Design Lyft for kids.

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Answers (5)

Let’s start with the user first and define them a bit.

Persona: I really don’t know at what age kids get a phone these days but I would assume that they have capabilities on how to operate on the phone as well have awareness about their surroundings (middle schoolers or high schoolers)

What are some motivations they need to request a ride for? Kids attend practice after school might need to stay back, events, going out with friends – pretty much a situation where a parent can’t pick them up.

Okay – is there a particular problem we are trying to solve for kids? or an existing feature we need to improve? Assuming interviewer says no and it’s a use case their BD team has suggested we support because there is proven market fit.

Let’s start with a a hypothesis perhaps?

  • By providing support for kids requesting a ride through the Lyft app, we hope to increase our revenue by targeting a specific market share.


  • Kids could technically use the same app but might exploit (request random rides) or get exploited (kidnapping etc)
  • Parents would feel the kids aren’t safe if we don’t provide them controls
  • Parents wouldn’t want kids to request random rides.
  • Kids want to car pool together.
  • Kids get bored / distracted

Key theme: Kids experience should focus on security and safety alongside management controls. I’ll focus on that as the number 1 problem to solve in my assessment below.

So what can we build?

Kids version

  • Request a ride – single and car pool mode
  • Emergency controls: easy 911 call
  • Code verification to ensure safety
  • tracking capabilities.

Adults version

  • access management for kids using the app: allow kids to schedule vs. disallow and manage on own (this can help segment a bit on primary/middle school and high school kids.
  • app sync with kids account
  • tracking capabilities: allows them to track the whole path (map based) for any active ride
  • payment management directly via the app
  • ride scheduling capabilities: allows them to create rides either asap or for the future for their kids
  • car pool mode:
    • create a group that can auto schedule rides with fixed address for a group of kids.
    • every parent can manage the group

Driver Management: Lyft Certified Drivers

  • perhaps some sort of extensive driver background checks to create a sense of security for the feature.
  • only pre vetted drivers allowed

I would like to ask a few clarifying questions

  1. Lyft for kids: Does this mean we want to design a ride sharing app for kids? (Assuming yes)
  2. Do we have any existing features catered to kids? (Assuming no)
  3. Lyft has a lot of features. I am going to assume basic table stake features which Lyft already has as:
  • Ability to call for a ride
  • Ride tracking
  1. Are there any goals that we would like to achieve with this feature?

If we look at current market conditions, Lyft has biggest threat from Uber.

So gaining market share should be the goal of this exercise considering lifecycle of where Lyft is as a company.

The way I would like to approach this is Define Goal -> Look at users -> Pick a unique pain point -> Come up with solutions

Goal : To gain new users and capture as much market share as possible

Users: Here we want to build a ride share app for kids.

Here I would like to consider kids aged 8-16.

Reasons: 1) This age group seems to have maximum impact in terms of opportunity size. Post 16 can drive by themselves. Pre 8 kids are too young and parents might prefer to driver younger kids who need car seats, etc.

  1. 8-16 kids are older. Most of them should be able to read, use smartphones and communicate well.

So when it comes to users

  1. Kids (ages 8-16) 2) Parents/Guardians of these kids 3)Drivers of the kids

Kids 8-16 are still not fully independent. Most of them would need parent permission to install apps, use apps, etc. Hence I would like to look at pain points of parents and solve for them when designing ride share for kids.

As stated earlier : ability to request rides, track rides are table stake features but we can look at the flows.

Pain points of parents:

  1. Currently parents have to order a ride for their kids. This requires a lot of out of app communication with the kids. Time, location, etc. This process is hard to manage. Parent might be busy at the time the kid needs a ride.
  2. Safety of kids. As a parent it is very hard to trust someone who you don’t know personally with your kid. Parents don’t know anything about the driver (background, driving history, sexual offenders, etc.) who is supposed to pick the child up other than ratings.
  3. Wait time. There is an uncertainty if drivers will be available or not for live rides. So as a parent, I worry if my child has been matched with a driver or not. As a parent I would not want my child to wait for a very long time on the street, etc.

Out of these I would like to solve for the safety issue.

The main reasons being

  1. This is an extremely important feature kind of a deal breaker when it comes to kids.
  2. Uber has not done anything in particular to tackle this issue. So this might be a good chance to solve this pain point and gain market share
  3. There are some local startups that try to solve this but their market penetration is not as much. So Lyft has that advantage
  4. Branding. Lyft as a brand has more trust perception than Uber or other competitors. So if we add something to solve the safety issue we will only boost the brand image in a positive way.


