Portfolio Item 1

Project Name or 3 word summary

 

Project: Tablet Email Application
Target User: CEOs and other C-Suite employees
Goal: Simplify email communication, optimizing for speed and productivity
Role: UX and Visual Design

Our research showed that many CEOs aren’t technically savvy, and they’re too busy to care about the bells and whistles in most email applications. Using this insight, I streamlined the communication process by stripping away all unnecessary functionality so that target users could remain more focused and confident when engaging with clients.

 

In 2018, access to free, evidenced backed mindfulness training via an app. a button to action across the city felt magical. By the start of 2016, this magic receded to a slew of disparate features that made the experience slow and complex to use.

I was part of an ambitious project to redesign the Uber pickup experience for the fastest growing startup in history.

 

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study. All information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of Uber.

 

approach 

In just five years since 2011, Uber transformed from a black car service for 100 friends in San Francisco to a global transportation network. By 2016, Uber delivered over 3 million rides a day in over 400 cities across 70 countries.

The Rider app — designed in 2012, struggled to scale alongside the hyper-growth of the company. Fundamental usability was challenged. Disparate features and experiments competed for focus. App reliability and performance issues increased exponentially.

The Rider app had become the org chart.

 

the Challenge

 

Recapture the Magic in 10 Months

Our goal for the project was to recapture the magic of the early days of Uber. The original premise was simple: tap a button, get a ride. However, we weren't trying to revert to a simple past. Our ambitions were to create a strong foundation that embraced a rapidly evolving business and more diverse user base.

Our high level goals were to:

  1. Make it fast and easy to use for everyone, everywhere.
  2. Give riders more control over their time and money.
  3. Create a platform for innovation and deeper engagement.

My Role

I led the design of the pickup experience between October 2015 and June 2016 and collaborated with two other designers on the Home screen, Search and On Trip features.

In addition, I worked alongside a Researcher, Prototyper, Content Strategist and 2 Product Managers.

I stopped working on the project during the detailed visual design phase as the app started to be built.

The app launched globally on November 2nd, 2016.

 

Kickoff

Title

At the outset of the project we didn’t have a clear mission or specific goals for the pickup experience. Without pre-existing insights, I partnered with our researcher Shruti to explore how Riders were getting around.

what i did 1

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what i did 2

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The Discovery

Rider Expectations Changed Over Time

I was surprised by the issues we found. They felt like privileged San Francisco annoyances, rather than major problems faced by our global audience. But after some thinking, it became clearer that Riders expected the experience to just work with minimal effort. As Uber became more integral to their lives, their expectations evolved.

“Curiosity revealed an opportunity to perfect the pickup experience for everyone, everywhere.”

If power users with great reception, powerful phones and tech literacy were having trouble in our most mature marketplace, how bad was the pickup experience in our immature marketplaces with more challenging technological and environmental contexts? Curiosity revealed an opportunity to perfect the pickup experience for everyone, everywhere. This was the beginnings of a working north star.

 

Deeper Insights

Working backwards from Perfect

Before I could jump into designing, it was important to define success and understand the health of the pickup experience at scale.

Prior to the redesign, contact rate i.e the rate at which a phone call occurs during the pickup was the only proxy we had used to measure pickup quality.

I unpacked the concept of the perfect pickup and modeled for the dimensions of time, space and anxiety.

I partnered with our data scientist and used this framework to investigate the pickup health around the world.

 

Most pickups require additional physical or coordination effort

Digging into the data revealed some big insights into the pickup experience. Almost all trips involved some extra coordination effort such as a phone call to clarify the location and additional physical effort such as walking somewhere else to meet the driver, or the driver re-circling the block. This data showed that the experience was hardly the door-to-door magic Uber had been optimized for.

“In a city as busy as San Francisco, over $1 million was wasted per week because of problematic pickups.”

The time and energy spent recovering during problematic pickup situations was having a material impact on the business bottom line. Waiting time translates directly into network under-utilization and every phone call costs to anonymize.

 

Reframing the Problem

Poorly formed rendezvous plans cause downstream pickup problems

The Rider app exacerbates the formation of problematic pickup plans between Riders and Drivers. Problematic pickup plans consist of inaccurate locations, ambiguous information and inefficient routes which causes confusion. Ancillary communication and additional physical effort is required from Riders and Drivers to recover, which leads to frustration and wasted time.

“...how might we help Riders and Drivers form a better pickup plan?”

This begged the question, how might we help Riders and Drivers form a better pickup plan? Our proposal was Rendezvous, a pickup plan created on behalf of Riders and Drivers.