is showing the Tuul E-scooter.

Defining the problem

On the first day of the hackathon, we are divided into groups and tried to map out the problems to analyze them. Then, we explored those more through group discussions and creating personas. To solve the problems, we tried to iterate some creative ways by pinning the pain points.

We worked as teams on the first day to define the problems better.

As the teams are formed, Nursultan and I became a team, and we started to select some related details from the main idea-generation poster for the co-basket problem.

Then we asked the question:

Which parts of the e-scooters people use for carrying or delivering?

To find better, sustainable and more creative solutions for the co-basket case.

During our quick research and observation, we found out that people tend to use mostly the front part of the scooter.

Every participant of the Hackathon tried to ride the scooter across the EKA building outside.

Besides, having gone through an image-searching on the internet, we came across some inspiring approaches from e-scooter users.

So our insight became:

People tend to carry not only a cup of orange juice,

Or personal belongings in either shopping bags or small luggage…

But also their own children!

Hence, we have become more sure to rely upon the front part; in other words,

*users’ choices.

Insights

There were some reasons that we decided to design an accessory for the front part of the scooter. These are:

  • People want to see their belongings.

People need to see what they are carrying. This was also one of our mentor's feedback, Mihkel, told for one of the participant’s project during our mock-up trial phase.

  • People don’t stand too close to the front part for better stability.

Observing people helped us out a lot to notice that the user doesn’t stand too close to the front part for better stability. This fact encouraged us to utilize the room on the front footplate.

  • A variety of individuals uses rental scooters.

Rental scooters are used by various and numerous people.

  • Our design should be a disincentive in terms of vandalism and stealing issue.

These problems can be a threat to the success and profit of e-scooter startups/ companies such as Comodule.

Design Process

At the beginning of the process, our focus was on fixing a shopping-bag to the scooter, minimizing the use of material.

After having decided the volume and the size, I started to sew the mock-up.

Considering the battery compartment in order not to prevent it from opening the plate, we gave more importance to foldability.

Then, having decided to support the load covering around, some specific materials enable us to add some features such as flexibility and foldability.

Also, trying out the prototype on the Tuul e-scooter with a user helped us make some arrangements on it.

Testing out the Prototype

We tested the prototype to see How it reacts on bumpy roads with the bulky load. Plus, how it reacts to fast-zigzag driving.

__And-it worked quite well!

The outcome

TuulKott provides users to use the bag in need, and if they no longer use it, they can fold it. It allows users to carry their shopping bags and their personal belongings safely; as a result of the friction between the scooter plate and the belongings such as backpacks, computers, etc.

Our final design with Tuul Patterns.

At the end of the hackathon, we presented the project to the jury who is working for Tuul.

Also, our project selected to be exhibited in EKA Design Showcase 2021.

To me, It was a great experience to refresh my knowledge in product design since my bachelor is in industrial and product design. Looking from another angle as an interaction design student, I tried to apply what I have already learned from my studies, especially in experience design and research. Besides, working with a company and having the process as a hands-on experience was quite fun and fruitful.

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I am an Interaction Design student with an industrial design background. Currently, I live in Tallinn, but I believe that what inspires me is definitely learning new cultures. I love utilizing them as background in design!

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Derin Baykal

Derin Baykal

I am an Interaction Design student with an industrial design background. Currently, I live in Tallinn!

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