Back in 2016, I identified the user need for a "quiet mode" during Uber rides. Now Uber has made this a reality with their suite of ride upgrades. No crystal ball here - just good old user-centered design foresight. Back in 2016 I used to ride around Atlanta rushing to the airport to meet with folks in Austin Texas. The drivers would be a bit too chatty for me. Sometimes you just want a peaceful, conversation-free ride. So I'll walk through my original concept, which envisioned quiet mode years before it became part of the Uber app. The Uber UX team has done an excellent job developing their own clean, effective Base system. But let's revisit my vintage 2016 explorations that anticipated today's need for minimal ride chatter. I predicted this one without needing a magic 8 ball...
1. This post is from 2016 on my previous platform. For more information on why I switched platforms, please read about that in the the changelog: here.
2. Please adjust your UX strategy according to the Base Design system for all things Uber. I have never worked for Uber, but this was an idea. Base is one of the strongest design systems around; I often refer to it with other clients as well.
3. I have never worked with the Uber UX Team, but think the Application is very well documented, as well as a pleasure to use.
4. Again, this post is from 2016. Please adjust your UX Strategy accodingly. Do note, that some principles in Software UI Design still remains true; keep it simple and customer-rich.
On with the show...
Its no mystery that I am probably the most PASSIONATE Uberer to ever request a ride on the Uber platform. While my main man Gary Vee has already discussed how Ubers sexiest feature is in not only its swift service and ease-of-Use, but TIME-factor (see his clip here on it).
By saving me TIME, Uber saves me money, lowers my STRESS in meeting logistical deadlines while in commute, and also encourages small business growth (UberEats). But there's one HUGE problem...
While Uber has its massive amounts of Time-Saving benefits; my main BEEF with UBER is that I can’t just tell a driver I JUST DON'T FEEL LIKE TALKING TODAY.
We all have days like that.
As humans, we sometimes need moments of clarity, silence and inflection. Oftentimes this can be further embraced by a nice, low-stress, QUIET ride on an open road. Unfortunately, some uber drivers just aren’t aware of this until it is too late. Albeit, its unfair to these folks.
Most uber drivers are entrepreneurs and utilize UBER as a vehicle to network with potential customers and clients. Cool, but not when I just came from sweating buckets of water from 3 back-to-back meetings with Stakeholders...
..OR when I am going through a family incident, OR when I just do not desire to engage in philosophies with a complete stranger.
And that PROBLEM leads to...
Path A - Pax receives a LOWER rating because he/she refrained from discussing a hot-button topic important to that driver. Driver then gives a 2-star rating and will not list reason, because lets face it, too many choices leaves us with its own bundle of psycho-paralysis (more on choice-blunder here ).
Business impact of Path A - Driver continues trend with pax who may share this similar trait and the punished pax eventually goes to Lyft. Uber ultimately loses a pax.
Path B - Driver receives a LOWER rating because pax does not fully agree with Drivers outlooks, openness or sensitivity to pax views.
Business Impact of Path B - Pax gives Driver 2 stars as well as formally complains. If those complaints begin to compound with similar drivers, Pax escalates complaints to Ubers Board. Uber loses a PAX and eventually a Driver as the driver ratings will continually plummet.
Suggested Solve: Uber Quiet Mode
Uber Quiet Mode (the WHY of it)
Introducing Uber Quiet mode; a toggle option which would allow a user to request a quieter ride when traveling with Uber. For this quiet-mode dive, I first decided WHERE in the Uber Pax journey should Uber Business Team, present the option for pax to ride in peace.
-It couldn’t be a Profile setting, as that would encourage less social equity over the lifetime value of a pax. I would like to safely assume that Uber WANTS there to be some type of dialog between driver/pax; in our use-case; a simple “enjoy your ride!” would work WONDERS.
The HOW of Uber Quiet Mode
Now that we’ve gotten to the why of it, lets get to the how of it, and management of this option within the context of a pax journey with uber. As mentioned earlier, this shouldn’t be a profile setting; we aren’t changing a payment method here or changing our display name; we are temporal, we are in the MOOD for a quieter ride.
This in mind, I chose to allow pax to potentially request a QUIET-MODE right when their Uber driver is en route. As a DEV/IT request; would like there to be a LIMIT on how many times a pax can toggle between quiet mode active or inactive states.
#uberquietmode #screenshots Below:
Quiet Mode - Off
Quiet mode - On
Uber - quiet mode - modal
Now that Quiet mode is "On" and user has "OK" the action, an auto-dismissable banner is displayed, accessible in color and prominent in style, to notify the user, not alert the user. We want a quiet nudge that draws attention, but does not alert.
ps: Sure, there are a ton of edge-cases associated with this approach. Lets talk about it...
Keep rocking Uber.