Bird Tour

This is a spec project with a focus on Bird scooters
Project type:
Design, branding and integration of a new feature
Project duration:
2 weeks
UX Researcher, Information Architect
3 UX Designers
Tools used:
Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slack, Whiteboard, Realtime Board, Markers, Paper, Pens, Sketch app, InVision, Principle
Visit Project:


Bird is a “last-mile” rideshare service that uses an app to unlock electric scooters. We were challenged to integrate a self-guided tour feature into the mobile app.


How can the existing Bird app integrate tour functionality? How can the tour be mindful of traffic, safety, and a tourist’s lack of local knowledge? How can the Bird-enabled tour become the most fun and legendary way to experience the area? 

Note: Because we were thinking about how to integrate with the black and white Bird brand and how to incorporate the kind of fun experienced in scavenger and treasure hunts, we codenamed our tour feature Goldfinch. 

Goldfinches are local to the area and have distinctive black, white and bright yellow coloring.


We knew we would need to employ several UX research tools in order to meet our design goals. We used the following: business model canvas, C&C analysis, proto personas, user interviews, task analysis, user persona and user flow.

Design goals

  1. Fun: the experience should be delightful or satisfying
  2. Informative: riders should come away having learned or seen something new
  3. Safe: riders should be able to use the app safely when taking a tour

Business model canvas

We started by exploring how Goldfinch integrated with Bird would look as a business model, so my team created a business model canvas using Realtime Board.

‍Bird business model canvas
‍‍Bird business model canvas

Key takeaways

  • Users could become a key partner if our app enabled them to author their own tours and submit their own content
  • Technological infrastructure and GPS would remain important
  • Potential for additional infrastructure, such as signage or road surface marking, to mark tour paths
  • Social media could become a channel to reach customers if riders can share their experiences through the app
  • A database of points of interest would become a key resource

Competitive & comparative analysis

Next, we took a look at the players in the "last mile" transit and touring scenes. For this, we employed the trusty C&C Analysis. 

This was tricky as Goldfinch integrated into Bird was not quite like anything else on the market. We had to look at an array of competitors that weren't exactly direct.

Lime Bike is definitely trying to compete with Bird using their Lime-S scooters and Field Trip is a mobile app that allows people to take self-guided tours – a direct competitor for a feature like Goldfinch. 

All Trails is an app that allows hikers to find, rate and add trails – one way of doing self-guided tours. 

Segway Tours didn't have self-guided tours but their tours were enabled by alternate vehicle transportation.

Finally, we included the iconic Starline Tours because we they were known for their tours and we wanted to do ours right.

Competitive & comparative analysis spreadsheet
Competitive & comparative analysis

Key takeaways

  • A self-guided tour integrated into a rideshare service appears to be unique in the market
  • Because nothing directly maps to the experience we're designing for, we will need to cherry-pick the best and most relevant features

Feature prioritization

From our C&C analysis we audited possible features, brainstormed a few, and prioritized them from most to least relevant and expected.

Feature prioritization chart
Feature prioritization

Key takeaways

  • Our MVP will need to incorporate a route overview and turn-by-turn directions to accommodate people unfamiliar to the area
  • With the potential for multiple tours, we will need to categorize them somehow
  • Our tours will center around places of interest, so we will need content about each one
  • Some form of audio guidance or alerts will need to be incorporated to make hands-free navigation possible
  • Tour ratings / reviews will enable riders to share their experience

Proto personas

Next, we whiteboarded proto personas. We came up with three: 

  1. Tourist
    – Wants to see highlights or famous points of interest (POI)
    – Might be interested in cultural institutions (like museums)
    – Maybe more of a "hangout by the beach" type?

  2. Local
    – Has favorite spots and might be interested in curating a tour
    – Wants something fun and new but familiar to do on weekends
    – Has friends from out of town and wants to show them the local flavor in an authentic way

  3. Transplant / New-in-Town
    – Doesn't like all the traffic
    – Wants to feel like a local
    – Wants to learn the geography / local hangouts
Whiteboard with brainstormed information for proto personas
The results of our whiteboarding for proto personas

We thought the Local would be interested in taking the Tourist for a tour of their neighborhood points of interest (POI), and want to avoid traffic while getting from point A to B. The Tourist would want to have a memorable experience on their vacation. And, finally, the Transplant would just want a neat way to get to know their new locality and find interesting places to see and hang out.

Key takeaways

  • The Local and Tourist proto personas seemed the be the richest in terms of motivation to use our feature

User interviews

To validate our assumptions, we conducted user interviews with five people. I interviewed four people, including three locals and a tourist at the end of his spring break vacation. Some of the interviewees were Bird users and some simply enjoyed self-guided tours. 

