I remember when I first heard about Uber. I was at a party in college almost seven years ago, and someone had a “free ride” on this new app that could get us home without calling a cab. I can count on one hand how many times I have ridden in a traditional taxi since. Uber may have drawn me in by disrupting the rideshare market, but it was its Human-Centered User Experience that kept me using the app and has hooked me ever since.
One of the biggest problems I used to have with calling a cab was the wait time between talking to the representative and physically getting in the car. You had no idea where the vehicle was or how long it would take to get to you. Unless you had a cab’s specific cell phone number, you had no way to contact your car if it was late. Calling the company’s service line to get updates on your ride was a pain because it seemed like they could care less about your experience. Next, when you were in the cab, it was impossible to know if the driver was going to the most efficient route or taking a round-about way to rack up additional charges. Finally, when it came down to paying for your ride, it was inconvenient to always need cash and hard to ensure that everyone paid their fair share. Overall, the rider’s experience was almost always bad at least in one of these ways.
Uber used empathy in its UX design to alleviate these problems for its users. As stated in The Drum, “Uber is a brand that understands the emotional journey a person is experiencing as well as the geographical one.” Here are some examples of how Uber used Human-Centered Design to improve their User Experience overall:
- Not only does Uber give you an estimated time of arrival as soon as you order your car, it keeps you updated on the location of your driver throughout its journey to pick you up.
- Then, while you are on your ride, you can keep track of where the car is on the app and make sure it is taking the correct route.
- Uber also tells you the price of the ride before you even order your car, increasing the transparency for the user – there is no threat of an uber driver going the wrong way in order to increase your fare.
- Additionally, while Uber is connected in the app to your credit card (so you never have to worry about cash), the real game-changer is being able to split your ride with your friends.
- Furthermore, Uber’s Human-Centered design is most evident in the “dual rating system” it set up for drivers and riders to rank each other out of 5 stars in the app.
- You are able to view a driver’s name and profile as soon as your car is ordered, personalizing the experience for both parties.
- Finally, customer service is just a click of a button in the Uber app – they are always quick to help you get a new car or a get a refund if needed.
If more brands were using Human-Centered and empathetic design to produce their products as Uber has done, I cannot imagine the number of processes that would be made more efficient in our lives. I am looking forward to seeing what innovations come to fruition next.