25.10.2013 11:07:09

Leonid Bugayev Assessed the Moscow Parking App

Leonid Bugayev Assessed the Moscow Parking App

Leonid Bugayev, author of two books about mobile technologies, founder of the Experts Academy, creative director of Nordic Agency AB (MoscowStockholm) has tested the Moscow Parking mobile app and shared his opinion at Apps4all.ru

Today, paid parking lots in Moscow as well as handy mobile apps have captured minds of thousands of the city residents. Having melted these two topical issues together, the Moscow Parking app has recently been released. Following this event, we discussed the problem of car parking in the city and the Moscow Parking mobile app with the author of Mobile Networking and Mobile Marketing books, expert in mobile B2B solutions Leonid Bugayev.

What is your overall attitude to the paid parking lots project?

My attitude to paid parking lots is incredibly emotional. As a motorist, I put very high value on the possibility to move freely: easily find a parking space, take a walk in downtown Moscow, come to meetings with my business partners in time. And I'm not the only one who wants it. This is why thousands of car owners come every day to the center of every city: to work, meet, recreate, communicate. And this is why I understand the city is unable to increase the number of parking spaces in a wink which means one has to spend much time to find a place to park. Therefore, however unpleasant it could be, I do realize there is no alternative to paid parking lots: either you pay for the comfort or you don't have any, keeping in mind how many people are eager for it.

Have you ever paid for parking in downtown Moscow and, if yes, which payment method did you use?

Yes, I have. In recent ten years I paid for parking in the downtown by a variety of methods: I tried to escape those strange "ticket sellers" on Tverskaya Street, I parked my car in underground parking lots of business centers and malls, and (at last!) I paid for parking using my cell phone. Naturally, this third method is the most preferable for me.

How do you assess the Moscow Parking app compared to other existing payment methods (SMS, parking meters, parking cards, QIWI wallet)?

The Moscow Parking app should come in handy for gadget maniacs who can easily link their credit cards or mobile phone numbers to the app and use it in the future to pay for parking. Still, parking meters, parking cards and other payment methods should definitely be available anyway since smartphones, unfortunately, have not become 100% widespread yet. Nevertheless, time is on the mobile app's side: the number of smartphone users is growing each day.

How do you this new app compared to foreign analogs?

When abroad, I mainly use parking meters: you see, to download and install a mobile app one should be living in a city for longer than a week. In Madrid and Barcelona I gained both positive and negative experience; as a rule, local apps' common drawback is their "native character": they are focused on the cities' native language and do not have the English version (every now and then messages in Spanish are displayed). I hope, in the Moscow Parking app the multilingual support issue is solved though I have not checked it yet myself (the issue is solved indeed: the mobile app has both the Russian and the English versions – editor's note).

What's your opinion on the app's functionality? Which features made you happy?

A really exciting feature is the real-time display of the parking spaces number: how many parking spaces are vacant in each particular area and where I can park my car right now. This is a remarkable solution which saves my time, and I'm ready to pay for it.

As to things that are missing… I think, this is the in-app purchase functionality (and generally various in-built payment methods); and there is also no input mask for a phone number in the format +7 (xxx) xxx‑xx‑xx for the Android version. In the iOS, I have not seen this problem

How do you like the app's design: its visual appeal and usability?

The design serves its purpose: it ensures the app is recognized (by its logo and the icon that now can be seen in the streets and, in particular, on parking meters). And, which is most important, the design does not distract me from the main thing: I know my car is safe, everything is paid for, and I feel comfortable. J

What recommendations could you give the app developers? What would you like to be improved?

My advice to the developers: listen to your users, read their comments in the App Store and Google Play. The most obvious thing (I quote): add a check box for saving the phone number in the app so that the user could decide whether he or she wants the number stored in the phone or not. And, map caching too.

Do you think it is reasonable to add a social networking plugin to have the app synchronized with social networks?

I think sociality in this app should not interfere with the user's privacy. I would be unhappily surprised if the app posted on my Facebook wall something like "Leonid Bugayev has just parked at 5, Gazetny Pereulok. Put your like!" Therefore, the "Tell a Friend" button could be added but informing where people are situated at the moment – this function is for other apps.

What do you think in general about the idea of carrying the city services over to mobile app platforms? What other city services would you like to see in the form of a mobile app?

All services that we use monthly, weekly and daily sooner or later will find their places on the mobile device screen. All payments such as public utility charges and traffic infraction fines, information about traffic jams, road works, changes in timetables – all these services should be available through mobile apps.

Will you be using the Moscow Parking app further?

For sure! Hope I can contribute to this good cause: making so there are fewer traffic jams in the streets of our city and our car owners smile cheerfully having heard something like "I need to get to the Garden Ring quickly and come back in an hour" :).

Source: http://apps4all.ru/articles/applications/leonid-bugaev-o-parkovkah-moskvyi.html?print=Y

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