Note: This redesign was done for KPCB’s 2018 Design Fellows application.
Redesign a feature of a KPCB company’s product.
As a current design intern on Uber’s innovation team, I spent most of my time indulging myself in the world of crazy ideas and transforming them onto actual design. My two recent stories in San Francisco sparked a fun feature idea.
Two weeks ago at around 10pm, I got off from the wrong Uber. Alone and scared in the middle of nowhere, I immediately requested another uberPOOL. When I found out that I was pooling with another intern friend, I burst with joy and started jumping up and down on the street.
Last week, that same intern friend and I were requesting rides to go home. To increase the chance of us getting matched on the same pool, we counted down “3,2,1” and pressed the “request pool” button at the exact same second. But still, we ended up getting different Ubers.
What if you can request each other to pool together?
This is where my idea of “Uber Friends POOL” feature started.
In this case study below, I sought to approach the problem using the Design Thinking methodology: understanding the problem, ideation, design iterations, future improvement.
01. Understanding the Problem
How to get cheap & fun rides with friends?
Analyzing Current Approaches
Who are the users? Anyone who uses ride-sharing apps, especially college students and the working class
Why do they ride share? Simple, cheap, efficient, eco-friendly
Why do they ride share with friends? Simple, cheap, efficient, eco-friendly + FUN + SOCIAL
When do they ride share with friends?
Nick: 26-year-old male working in San Francisco. He loves to connect with friends but does not have time. He often calls his friends while commuting on Uber.
Gary: 21-year-old college student interning in San Francisco. She rides UberPOOL to commute from work to home. She often feels not safe riding Uber POOL with strangers but she wants to save money.
Provide an efficient, fun and social ride-sharing experience!
Send a POOL request: find friends through phone number or Facebook and request them
Active friends: show friends who are active on Uber; display profile photos of friends who have linked their phone number or Facebook account with Uber
Receive a POOL request: have the option to accept/decline the POOL request
Friends POOL: once both parties have agreed to pool together, Uber will pool them together
03. Design Iterations
To make sure this feature is user-friendly, I designed the user flow to be almost the same as a normal Uber POOL ride, from requesting a ride to getting a ride. The only extra step is choosing the friend.
In terms of visual design, I followed Uber’s design guideline. I started off by drawing out my ideas on whiteboard, and then transformed the findings into Sketch, a high-fidelity prototype.
User flow: Requesting a Uber Friends POOL
User flow: Receiving a Uber Friends POOL
04. What’s Next?
Conduct research on Uber’s current POOL services, and predict future application of Friends POOL such as airport services
Conduct more user interviews to obtain better insights regarding users’ pain-points, needs and expectations, from a wide age range of users
Perform multiple design evaluation and usability testing to discover errors, help iterate through prototypes and make smarter design decisions
Design subtle animations for notifications such as sending a POOL request and receiving a POOL request to improve the user experience