How would you design a bicycle renting app for tourists?
+1 vote
in Product Design by (17 points) | 2.4k views

6 Answers

+8 votes

Assumptions & Questions

To clarify, we want to design a:

  • Mobile app for best tourist places in a specific country (say Spain). 
  • By bicycle we mean normal bicycle & e-bikes with less than 500 watt power which do not require DRIVING LICENSES.
Next step is to discuss the different user groups:
  • Tourists (Solo traveller/group of friends/family) - This is the main user group and their objectives are to explore the popular places in the city (museums, zoo, monuments, sightseeing) and 
  • Guides/Travel Agency - They may want to include rented bikes to their customers and offer them this optional service.
Needs of the Tourists:
1) Native language of the tourists
2) Locate a bike
3) Get an idea of the cost
4) Start my ride & ride safely
5) Deposit the bike after completing the journey
6) Make payment for the trip
7) Get suggestions of popular places & restaurants during my journey
Solutions for the aforementioned needs:

1) Localization - Have a multi-lingual app which prompts user to select language after installation (English, Spanish, German, French etc.). Have an option to switch language in settings option

2) Locate bikes nearby - Each bike will have a GPS system installed and bikes will be displayed to the user in a map view (he can view which bikes are near him) and go to the respective location to pickup the bike.

3) Cost - User can select bike types and it will display the cost (per hour, per day basis). 

  • When a se
4) Start my ride- To start the ride there are the following prerequisites
  • Setup payment - Setup a payment wallet (Paypal etc.), Credit card, Debit Card
  • Unlock the bicycle - Scan QR code to unlock the bike which will start the trip automatically and time will recorded and displayed to the rider
  • Safety - Each bike will have a attached helmet to it
5) Deposit the bike - Parking spots will be displayed to the users on app to ensure bikes are parked in high density areas of the city. (users will be provided suggestions of parking spots so that the other riders can find them easily for subsequent trips). 

Once a user ends his trip, an invoice/receipt will be displayed and the amount will be deducted from the wallet.
Solution Evaluation:
Solution No.Freq of UsageImpact on UserImpact on BusinessDev. time
1) LocalizationMediumMedium MediumLow
2) Locate bikes nearbyHighHighHighLow
3) Bike type &
Associated Cost
4) Bike Unlocking & Trip PaymentHighHighHighHigh
5) Deposit Bike (Parking spots)MediumLowMediumHigh

Based on the above priorities, we can decide that 1 & 2 are quick wins, 3&4 are must haves and 5 is nice to have.

To summarize, we want to build a bicycle renting mobile app for tourist with a goal of helping them travel the city using an efficient & clean energy solution that meets their needs. Points #1,2,3 and 4 constitute our MVP


by (36 points)
@Bijan - Can you please share your feedback on the above answer?
Hi Vipul
Thanks for posting this. I like the answer. It's well structured and easy to understand. You've also done a good job of listing the use cases and solutions. I think you could also include a couple basic metrics in the end of the answer to help you determine how your app is doing (e.g. % of downloads converted into rents).
I like how you listed PayPal for payment. When we consider the user journey of the bike renter, we realize they don't want to spend time to type their CC. perhaps a workaround for it would be to also support popular existing payment services such as paypal and alipay
nice work!
+1 vote

Comprehend the situation

To make sure I understand the case, we are building a mobile app that enables tourists to find bike renting shops and rent a bike through the app? Also, we are focussing on revenue generation, which means more bookings and monetization opportunities through the app.

Identify user personas

Budget traveler: A college-going early 20's Rob taking a semester break to travel in South America with his savings from the multiple part-time jobs he juggled in the past semesters.

Family vacation traveler: A high earning middle-aged adult John who has a habit of taking seasonal vacations in summer and winter along with his family.

Business traveler: Jeff, a management consultant, who visits multiple clients in various countries on short-term assignments and looks to explore the place whenever he gets time between his busy schedule.

I want to analyze the customer segments based on three factors - Interest, Available Time, Willingness to spend. Below table summarizes my analysis.

InterestTimeSpending power
Budget travelerHighHighLow
Family vacation travelerMediumMediumHigh
Business travelerLowLowHigh

Since we are focussing on revenue, we need customers who have high willingness to spend. We also need someone with interest and time to engage in the activity of bike riding. Hence, I would like to focus on Family vacation traveler users.

