3 UX/CX enhancements for Grab’s app

Norman Teh
Jan 9, 2017 · 3 min read

Recent studies have shown in Singapore, that 60 percent of vehicles on the road are service based — from commuters in a public transport vehicles (Grab, Uber, Comfort Delgro, SMRT bus) to takeaway food being delivered (foodpanda, Deliveroo, Uber Eats) to cargo trucks transporting e-commerce products, flowers, furniture, steel beams, etc. We’re surrounded daily on the road by businesses transporting things from various points of the city and one of the dominant real-estate owners of the road are still taxis.

Commuting daily to work and being an avid end-user of Grab, I’ve become conscious of the user experience the app offers. Though the app works on a basic utilitarian level of easy booking for a customer to select a vehicle to a destination, I’ve noticed a few gaps in personalisation that could improve the customer experience in using Grab.

Here are 3 UX/CX recommendations for the Grab app:

1. Personalisation with data preferences

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Customer vehicle preferences: tiering Grab’s vehicle choices

When a customer opens up the app and are taken to the landing page; they’re allowed to select a Grab vehicle to book. The current interface presents 11 archetypes of road vehicles to choose from at first glance - this is an overwhelming amount of choice for something so simple.

One of the core fundamentals in good UX is anticipatory design where we seek to reduce the number of choices for customers from the equation to help with decision fatigue.

Grab could analyse their dataset to understand customer vehicle preferences (over a period of 3–6 months)and integrate a personalised experience by prioritising the top 2 vehicles that customers always chose and making the 9 other vehicles secondary.

The first 2 choices would take up more UI real-estate while the other 9 are hidden by a ‘+’ button, that would lead to a full vehicle listing page. If a customer’s preference changes over time, the top 2 vehicle selections would show that, making the app responsive in behaviour.

This would save valuable real-estate on the user interface, show app intuitiveness to respond to customer’s preferences of vehicle choice and only offer other choices in different contextual scenarios.

2. Prioritising and tiering alerts

Customers on a weekly basis receive 16–25 notifications from Grab regarding news, promo codes and real-time driver booking alerts. In a month this might equate to 64–100 notifications minimum; this is an alarming amount of notifications to receive from a single service app.

The issue with having so many notifications is it becomes a constant stream of consciousness that a customer can’t follow or worst — doesn’t care about. The current notification system could be improved if it was organised, prioritised or even tiered. The question is why and how are each of the notifications relevant to the customer and what they choose.

Similar to the scenario of vehicle selection fatigue, the notification center becomes a funnel of noise making it hard for customers to find previous promo codes or news that are important to them. Grab needs to learn what information is key to a customer and enable a feature that allows them to opt in/out of different types of notifications.

3. Bookmarking alerts

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A bookmark feature to save valuable alerts that contain promo codes or company news.

Adding on top of my second point, the notification section could be de-cluttered by allowing customers to bookmark alerts that are valuable to them.

This might be every company’s worst nightmare as they don’t really want you to use promo-codes for every single ride — but what it does in return is give valuable data on what is most important to customers: what news are customers most interested in, which promo codes for what vehicles are bookmarked the most, etc.

Alerts that are bookmarked could be saved into another tab labeled ‘Saved’ and any saved alerts that aren’t valid anymore e.g. expired promo codes can be labeled to further inform customers they aren’t usable or relevant anymore.


These 3 UX recommendations aren’t complete game-changers, but they are an incremental first step in improving customer experience with the help of analytics, user personas and other tools. Design should be about changing and responding to improve UX/CX continuously.

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