The Delight of Unintended Use

One of the neat things about developing a product is seeing the way people actually use it – and now and then, we’re really surprised.

When we first developed our ‘Find My Car’ feature, the scenario that we had in mind was that of a city driver, parking a few blocks over from their home at night, and not necessarily remembering where they left their car by morning. But the way we’ve seen this feature being used has been fascinating.

Just last week, a San Francisco-based app user tweeted that the ‘Find My Car’ feature helped her to discover the location of her stolen car – and it’s not the first time we’ve heard that happen…

A number of weeks ago, another user came out in the morning, saw his car was gone and began calling towing companies. Once he determined that no one had his vehicle, he contacted the police and reported it stolen. Later that afternoon, he remembered about the Metronome and our ‘Find My Car’ feature and opened up his app. Lo and behold, he was able to see four trips taken to different chop shops around the city, plus the final resting place of his car, which unfortunately was now completely gutted. Still, he was grateful to recover his stolen vehicle so quickly and let us know as much. He also told us that his current insurer wanted screenshots of all the trips so they could use them for their investigation (he’s in California where our pay-per-mile insurance isn’t yet available).

It’s an important lesson for any designer – that there are always exceptions to the rule and how you intend for features to be used, and how they really are used in the end, may surprise you. As we continue to develop new features into the MetroMile app, be sure to keep us aware of the way that you make MetroMile work for you!

2 responses to “The Delight of Unintended Use

  1. There are new products on the market, like a bike lock, that you can set to "lock" and if it is moved from its location, it instantly sends your phone a notification. I’d love for you to roll out this feature to MetroMile. So when I park my car, I can set the app to "lock" so that if it gets stolen, I immediately get an alert. When I get ready to leave in the morning, I can just unlock it, or worst case scenario, get an accidental alert.

    Also, when can we expect an Android app?

    1. Uriah,

      Thanks so much for bringing your ideas to us! We are always looking to add new features, and appreciate your input. Our Android app is coming very soon! Thanks for your patience, the wait will soon be over.

      Brittany
      Community Manager
      Team Metromile

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