List down the needs 

  1. Wants to have a majority of his time spent leisurely with family rather than worrying about logistics and planning a day
  2. Safety and security are the highest priorities. Concerned about helmets, speed limits, crossings, etc
  3. Looks for other information such as rest areas, restaurants, places of interest
  4. Wants to park the bike and quickly hop on and hop off at locations as per day plan
  5. Likes to stop frequently and take family pictures

Cut through prioritization

I will focus on points 1, 2, and 4 because of 2 reasons. First, our chosen customer is ready to spend only when his must-haves are met. In this case, his must-haves are safety and taking time out of planning so that he can have more family time. Second, closely integrated with planning a travel day is taking the hassle out of thinking about bike parking. Our target is to provide seamless renting and riding bike experience without adding any additional friction. Also, the technologies required to facilitate this experience, which I will be discussing in the solution part, are readily available at low cost or even for free.

List the solutions

I want to clarify that it is ok to use any latest technology that is available today?

Integrate with google maps/trips public API: The idea here is to keep the user engaged with the app all the way from check-in to return while identifying opportunities to monetize along the way.

Sensor-enabled: This IoT device mounted on a bike is similar to locking and unlocking the front door of your house through mobile apps. This provides flexibility to leave the bike at many places and have it securely locked. It can also be used to analyze data from other bikes and provide timely notifications to the user about the weather, traffic, etc

Evaluate the solutions 

With our business goal of revenue generation in mind, implementation costs become a deciding factor. We want to build a solution that does not add any ongoing costs per usage. The sensor-enabled solution requires constant monitoring and analysis of data as well as incurs a substantial fixed cost in the form of building the IoT device. Although we can try with a limited number of bikes focussing on one area, the development costs involved won't reduce significantly. I believe that puts us at huge risk as we are losing strategic flexibility by investing a lot upfront.

On the other hand, a mobile app integrated with Google maps API is "build once and operate forever" mechanism. We can have the user hold on to the app through the entire journey. Monetizing opportunities include commissions from bike shops that list on our app and serving location-based advertisements such as restaurants. Costs include google maps usage fee, which can be packed in the booking fee. We are essentially bringing in all bike rental shops under one umbrella while at the same time forcing them to be competitive by providing safe, secure, and convenient experience for the user as monitored by customer ratings. We also take the pain of trip planning by leveraging Google trips that suggest day plans based on user's preferences.


To put it all together, we build a mobile app leveraging Google maps API that shows nearby bike rentals, provides online check-in, and acts as a guide suggesting places to visit while serving location-based advertisements. 

by (21 points)
I would list a few more solutions (including some out of the box ones) and also not mention "integrate with google maps". I heard the word "integration" is usually a red flag for an interviewer. They want to see you build new features.
0 votes

   I presume its a mobile based app since it is for tourists. The purpose of this app to provide cycles for city roaming

   I presume it is an app where tourists can locate bicycles, unlock them , use them and drop them at desired locations.

   I also presume that the app operates in a city with a decent population density

   I presume there is a good network so the app doesnt have to deal with poor internet


   Tourist segments to target

   1) Young population within the age bracket of 20-35.

   2) Families

   3) Local population ( not considered since it is said that app is for tourists

   I'll pick up the any of the above segment considering the market size.


   Let us understand the tourists.

   Do they all speak English ? or the app has to be built in multiple languages ?

   What phone models they are likely to have ?

   Are they going to drink and ride ?

   What is their spending power ?


   User needs

Before hiring a cycle

   Locate cycles.

   Know the types of cycles available

   Quality of cycles.. ( damaged/maintained)

   Identify popular cycling routes/tracks

   How to make a payment ?

   Steps to be taken if cycle gets punctured

   Steps to be taken to unlock

   Other precautions to be taken while riding in the city


On cycle

Voice based toursit guide/assistant to guide you more about the nearby attractions and nearby cycle drop points

Voice based guide to provide directions for the destination

After dropping the cycle

Steps to lock

Payment acknowledgement


Push notifications for further rides

Features to be developed

Sign up - Federated loging ( Google, Facebook)

Option to select language of choice

    Uber style map view to locate cycle points and directions to reach there (H)

Popular cycling tracks in the city and their reviews (H)

Suggestions on places to visit on cycle (H)

Availability of cyles on the points (H)

Feature to provide steps to unlock the cycle when you reach the point (M)

Feature to add destination and locate drop point near the destination  (H)

Ride tracking/ Route sharing on the app. (M)

SOS button. (M)

Social media sharing (M)

Advanced features to be developed after MVP

Option to organize group rides

Tracking cycles of friends in a group ride

Apple watch/ Google fit integration of the ride for fitness enthusiasts

End with summarizing the features.
by (66 points)
0 votes

How would you design a bicycle renting app for tourists?



