A construction equipment rental company wanted to establish and differentiate themselves in a massive multi-billion dollar market of renting construction equipment. Currently the market is dominated by a few huge players who control the prices and availability of inventory.
One of the biggest challenges construction project managers face is the lack of transparency on availability and pricing. Typically, the project managers do not know the full amount until after they have returned the equipment. Additional fees they were not aware of upfront are added to their bill. This construction rental company wanted to have a high level of transparency with pricing and availability for users immediately when they are searching their needed equipment.
Another challenge is that currently most renting is coordinated over the phone instead of online. Competitors’ websites do not make it easy for users to get all the information they need to move forward with renting equipment without having to make a phone a call. Competitor websites typically show everything that they rent but not let people know what equipment specifically is available in their area.
This case study focuses on the solving the main problems identified by the construction rental company. Price transparency and availability during the searching and checking out phases of renting construction equipment online.
For this website we wanted to solve three problems that were widely known in the construction rental industry. Our designs and user testing were focused on the three main problems we believed users faced when renting heavy equipment online.
- Lack of transparency with rental costs
- No information about proximity of equipment to job site.
- Inability to easily choose attachments
I conducted a thorough competitive analysis of the four biggest rental companies’ websites. We noticed several commonalities among them and some problems that we wanted to address to differentiate our services from theirs:
- General prices listed by day, week, and month
- A lot of imagery of equipment
- Search results are slow
- Lack of specific pricing information
- No proximity info of equipment
- Confusing filtering methods
User Testing & Iterations
We went through three iterations of the design and users tested each iteration. We spoke with three different users with three different backgrounds. Two of them had experience ordering equipment online and one person that had never rented using a website. Two were men and one was a woman. We tested with the same three people through each iteration.
The final design finished successfully after very positive feedback from our users and stakeholders. It captured the business goals we had for the search capabilities while being much more user friendly compared to our competitors. The goal was to make the process of renting equipment online feel as easy and intuitive like many other online experiences with renting, like Hotels.com and Amazon.com. In one session, a user said the website felt easy to use like Hotels.com which was one of our inspirations.