App Review: Smart Spots App by Hub Strategy

The folks at Hub Strategy know all about designing for optimal user experience. If you’re new to UX, dive into foundational principles in Patrick McNeil’s Intro to UX course


Parking your Smart car along the busy streets of San Francisco just got a lot easier.

App Review: Smart Spots App by Hub Strategy

Design firm Hub Strategy has teamed up with Smart USA to help park your compact coupe with the Smart Spots app. Built specifically for Smart car owners, the app uses GPS technology and location information from other users to track down and let you know about “Smart spots.” Hub Strategy CEO and creative director DJ O’Neil invented it by chance—as “a simple way for Smart drivers to find the spots where only they will fit, as well as share and comment on new spots with the wider Smart community.”

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In December 2013, O’Neil unleashed a fleet of Smarts driven by college students to comb the city in search of 9-to-13–foot slices of curb that would otherwise go unused by larger cars. Pinpointing these “Smart spots” jumpstarted the app’s database of parking locations for future users. (Those students covered a lot of ground.)

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O’Neil’s creative and development teams later joined forces to craft a streamlined user experience. With simple functionality and clean design, the Smart Spot app strives for the least number of screen touches possible. Drivers can log a new Smart spot or find an existing one in a matter of seconds. A Smart car icon indicates a spot, and one touch reveals its exact location.

Users can then get directions to it, share their spot-ings on Facebook and Twitter or add notes and comments about the space. The app encourages users to communicate with their fellow Smarties via ratings and even recommendations—e.g., “Watch the busy intersection, especially during rush hour.” Overall, Smart Spots proves that the only thing better than using some trusted tech to park your Smart on congested city streets is helping others park theirs.

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O’Neil’s brainchild gives us all a porthole into the Smart world. Whether you’re in the compact club or not, log in and see how the Smart ones do it—and how O’Neil’s team created an app that perfectly balances utilitarian function and smooth design.

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Those of us tired of circling the block in search of that perfect sliver of concrete may need to think about getting, well, smart.

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