Tourists often go into new cities and locations and find it challenging to move around at their convenience. The transport options that they have today are either very constrained - such as tour buses which operate on fixed schedules or they have to arrange for local transport. Local public transport is not an easy thing to get used to in the space of a few days. On the other hand rentals can be expensive apart from the constraints on driving in new places with new rules, the time to get such rentals, lanuage barriers, parking limits, etc. In short, it is a headache and there is no sense of freedom to move around and enjoy locations. 


We are providing tourists a simple way to rent bikes at reasonable rates that they can access in many destinations around USA and eventually the world. Tourists can download an app, based on their location in the city find bicycles which are available to rented, rent them on the spot with an app, pay based on usage and return the bikes in designated locations. 

User Hypothesis:

There are different tyoes of tourists who might use a bicycle for different reasons. They might have very different needs. If we assume that we will try to optimize the first iteration of the app at a specific type of users and then expand functionality to evolve the app. 

Types of Users
Tourists - who are interested in road-trips using bicycles in destinations
These users are likely most interested in such rentals. 
They are already getting such rentals with lot of effort
Likely limited number of users, number of destinations
where road trips are possible limited.  
Tourists - who are interested in long term rentals - beach goes 
These users also need long term transport since they 
might be staying at the beach for a while. It is unclear 
if there is enough such users to merit a specific solution.
These users are also likely to have a car.
Tourists - who are interested in rentals for city tours such as museums
 in Paris, 5th avenue in New York, Central district in London 
These users are everywhere especially as biking becomes
a preferred earth friendly transport in many big cities to reduce 
tourist congestion. 
Tourists - who want to visit attractions on bicycles
There are some attractions where tourists would like to visit 
on bicycles due to significant distances.

We will focus on city tourists - due to market size, logistics considerations, easiness of experimentation

Use Cases

1. Find bikes to rent easily. 

2. Rent bikes easily.

3. Get help on how to navigate to different attractions

4.  Finally, see your bill and return bikes easily in convenient spots around town

Feature summary

Free to all bikers (not just paying rental customers)

1. Introduction to biking based on location

2. Map of chosen city with overlay of locations where bikes are available

3. Plan trips - attractions on map, ability to find bike routes, bike parking nearby

4. Biker forum to exchange tips with other bikers

Paid Experience

5. Find a Bike Experience - map with overlay, filter by bike type

6. Pick/Reserve a bike experience: catalog of different types of bikes - adult male, female, kids, tall, average, short - manual v/s assisted bikes

7. Safety/roadside assistance for broken bikes, Rental and bike rating experience 

8. Bike return experience - get bill summary, pay via app, return bike and get confirmation



1. Hourly App Users during daytime - since we need to see engagement within short intervals of stay

2. Daily App Users - to see if the user finds the app as a useful guide

3. Monthly App Sign-Ups

Revenue metrics

1. Free to renting user conversion rate monthly 






by (73 points)
0 votes

Clarification :

The bike rental app is for renting through docks or through bike rental shops (Assuming it is bike rental shops)

Global or US (Global given US public transport is well developed and in many developing countries bicycles/bikes/car rentals are the only way to get around) 

Goal :

User adoption (Get people to use the app to rent bikes)

User Groups:

Short-term renters: For a day

Long-term renters: For duration of travel (1 week - 1 month)

Family/Groups : Need multiple bicycles for a short duration

We will pick the long-term renters as they have more invested in finding the right bike and the revenue will be higher. 

User Needs:

1. Discovery:  Finding a bike close by, FInding the right kind of bike/renter

2. Making sure they are not overpaying 

3. Effortless booking and payment (Includes situations where someone might want to extend rental)

4. What to do in emergencies (Accident, damage, loss, stolen)

5. Delivery/Pick-up of bike is a hassle

6. Loss of key


SolutionsImpact (Frequency, need)RevenueEffort (Dev)
Map based discovery (proximity)HHL
Reputation of bike shop and reviewsMML
Info on bike (listing) and reviewsLML
Compare option for shop (Price/Ratings)MLL
Calendar Booking, online paymentHHL
Messaging with shop (Extension, emergency)MLL
Buy Insurance (Incase of damage, loss theft)HHM
Find my Bike/Report theftHLM
On call - Key maker, Auto repair shopMMM

Based on th above, the solutions to prioritise: 

1. Discovery: Map based listing, repoutation and review of bike shops

2. Calendar booking, online payment

3. Emergency: Insurance, Find my bike, report theft

Metrics :

1. CTR (Click through rate) on bike shops

2. Average #Reviews and Ratings 

3. Bounce rate (Leave without booking) vs Conversion rate (Booking made)

4. #insurances bought/#total rentals (%)

5. Revenue through insurance (Commission)

6. CTR : find my bike

7. #thefts reported /# on total rentals (%)






by (17 points)

@bijan Would love a feedback. Thanks!

