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Parking App

Improving the parking experience on campus for commuter students



Northwest Missouri State University: University Police Department, Registrar's Office, and Orientation & Retention


Work with a team of 4 to find an innovative way to improve the parking experience of commuter students, reducing frustration and time spent finding parking on campus. All this within a feasible budget and construction limits not only adding value to the experience, but also giving a return on investment to students' and the university's money.


While about 41% of those students are living on campus with a required resident parking pass, the remaining 59% are commuter students living off campus with a namesake parking permit. The current parking lot distribution of this rural university is as follows:

  • 8 parking lots for residents only

  • 5 parking lots for commuters only

  • 14 parking lots for both

  • 10 parking lots for faculty/staff only

 Residents have a total of 905 parking spots, while commuters have a total of 324 spots. Additionally, there are 1,724 "open" spots for commuters, residents, faculty, etc. All residents, who are usually incoming first-year students, are required to have a parking permit and park on campus by their residential buildings which are about a 10 min walk to all the academic buildings.


Design and develop a mobile app solution using the internet of things through QR and geolocation technology.



Focus on finding the nearest available parking lot according to the commuter user's location.


Strengthen retention rates

Bring a high Return On Investment (ROI) to students

Reduce negative feelings and time looking for spots

Increase the overall campus experience


User research via online surveys, informal conversations with students and stakeholders, secondary research, empathy map, user journey map.

Here are some insights gathered from secondary research.


After carrying out a comprehensive online campus survey, here are the results we obtained.

Below is the empathy map we came up with.


In the gallery below, you can see a series of sketches and drafts my team and I did in order to figure out the logic of the app, possible pain points, and opportunities as well as initial UI drafts and wireframes.  

See Results Parking

Figma Prototype


Awards & Accolades

This project earned a research grant from the School of Computer Science, sponsored by Dr. Ratan Lal, in order to implement the solution and present it as a research paper at the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges in the Central Plains region of the U.S.


You can find the student paper here.