Design for busy parents, from 0 to 2000+ weekly active users

Pogo is an award-winning, Seattle based startup. It’s an iOS & Android app that can help parents to find reliable rides in their trusted communities. Parents can find carpool friend, coordinate carpool, and request professional ride.


prototype | interaction | visual design | web development



Individual work

My Role

I joined Pogo in August 2016 when it launched V1.0. We have 6 people in our team. As a sole UX and Visual designer, I’ve been working on improving end-to-end experience of the product, and boosting active users by building our website and delivering marketing materials.

Research and Insights

I worked with our team to uncover insights by interviewing targeted users, gathering user feedbacks, watching user behavior videos. This helps us to translate our concepts into features that address users behaviors and motivations.


I partnered with our CEO, who is also project manager to prioritize and negotiate features for upcoming versions. By understanding our business strategies, I worked with the whole team from ideation to implementation.

Design and Validation

I created mocks, frameworks, and prototypes to drive with decision making. I executed flows, mocks, prototypes for usability study, and design specs.

The process: Lean Startup UX

The design process our team is using is lean UX, which helped our team to move fast and learn fast.

Understanding Pogo

Help busy parents find trusted and reliable rides for their kids

Our goal is not just being a service provider. We want to create an ecosystem for users. The following diagram explains our 3 key elements, which is discovery, reliable, utility,  and what our competitors are doing:

Understanding users needs

Based on my research, there are 2 types of families we should take care of. I created the following diagram to help our team understand who are those people and where are they at.

After 12 interviews and market research, we shifted our business strategy from only focusing on carpool families to both families. To define our potential users who involved in this ride-sharing system, I created these 3 personas:

To explain how we connect these people to make this system work, I created the following diagram to help our team understand the relationships.

Previous design

The previous design was created by an agency. It is visually pleasing and provides a good infrastructure to redesign. By conducting user research and learning from feedbacks, I found there were a couple of problems from business, product, and user experience perspectives.


  • No an effective business model. Only focus on utility and solving the problem for less than 10% people.


  • Doesn’t address the problem that 90% people have: they don’t have a carpool friend
  • Doesn’t build the connections among features. Features become meaningless when people don’t understand them

User experience:

  • Confusing and complicated (I pointed details in the following picture.)
  • Doesn’t provide an effective architecture for people to understand this new carpool concept
  • Simply stack information in mobile device without considering time and space interaction


Building a new business model is challenging. There are a couple of design challenges I’m facing:

  • How can I get people use Pogo?
  • How can I make people keep using it?
  • How can I create a trusted and reliable product for parents?

Challenge 1. How do I help people find trusted and reliable rides

  • Improve core flow to fit new concept
  • Gain trust in multiple ways

Version 1

Version 1

Clarify the ride creation flow


  • New users don’t know what Pogo can do.
  • Ride creation is confusing.


  • Clarify 3 scenarios by dividing the”+” button into 3 actions: request a ride, offer a ride, create a carpool
  • Only ask for useful information from people


  • People started to create rides on Pogo.
  • Increased 3000 installs

Version 2

Airbnb for kids carpool: Find people who go to the same place


  • 90% of people don’t know where to find people who can carpool with
  • People wants to find reliable paid rides


  • Discover feature: help people find families live near them & go to the same destination
  • Introduce paid rides in discover
  • Connect dots: people,  communities, carpools
  • Raise the trust level by improving profile:
  1. Larger picture(round to rectangle)
  2. Neighborhoods
  3. Background& DMV check
  4. About


  • Largely increased weekly active users
  • Higher user retention
  • Professional drivers are on-boarded.
Version 3

Match people based on location/time


  • Still lots of people didn’t find carpool friends
  • People tend to use other tools to organize carpool


  • Introduce posts and recommend matches with more concrete details about routes
  • Clarify 3 needs: looking for share rides, drive and take extra kids, need a driver


  • More helpful for people to discover carpool friends

Challenge 2. How do I increase the density & optimize acquisition funnel

Building a new trusted community, density is very important for this new product. If there is no effective route in this community, then nobody will find a carpool. At first, 90% users got empty search result.

  • Create an educational and smooth FTUE flow
  • Optimize the sign up flow


Version 1

An easy and intuitive way to drive other kids


  • People said they were willing to drive other kids but only 400 routes entered to show intend of driving other kids.
  • 90% of users will get empty results in the beginning. (Challenge 1, Version 2)


  • Create an easy and educational FTUE flow to gather location information


  • 84% of 5k+ new users gave us their location information in FTUE flow
  • Only a few people got empty search result

Version 2

Encouraging and digestible FTUE flow


  • Nudge people to give more details about their routes
  • Educate people what is a route post


  • A digestible, sleek, and rewarding FTUE flow to guide people create a route


  • More understandable and educational

Challenge 3. How do I simplify the experience and reduce confusions

  • Reduce frictions that caused by long scrollable page, visual design
  • Create more digestible flows
  • Better hierarchy
Improvement 1

Quick launch, high impact: Break down tasks


  • 62% of rides got no response
  • People didn’t know how to confirm and accept a ride


  • Break down tasks and ask simple questions
  • Eye-catchy blue box to guide people


  • Quickly launched this version in 2 weeks
  • 89% rides has been successfully completed within 1 month after introducing this feature.
Improvement 2

User-friendly details


  • A couple of details caused confusions


  • Selector
  • Big bottom action button
  • Educational empty states


  • No more confusions & frictions

Positive results and more things to do in the future

The redesign of Pogo app on iOS and Android has made a very positive impact on our product. I worked with my team to iterate our product quickly and launch the most impactful version.

  • Weekly active users for iOS and Android increased by 3x within 2 months
  • Installs increased by 22x since launching
  • 10000+ rides has been created, 89% completion rate
  • 90% people completed profile compared with 50%

(Updated in Sep 26, 2017)

To survive and thrive in the future, there are a couple of features need to be improved:

  • Auto-generate schedule based on routes entered
  • Bulk editing ride schedule
  • Adding in-app payment


App Store

Google Play

Keep consistency and move fast

Visual design

A series of postcard “Why Share Rides” for parents

Illustrations for social media post and newsletter on Father’s Day

Illustrations for Facebook Ads

Collaboration & Media

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