Spin Access

Making shared scooter services more equitable and inclusive.

In order for Spin (shared scooter company) to operate in many of its most critical markets, the company is required to provide a low income offering to members of the community. Prior to starting the project the existing “Spin Access” program was in rough shape, suffering from low enrollment and utilization. A lack of internal commitment and operational inefficiencies made the program challenging to manage. D-Ford partnered with Spin and the urban design agency Gehl to reimagine the Spin Access program with a human-centered lens.


Based on our research, our team designed changes to the Access website, Spin mobile app, and operational processes to support the program. Spin fully embraced our recommended actions, totally overhauling the program. This project improved the registration experience for greater equity and inclusion. Spin saw a dramatic uptick in both registrations and utilization of the program.


October 2019 to December 2019


Senior Product Designer and Researcher

  • Communications Designer

  • Interaction Designer 

  • Interaction Design Intern

  • Urban Planning Expert

  • Spin's Product and Policy teams

Understanding the Problem

Our team went out to discover where the program was falling short and how it might be reintroduced in a way that empathetically addressed the communities it was created to serve.

User Surveys and Interviews

We spoke to current Access users, eligible users who hadn’t enrolled in the program, and experts in equitable design.

Examination of Spin's Operations

We interviewed teams responsible for the program and Spin’s daily operations.

Study of Competitor Offerings

We benchmarked Spin’s offer against similar efforts by other scooter companies.


Initial Findings

We found the program was breaking down in three key ways.

Confusing Process

The multi-stage enrollment process was confusing for users and challenging for Spin to manage.

Barriers to Use

Lack of clarity in the program regarding fees, where to find scooters, and how to get the most out of their membership.

Operational Challenges

Spin's operations team was not deploying vehicles to areas where Access users lived and worked.


Workshops & Open Houses

Our team hosted 3 open house workshops in local community centers where we connected with over 100 eligible users through a series of activities that allowed us to learn more about what customers would value in an equity program. In addition to building empathy for users and gathering data to design from, these events created a safe space for an open dialogue around mobility issues.


Key Design Opportunities

Shifting from the idea of a “poor door” to a “big front door” philosophy, we synthesized findings from our research into actionable principles for redesigning the Spin Access program.

Active Inclusion

Show respect for the

local context and the diversity of riders to demonstrate that scooters are for everyone.

Easy Enrollment

Make applying for the Spin Access discount as easy as possible.

Price Transparency

Make the cost of a scooter ride predictable and easy to understand.

Reliable Availability

Make scooters a reliable option by providing consistent vehicle coverage.

Low-Tech Redundancies

Ensure that people with limited access to the internet or computers are not left behind.


Design Response

Leveraging findings from research and responding to the key design opportunities, we reimagined various aspects of the Spin Access program.

Internal Manifesto for Engagement

We recommended a set of core values to apply to all aspects of the Spin Access Program. By adopting a clear set of engagement principles, this manifesto helped set a bar internally to create quality programs and engagements.

Reimagined Enrollment Experience

We designed a new app flow to integrate the enrollment process into the main Spin mobile app. Our changes allow for users to get information about the program, sign up, and start using the program immediately.

In the spirit of active inclusion and easy enrollment, users can get information and sign up for Spin Access within the main Spin app, a process that previously required a computer to complete.

Instead of proving eligibility before use, customers can start using the program immediately, with a 14 day grace period to prove eligibility. They can also use the app to submit documents.

Once documents are submitted, the app allows users to track their progress through the enrollment process, clearing up any ambiguity as to their status.

Website as a Resource

We redesigned the Spin website to provide clear and readily available details on the program’s benefits and the enrollment process.

Visitors to the Spin Access site can select different markets to see specific details about the program by city.

These changes allow riders to learn about the program in a more concise and direct way compared to the complicated single page site that this replaces.

After making a selection, the site displays information relevant to the chosen city, such as eligibility requirements and local offers.

Transparent Pricing

We proposed in-app and website features that increased transparency of Spin’s pricing structure to build trust and increase rider confidence in the program.

We developed a trip planner webpage concept that would allow users to get a price estimate before riding.

We recommended that Spin run randomized trials to measure the impact of a pass + fare cap model on new user sign-ups and scooter utilization.

We created a few variations for how price estimation could be integrated into the Spin app.

Communication Strategy

We developed a promotional campaign to highlight the Access program in a way that represents riders and the nuanced way they use Spin for their mobility needs.

Through our campaign, messaging shifted from the aspirational, tech-focused tone of Spin’s brand messaging to be more relatable, context aware, and focused on the benefits of shared scooters.

We proposed that this approach be used when talking about the program, on Spin’s website, and in a future local newsletter campaign to Access eligible customers.

Operations for Access

We developed a promotional campaign to highlight the Access program in a way that represents riders and the nuanced way they use Spin for their mobility needs.

We looked at typical Access user ride times and compared this with local transit availability.

We examined Access user trip data in key Spin markets.

We used economic data to identify areas where Access users would most benefit from reliable scooter availability.

We developed concepts for future mobility hubs, where users could consistently find scooters and take advantage of other services (left).

To prototype this, we worked with Spin operations to put markers at specific locations to let customers know where they could expect to find vehicles (above).

Outcomes and Impact

The timing of the redesign was critical, and thanks to our recommendations that were incorporated into Spin's offering and product roadmap, Spin secured operating permits for 2020.

Internal Workshops

To inspire action internally, we held several workshops with Spin product managers, policy teams, and company leadership to articulate the value of what we found and create a roadmap to execute on our recommendations. 

In addition to getting more riders on the platform, and better serving those customers once enrolled, our work paved the way for greater allocation of scooter permits to Spin and reinforced the organization approach of being a partner to cities.

By offering a new mobility option to a population that truly values it, Spin Access is helping to evolve perceptions of scooter companies and serves as a differentiator between Spin and its competitors.

© Rob Sieg 2020