Zimride – April Fool’s Launch

Since founding Zimride in 2007 we have focused on improving transportation options by building a social rideshare community. We knew that eventually we’d have to expand our focus and move beyond cars. Around the same time that Zimride was born we also created another ridesharing platform, but since we were so focused on Zimride we decided to hold off on launching it. Due to changes in the economy and the general shift toward alternative forms of transportation we believe that now is the ideal time to launch our newest product: Zimbike.

You may have heard of bike sharing projects in Portland, D.C. and even Paris. Community bikesharing is a great way to get more people biking, but we believe that there is still substantial room for improvement. On an average ride, over 80% of the bike goes un-used by a solo biker and tandem bikes are too large for commuters in crowded cities. Today, we’re proud to introduce Zimbike—a revolutionary new way to save money, make friends, and share the ride.

Check out our launch video and help us spread the word.

Life is better when you share the ride.

- Logan & John

Introducing Zimride Inbox

Our goal with Zimride has always been to make sharing rides simple, convenient, and social. But until two weeks ago, organizing your Zimride required you to take conversation matters into your own hands, relying on your own methods of communication to coordinate your rides with other users. Many Zimriders found it frustrating trying to organize their carpools, as each user prefers a different method of communication, whether it be emails, phone calls, or text messages.

That’s why we’re excited to introduce your Zimride Inbox, a new messaging platform. Now, when you login to your Zimride account, you’ll see a summary of all new and ongoing conversations in your Inbox prominently displayed. There are three key features that we are really excited about:

Context

Every conversation on Zimride is about a particular ride, so we’ve added a lot of contextual information about those rides. Starting with the first email notification you receive when you get a new message, you’ll see the other user’s route and how far away they are from you. Within each conversation you can see a map displaying both rides, so that you can easily figure out pickup and drop-off locations that make the most sense.

Better privacy

Privacy is one of the most important aspects to the Zimride user experience, and we are excited to have made significant improvements with this new messaging system. Previously, when you wanted to contact another user on Zimride, you would need to send them an email, and the conversation would take place from your email inbox. Now with the new messaging system you can contact other users without ever revealing your personal email address. When you receive a new message, Zimride will send you a copy of the message in an email notification – and the other user will never see your email address.

Movable messaging dialogue

Previously, the messaging pop-up dialogue box wasn’t movable – so when you clicked “send message” a messaging pop-up dialogue would appear and cover up the user’s profile and ride information. Time and time again we saw users frustrated with this, as they would need to refer to information on the profile while typing their message. Now you can simply move the messaging box anywhere on the page as you type your message. For the techy folks, we made this change by switching from Facebox to the much more flexible jQuery UI dialog.

At Zimride, our users always come first. We’re listening and would love your feedback. Leave us a comment, send us an email, or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter.

Happy messaging, and remember, life is better when you share the ride.