0 votes

How would you design a bicycle renting app for tourists?


When you say tourists do you mean international or national - could be both

is it only for tourists or anyone can rent it? - could be either, assuming you want to optimise for tourists here

Is the physical design/logistic of the bike renting app part of the scope - no, just design the app, assume physical condition as deem apt

Any specific country in mind - lets assume london for starters

Is this a native app or web app - as you feel apt

who are the customers?

The renters of the bike can be broken down into following cohorts:


Tourists , as mentioned in the problem we want to focus on this cohort 

Single individuals - I would focus on single individuals since anecdotally speaking this cohort is the one I've seen renting bikes most often


Large groups 

Personsas are as follow:

Single male tourist

Mark, a 33 year old French native is visiting london and wants to see all the sights around london

He speaks fluent french, is uncomfortable with English , likes exercising and being out in the son, is conscious about his carbon foot print has plenty of disposal income

He is an expert rider, likes to have a rugged bike to go around town that he doesnt need to worry about 

Uses iphone X 

Single female tourist

Sukhmani is a 26 year old Indian female visiting london for the first time, she is a on a budget hence doesn't want to spend a lot of money 

She is an amateur rider and want a bike that isn't too heavy and has storage space.

She is worried for her safety and uses whatsapp to share live location with her friends.

User journey

Need trigger: tourists may realise that they need a bike much before they travel or after they land, they will be using this bike usually for travelling around town locally 

User action: Such users may search for bike rental on search engines first before they go looking for an app, a minority may search on play store.

Users may want to search by bike preference and then figure out pick up location or they may want to search by location and pick the bike available.

purchase: Once the user has figured out the bike he/she wants, they may be hesistant to pay the full amount upfront since they may not be sure of their logistics

post purchase:  I would want to know the different places I can drop off the bike at/it may be far for me so I may consider pick up


NeedReachimpactconfidenceeffortPick or not
I want to be able to book in advance by bike or by locationHighhighhighlowPICK since this is hygiene requirement
I want to be able to change my preference laterlowmediumhighmediumDont pick for MVP, decide after doing user research since its not a high frequency use case 
I want to be discoverable on web/have a web app experiencehighhighhighmediumPick since most users will end up discovering the web through a search
I may get into an accident/worried about my safety/security so I want to share my locationmediumhighhighmediumPICK since this becomes a differentiator and give tourists piece of my mind
Multi language app highhighhighlowpick since the TG here are tourists they may not all speak English, figure out which languages are needed through paretos coverage
payment methodshighhighhighlowPick tourists may want to pay in their local currency so the app should support multiple currency menus/pricing 
Drop off location highhighhighlowPick- tourist will want to know where they can drop off bikes
Bike location trackerhighhighhighhighpick - since tourists are not familiar with the area they may want to know where they parked their bikes
Fall detectionlowvery highhighhighPick - Automated call to emergency with location broadcast in case of fall/collision detection 
Helmet rental mediumhighhighlowPick - tourists will want to wear protection so they want to know where they can buy/rent safety gear
route recommendationmediumhighhighmediumDo not pick - this will recommend routes to tourists where they can go sight seeing, not a P0 requirement, can come later


What are the primary metric/secondary metrics for this

Since this app is new we need to validate if it's solving the problem for the users so we may want to track % of users installing the app who try to book a bike (not necessarily successfully) this will give us a sense of usability/utility of the app.

This tells me 1) if users find the UX intuitive 2) is the value prop clear to the user ie is he/she able to identify which bike they want 

risk here is that this ignores the actual booking funnel, so as a defensive metric i'd want to look at % transaction rate as well 

health metrics


Average days booked  - P0

% of bikes succesfully returned within time- P0

% of each feature used ( this will tell us if we've over built the MVP) - P1

Time spent in the app - here we dont want this numnber to be high since it means users are strugglign with understanding the steps - P0

Sessions to transaction ratio - P0

Aha moments - P0



by (135 points)
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