  1. Pre vetted drivers
  • Give the ability for parents to add a kids profile
  • Kids can have a lyft app on their phone tied to the parent app (pairing via code/email verification)
  • Kids can request rides the same way as in the main Lyft app
  • All the drivers that get matched with the kids will be pre vetted
    • Drivers will have extensive background checks, driver license history verification
    • Driver personal info can be made available to parents in case of emergency
  • Tracking of the ride and notification with a emergency call incase the ride goes off track
  • Payment managed via the parent app
  1. Choose your driver
  • Give the ability for parents to add a kids profile
  • Kids can have a lyft app on their phone tied to the parent app (pairing via code/email verification)
  • Kids can request rides the same way as in the main Lyft app
  • Parents can choose certain drivers to drive their kids around
  • Parents can select 5 drivers in their order of preference who will get matched with the kids.
  • This way the parents can know that the same person/s is going to drive their child around and not get a random assignment everytime.
  • Tracking of the ride and notification with a emergency call incase the ride goes off track
  • Payment managed via the parent app
  1. Code word trigger
  • Give the ability for parents to add a kids profile
  • Kids can have a lyft app on their phone tied to the parent app (pairing via code/email verification)
  • Kids can request rides the same way as in the main Lyft app
  • Incase the kid feels like he/she is in danger, they can say/type a pre decided code word or push certain buttons on the phone.
  • This code word will trigger SOS signal to parents and Lyft
  • Parents will get notified with the driver details
  • Also 911 call will get triggered with all driver and route details
  • Since it a pre decided code work between the kids, parents and Lyft, the driver wouldn’t know about it.

Out of these the way I would prioritize between the solutions

  1. Impact (How many people would benefit)

It seems like 1) and 2) would help most users since 3) will be valid only in emergency situations

  1. Investment (What is the effort)

I think 1) is pre requisite to 2) All drivers should be vetted with extensive background checks especially if they are going to drive kids around.

Hence I would like to pick 1)

It will give an opportunity to test if parents are interested in such a service before we make any more investment in this area.


Designing a new Lyft app that is specifically designed for kids. We want to allow kids to hail a Lyft ride and also convey vital safety information about kids to their parents. This is for US specifically. Kids can be in the age range 8-18. Mobile app for a smart phone

Goal: Allow kids to hail a Lyft ride and also convey vital safety information about kids to their parents.

Success: Adoption and retention of kids for ride-hailing

Key Stakeholders:

  1. Kids
  2. Parents
  3. Drivers

For the purpose of this exercise, I want to focus on markets in urban areas, to begin with on the coasts, since such areas have a higher adoption rate of technology, parents are also more tech-savvy. Thus a new product like this is likely to have a greater adoption rate and we can learn faster before expanding to other markets.

Note for this exercise I Want to focus on the kid persona. Specifically kids in the age range 8-13. I believe after 13 kids are more mature and adult-like thus they can independently use. Also, in the case of kids ridesharing, one of the key stakeholders that we also need to design for is the parent.

Key Problems of:

  1. Kids – Dependent on parents, lack of access to apps, fear of an unknown driver, fear of not being able to contact their parent in case of dangerous circumstances.
  2. Parents – Safety and Communication: Fear of their kids being picked up and dropped off correctly at the right location, not being able to see their car safely seater in the car, worry about an illness that they may pick up from other kids in the ride, fear of kids meeting other strangers in the car. Parents often have a busy life so they want their child to be picked up by friends or spouses at times.

From the above, we can see a lot of overlap b/w kids and parents’ problems. We will thus have to design Lyft for kids’ app and also add a feature in the adult version of parents’ app to make this kids version practical.

Table stakes requirements – Parents app should be linked to the kids app so parents are aware of their kid’s activities. Drivers that are deeply background verified and ratings above a certain threshold will only be allowed.

Key Features:

  1. Parents App/Adult App:
    1. Link their app to the child’s app (Table stakes)
      1. Parents invite the child via SMS or link their child’s phone number.
      2. When the child installs their lyft kid app they also enter their parent’s number during the sign up process. the parent gets a notification passing SMS verification code for their child. The parents will give the code to the child and thus their accounts will get linked. Alternatively, a parent can scan a QR code prompt on the child’s sign up flow and link their accounts.
    2. Child app communicator: (Tablestakes)
      1. Informs parents via push+in app about their child’s ride-hailing activity – like requests, cancellations, location.
    3. Shared or no shared ride option
      1. Parents can set the option for whether their child can join a pool ride with another kid.
      2. Ability to select the drivers for the pool rides and also set of some other kids that you are comfortable having your child share the ride with.

    d. Ability to schedule kids rides repeatedly – schedule rides for weekly soccer games, piano lessons etc.

  2. Child App: 4. Onboarding – New user sign up linked with their parents. The child’s photo, their address, parents details and all will be uploaded. (Table stakes) 5. Key Functionalities – Key destinations and contacts synced like parents home, key friends name + photos + phone+address, emergency police numbers, Lyft helpline (table stakes) 6. Ride Details: (Table stakes) 1. Once ride is requested, the UI will be very simple and explain the ETA and path of the driver 2. The child will be able to see the photo of the driver, car photo in large size, and call driver to coordinate pick up location in case it is hard is to find each other. 7. In-app games: 1. A child can play in-app games while their ride is on and the game will save itself once the ride is over until the next time a child wants to play or there is another side.

