Adapting to the modern car user
Advancements in technology and the sharing economy are drastically reshaping the way people will
use transportation – today, and in the future. As a true pioneer in urban mobility, ReachNow, the
mobility services division of the BMW Group, is at the forefront of this trend. ReachNow is building
a mobility experience for Members that enables them to access multiple services – from car sharing
to ride hailing to multi-day rental options – with one membership and a single application.
Now that the company had tested many of these services across multiple applications, they were ready
to integrate them into one intuitive, approachable customer experience for the company’s 100,000+ members.
ReachNow selected Smashing as their innovation partner to re-architect and re-design
the iOS and Android mobile applications. The challenge was to provide ReachNow
Members with an intuitive and personal experience that encompasses the range of
services and options in the ReachNow ecosystem.
A human-centered design approach
It was important to find a partner who not only had strong design and development capabilities,
but one that was as invested and excited about the Member experience, and Smashing Ideas was a great fit.
With ReachNow’s Member experience being the driving force of the reimagined mobile application,
Smashing’s team of strategists, UX, visual designers, and engineers began with a human-centered design
They conducted more than 50 interviews with ReachNow Members, audited Member service calls,
interviewed Member service reps, and analyzed extensive Member reviews. This led to the development
of eight distinct personas, each with unique use-cases for how they would use ReachNow’s mobility
services to navigate their world.
These personas enabled stakeholders to prioritize and align on target Member
needs and features that defined the test and pilot releases.
Once initial prototypes were in place, the team conducted unmoderated virtual testing and in-person,
moderated testing via click-through prototypes. This generated weekly user insights that could be
implemented directly into the design and development sprints. The visual design and user
experience translated into a well-defined design language that enables ReachNow to extend
the application into future mobility offerings.
A seamless choice between Drive and Ride
Due to the complexity of creating a mobility experience of this scope, Smashing Ideas’ interdisciplinary
teams worked side-by-side with ReachNow’s team of developers onsite at Smashing. This co-location effort
brought two teams of developers, one iOS, one Android, into a unified build environment, which produced a
scalable and extendable digital experience that went from the mobile application to the head unit of the
cars and incorporated complex GPS, authentication, and anti-fraud components.
With a dedicated ReachNow car accessible throughout the duration of the development cycle, the team was able
to conduct frequent, on-demand tests with the real system, allowing for rapid iterations of the user
experience, feature testing, and analytics integration between the physical and digital experiences. The
team then launched an Alpha test to prove data flows from back-end to front-end, while two complex Beta
tests validated front-end to back-end to vehicle and back flows.
Shaping the future of urban mobility
The result of the 10+ month engagement was an all-new unified experience for ReachNow Members that, for the
first time, provided seamless choice between Drive and Ride in an approachable, intuitive customer
experience built for scale with ReachNow’s future mobility initiatives.
While ReachNow provides a number of mobility services, the mobile app is the core product that shapes and
defines the overall Member experience. Smashing Ideas and ReachNow provided their Members with an intuitive
and personal experience that encompasses the range of services and options in ReachNow’s ecosystem. The
unification of Ride and Drive also positions ReachNow as the only company to operate multiple services
within one mobile experience, allowing them to deliver on their vision of shaping the future of urban