We synthesized the information we gathered using an affinity map.

Photo of an affinity map created with Post-its on a whiteboard
Affinity map

Key takeaways

  • Interviewees typically considered themselves adventurous.
  • Self-guided tour enthusiasts loved their independence.
  • Bird riders enjoyed the nostalgia riding Bird scooters elicited.

Task analysis

We assessed the tasks riders would need to accomplish to go on a ride with a Bird, from opening the app to ending the ride.

Task flow for Bird riders
Task flow for Bird riders

Key takeaways

  • Existing task flow is very streamlined and we will need to make sure our additions are equally optimized.‍


User persona

After all that, we realized we could focus our attention on two personas – Travis Jones, the out-of-towner (formerly the Tourist), and Mila Rosenberg, the local. Travis Jones was our primary user persona.

User persona for Travis Jones
Travis Jones, the out-of-towner

User flow

I created a user flow to visualize how Goldfinch, our tour feature, would fit into the existing Bird app, and how riders would access and use it.

Goldfinch tour user flow
Goldfinch tour user flow integrated into Bird user flow

Initially our thoughts were that users would know when looking for a Bird that they were going to take a tour, but we when we observed multiple people unlocking Birds simultaneously, we wondered if it wouldn't make more sense to secure your bird prior to selecting your tour.

This way the tour flow wasn't interrupted and the rider didn't risk losing their Bird to another rider before they could unlock it.

Key takeaways

  • We reached consensus that it would make more sense for users to unlock their Bird first to avoid risk of it getting scooped by another rider and to keep the tour flow uninterrupted.


Then we shaped our collected info into more solid ideas using design methods.


When ideating, my team and I coordinated a design studio exercise. We each time-boxed our own sketching. Then we critiqued each others’ sketches, revised them, and came together to synthesize the parts of the designs we liked best.

Lo-fi wireframes sketched on a whiteboard
My design studio sketches

We sketched designs for several screens: an overview of the POI on the tour, available tours, and a ratings and reviews screen. We brainstormed ideas for how audio guidance would be incorporated into a tour.

Wireframes & wire flow

I established the foundation for the initial wireframes, set up the symbols, and consolidated our iterations in one file. Then I organized our wireframes into a cohesive wire flow.

Goldfinch tour final wire flow

User testing

There were two rounds of testing. We conducted the first test with a mid-fi paper prototype using lorem ipsum and one user. We discovered that our user was confused about what they needed to do---we'd forgotten the TOUR part of the self-guided tour! We designed a brief tour and our Street Art tour was born.

Paper prototype of the Goldfinch tour feature in mobile app
Some screens from our final paper prototype

For our second round of testing, we sat with Android users, aged 21, 23 and 32, who were familiar with self-guided tours and Bird scooters. We made a modification to the user scenario and asked users to begin the “Street Art” tour.

Users found choosing the tour from the ‘category’ list “straightforward” and “easy”. But they didn't notice all the information we included on the Tour Details screen, so we adjusted the design to indicate that there was more content under the fold. 

Once users discovered that the Tour Details page was scrollable, they liked that they were able to see both the map overview and a list of directions when they selected the route overview image. 

Two people sitting at a table in the middle of a usability test
‍Jackson volunteers to test our paper prototype for Esther

Finally, we eliminated the countdown sequence we used to signal the beginning of a tour, after users expressed they found those series of screens unnecessary. We replaced the countdown with a message reminding Bird riders to “Have A Safe Ride!”

Key takeaways

  • We needed to make affordances clearer to users
  • Users didn't need any warning that the app would shift to tour mode

Design review

Our team participated in a design review where we posted our design mockups up for critique from colleagues, instructors, and other members of the General Assembly community. 

Full-color mockup print-outs taped to a black board and decorated with post-its commenting on the mockup design
Some comments on our initial mockups

We incorporated visual feedback regarding text alignment, icon spacing, branding aspects, and onboarding. Reviewers gave us positive feedback on our overall solution ("solid, clean, easy to use"), content, review format, and branding.




Next steps

  • Develop and test authorable tours feature where riders can create and privately share custom tours with friends and the most successful crowd-tested tours can be suggested as a new public tour.
  • Editable tours that can skip POI that aren't interesting to the rider.
  • Provide riders with audio feedback on when they are approaching and arriving at a POI, especially since there is no safe way for them to handle their phone and the Bird scooter. 
  • Explore hardware solutions and other infrastructure to increase rider safety while using the app, such as a phone holder or speakers for audio guidance, and road surface markings.

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