WIG: Uber App

by general

With how prevalent Uber is these days, it’s easy to forget how much ride-hailing has changed since the emergence of the app and its competitors. And while Uber’s backend technology and algorithms have certainly been integral to its success, its user experience design has also played an important role. After all, what really makes Uber revolutionary from a consumer standpoint is how easy the process of getting a ride feels. One need only think back to the days before Uber to get a sense of how complex ride-hailing can be, and the difficulty of matching the ever-changing schedules and locations of cars and users. Uber hides this entire process from the user — instead, we are only given reminders of how simple it is using their app. Upon opening the app, the majority of the screen is covered with a map that (usually) shows a number of Uber cars already in your vicinity. A text box in the center saying “Where to?” immediately draws your attention. The other possible interface interactions on the landing screen are designed to not command attention, such as the three small lines in the top left corner representing the menu button. Notably, while ride-hailing obviously involves both a pickup and drop-off location, Uber wants to simplify the number of actions required by the user to a minimum. Upon clicking the “Where to?” box, several of your previous choices as well as saved options fill the screen, meaning you don’t even have to type. This means that for routine use of the app, such as getting a ride home from work every day, using Uber is only two taps of a finger. It’s that easy.

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