Apart from the features that are mentioned as tablestakes the in app games and pool/nopool option are some features for prioritization. Assuming similar amount of engineering effort for both, I will pick the parent’s option of pool/no pool. This is important since parents are the ones who will control the app downloads and app usage of lyft kids app.

Success metrics:

  1. DAU, WAU for Lyft Kids
  2. # of rides taken per week by a child
  3. Average ride rating
  4. # of safety incidents
  5. Average driver rating per ride
  6. Average revenue per child

Clarification questions

  • Why are we building this product —> To get more users / growth on the Lyft app
  • What do you mean by Kids – Kids are minors, but lets make It people from 8 to 14 years old.
  • Would this be a standalone app or part of Lyft —> For you to decide


  • Design Lyft to be able to serve the needs of kids (8-14)
  • I will build a new app, separate from the Lyft app as this specifically for riders
  • In the initial version, I will target this app towards parents / care givers and not children
  • Our main goal for making this app is to grow adoption of the service for children

User Personas In this case the main user persona for Lyft of kids would be

  • Drivers – People who will be ferrying the children in the Lyft
  • Parents / Guardians – Decision makers of the child
  • Children – Actual riders in the car

For the user type I am going to focus on parents persona as

  1. The main decision makers and responsible for the safety of the child
  2. They control the funds and access to the service
  3. They still make decisions for their children

For drivers, this would be a higher service and for children this would be another service as well

Use Cases Main needs of parents.

  • Safety, Reliability: Want to ensure children when they are being transported
  • Pickup / Drop-off: Want to know kids are pickup safely and dropped off safely to an adult
  • Scheduling: Want to schedule in advance the trips for their children – recurring or
  • Tracking: Want to be able to check where the children are during the trip
  • Communication: Want to be able to have a direct communication line with the driver

Given that Lyft for kids would need to meet all the needs we can’t pick only a handful but need to go with several needs

Solutions My vision for the product is to make Lyft “Your Family Driver” for the families. A trusted driver similar to a family member. This would help parents get the peace of mind about kids transportation needs and they can focus on other tasks. Given that we are building a Lyft service for Children we need to have a minimum set of features that encourage adoption. To that end we need to solve the safeties, reliability needs of the parents through a host of business model changes as well as product features. We can look at the use cases identified above and apply a prioritization framework. A simple way to look at the needs is based on a) Reach – How many people will care about this featuew b) Impact – How much of an impact will this feature have on the user c) Cost – What is the complexity of implementing this feature. After applying the framework to score out features I am listing them down

  1. Verified and vetted drivers: We will need to do extra vetting of the drivers as they will be with kids. This can be in the form of a additional profile check-mark on the drivers in terms of being approved by Lyft for kids. This should show up next to the driver profile int he rider app (tradeoff – need to ensure that Lyft doesn’t take on too much of the
  2. Secure Pickup and drop-off: When picking up kids from school / other location the person they are being picked up from needs to check in or sing-off on the app. This can be done with a picture or something of the person handing over the kids to the lydft driver. For example, if dropping kids off to school the person from school would need to approve drop off in the Lyft app. This can be done by the driver taking a picture of the person and that would have a time stamp.
  3. Scheduling: Parents would need to schedule trips in advance. Most kids have schedules for drop-offs to school / events there should be an ability to pre-book drivers and ensure that they show up. Fro recurring events such as school drop-offs perhaps we can offer the ability to book the driver on a monthly basis at a pre-specified time.
  4. Tracking: Parents should be Abel to track the children’s movements when they are on the Lyft ride and interact with the driver if needed.

I feel the above features are the minimum ones needed to get the app off the ground. We can continue adding more features overtime.

Tradeoffs / Pitfalls

  • Verification: Extra verification of drivers would come at a cost and would need to be balanced with adoption.
  • Demand / Supply: If demand for the service takes off the we need to ensure the supply grows and is able to keep pace
  • Safety: Validating / vetting drivers does not guarantee safety and might still expose Lyft to liability in the event of issues.

Metrics To measure effectiveness of this feature from the consumer perspective I would look at the following

  1. User Acquisition: Number of riders creating accounts for Lyft for Kids app
  2. Engagement: Number fo rides being completed per month per user
  3. Avg Ratings: Ratings on the rides for children

Summary If I had to build Lyft for kids, I would focus on parents. I would design the app to allow parents to use Lyft to replace daily / preset commutes for kids.


  1. Uber/Lyft are on-demand ride-hailing services solving for (urban) mobility. Is there anything you’d like to change or add?
  2. What do you mean by Kids? – 6 to 16 yrs old With these clarifications, I moved to user segmentation as user goals/needs change significantly from 6 to 16 yr old. Thereafter, I chose one segment, listed all its pain point. Picked one where 1) I would be able to maintain marketplace liquidity 2) Problem Severity is highest Listed solution. Suggest MVP & Metrics to track