Uber Badges: A Little Reward For Every Ride You Take

How UberPool rides & meeting new people inspired me to think about something that could be the next breakthrough in Uber’s growth strategy.

The Idea

The idea of “Uber Badges” came to me during my last three-month stay in San Francisco. (I’m originally from Prague). Using UberPool was my main way of getting around the city. In addition to being attracted by the lower price, I was always looking forward to meet someone new in an UberPool, maybe another designer to talk to. But the opposite was true. I usually met someone from a different country who had a different profession than mine or who had different interests/hobbies.

But regardless of our differences, we almost always ended up having a nice conversation. I felt like I practically met the whole world during those rides. I had never met so many people in such a short period of time like I did while UberPooling around the Bay Area.

Each time I met someone, I ended up with a nice memory of our conversation, where I would usually learn something new about their home country. And it got me thinking: What if I get a nice badge, like a flag of my fellow UberPooler’s home country, after every ride? I would have a nice collection of those badges as well as memories of the people I met during my trips.

Here is how receiving a badge might look like:

The Concept

So when I meet someone from, let’s say, Mexico, I would get a small badge with the Mexican flag to add to my collection. The same goes for interests: If I’d met another rider interested in games, I’d get a little badge with a console controller on. The possibilities are endless. I can even imagine getting a badge for going T0 and FROM some specific location, like, for example, a small Golden Gate Bridge badge for taking an UberPool to San Francisco from Silicon Valley.

As you can see in the animation, the badge would be awarded after the trip is completed and you’ve rated the driver. It kind of feels like the Swarm app: When you check into a place, you get points and a sticker (or old Foursquare, where you receive badges). In this case, it would be similar: finish a ride, rate the driver and get a badge.

Here are a few examples of badges for a country, interests/hobies or geo-locations:

Badge examples by Tomas Vranek

Integration within Uber app

As you can see, the design style of the badges matches with the recently launched Uber rebranding. It has the perfect design setup for exploring small details and possibilities like this.

Besides this there is only one small UI update that would be needed in the existing app: a “Badges” or “Badge collection” screen would need to be added to the main app navigation so people can access it at any time:

Business side

The folks at Uber could obviously come with hundreds of badge ideas based on cities, countries, interests or job titles themselves, but there is one more topic that could be even more interesting — businesses or “special” places.

Since millions of people recently fell in love with Snapchat geo-filters, I can imagine Uber offering a similar option to local brands/places to include their badge in the collection. So people going TO or FROM a specific location could snap up a badge for themselves, just something a little extra that could make their friends envious and interested in getting one as well.

Here is an example of how you trip to/from Staples Center or Starbucks Coffee might look like:

What do you think?

As an Uber user, would you be interested in having this small feature included in your favorite ride-sharing app and have a little fun every time you finish a trip? Or do you think Uber should focus on something else in terms of its promotion & growth marketing? Feel free to reply to this article!

Special thanks to my team-mate Tomas Vranek for helping me with those awesome badge examples!

Let’s be friends!

Ales Nesetril— Digital product designer with passion for minimalism, simplicity and new concepts, focusing on interactive experiences and mobile apps, currently co-leading a design team at STRV

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STRV is a one-stop mobile app development shop working with top-tier startups from Y Combinator and 500Startups, among others, across offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Prague.

Follow STRV design team on Dribbble or Behance.

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