CASE STUDY: Adding a feature to Uber

To read this case study in spanish please visit this link: https://laracordobapuerto.medium.com/case-study-a%C3%B1adiendo-una-nueva-funcionalidad-a-uber-a9aec2fea003

In this project we were asked to add a feature to Uber based on the needs of their actual or potential users.

🙋🏽‍♀️ TEAM:

This time I had the opportunity to work with the amazing Marianela Marra and Noelia Casado. Working as a team with my fellow classmates made me realize about how important it is to always give and receive feedback, and to always be in constant communication.

⏰ TIME:

1 week.

❓ PROBLEM DEFINITION:

This time I had the opportunity to work with the amazing Marianela Marra and Noelia Casado. Working as a team with my fellow classmates made me realize about how important it is to always give and receive feedback, and to always be in constant communication.

UX

Empathize

In this phase we started out by brainstorming some questions for our interviews and filling out a Lean Survey Canvas to make sure we were going to collect as much useful information as possible. At the same time, we made a Competitive Analysis to evaluate who were those competitors to our company and see in which areas Uber could improve their services.

We ended up with XX surveys and 7 interviews. In this research, people were concerned mostly about the price of the travel, which they said was too expensive. The price seemed to be the determining factor when taking an Uber or hiring another service like Cabify or just a regular taxi.

However, what users valued most was how fast it was the whole process, from the hiring of the vehicle to the arriving at their destination.

As for the situations in which users take an Uber, almost all of them agreed that they mainly used the service to go to three specific places: stations or airports, workplaces, places of leisure. 65% of the interviewees mentioned that the main service they turn to in an emergency is Uber.

Define

Once we noted all our insights from the research, it was time to fill out a Lean UX Canvas. This tool gave us a big picture of what we were creating, why we were creating it and, above all, for whom. Once we figured out these points, it was relatively seamless to find Uber’s potential growth areas and solve current problems through user-centered solutions.

Later on, we decided it was time to draw a User Journey and a User Scenario to see how, with the solutions we had proposed in the Lean UX Canvas, we could improve the experience of Uber users when they hire the service.

User Journey Map for our user persona, María

This tool gave us several ideas to start from, so the next logical step was to bring all our ideas and insights from the research into an Affinity Diagram where all our research would converge to obtain solutions that could later become part of our MVP.

Brainstorming of possible solutions from the HMW section (“how might we”) from the Affinity Diagram

Ideate

In the Affinity Diagram of the previous stage, we brainstormed possible solutions within each area where Uber could improve its service. Finally, we conducted a voting session in which we assessed the main pain point mentioned by our users: “the price of Uber is often too expensive”. In the research, when users gave us these types of responses, we always asked if they had used any ridesharing services like BlaBlarCar, in case our solution ever went that route, so we weren’t too surprised when, at this stage, the votes came out in favor of a new feature that would allow Uber have a ridesharing service within the city.

Our solution was Uber Shared, a feature that we would add to Uber and that would allow the two travelers to share the vehicle when the route they traveled was similar. With Uber Shared we would not only keep the speed as the main benefit of the service, but we would also solve the main pain point, the price, since each user would pay the proportional part of the trip they travel separately and 50% of the shared trip, being the total cost cheaper than hiring a simple Uber X, for example.

Once we determined the new feature we would add to Uber, we determined the site structure with a Sitemap. Then, we established the user flow with the help of the previous tool and the User Journey. With these two fundamental tools completed, the three members of the team we started drawing our Crazy 8s of the new user flow to put together and determine which screens were ideal for illustrating this new Uber feature.

Prototype

From all the ideas we collected in the Crazy 8, the ones that seemed most correct began to shape our Low-fi, which was then tested by several users. With the feedback from our users noted down to be incorporated into the High-fi later on, we faced one of this week’s challenges: to present the app’s Style tiles and develop a brand moodboard that reflects the brand’s values.

UI

Moodboard for Uber

To create the moodboard we chose a series of images that conveyed elegance, modernity, professionalism and innovation, among others. Through a Desirability Test with 35 users, we were able to reaffirm the attributes of our brand, which are those shown in the image above.

However, for the Style tiles we simply collected all those icons, buttons, logos, colors and fonts that appear in the Uber app, since they already have a defined UI.

Finally and as a last step, my team and I faced the challenge of incorporating all those UI elements to our High-fi to add our new feature (which we called Uber Shared) to their app. This part was perhaps the one that held us back the most because of the level of detail involved and the difficulty of being three people working on a prototype that required remote precision. However, once we got the result and having tested it with five users, we were satisfied, because the changes we had to make were minimal and hardly affected the main flow.

Here you can access the prototype and interact with it:

LEARNINGS

This project from the third week of the bootcamp taught me the importance of connecting with the team in which you find yourself, not only because of the ease with which you work afterwards, but also because sometimes we forget that, as the people we are, we have fears and insecurities that, with the help of our colleagues, we can overcome and come out stronger. Working with Marianela and Noelia was an experience that I hope to repeat in the future.

As for “blocker” moments, I would like to highlight those moments when the three team members were working on the High-fi prototype. It was really challenging to work on a prototype that required so much detail remotely, because sometimes it was confusing what someone was working on or what another one had done. There lies the importance of constant communication, especially in these times when we are forced to work in remote.

Another challenge was to go for the feature that we finally added. As I mentioned in the problem statement, our feature, Uber Shared, interfered in some way with the current pandemic situation we live in. Our solution required two users to share the same vehicle which, together with the driver, would add up to three people inside the Uber. Although we were initially thinking of changing course to another solution, we determined that indeed this COVID-19 situation will not last forever as an increasing percentage of the population is receiving the vaccine and restrictions are progressively being lifted. Therefore, our solution is focused on a near future in which the “new normal” will be the “old normal”.

And last, but not least, if you’ve made it this far… I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this case study! If you have any questions or comments please let me know and I’ll be happy to answer 😊

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UX/UI Designer and full-time overthinker ✨

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Lara Cordoba Puerto

Lara Cordoba Puerto

UX/UI Designer and full-time overthinker ✨

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