Designing for Everyone, Everywhere!
Submitted by Naman Mathur (@namanm) on Monday, 24 September 2018
Uber, currently in 600+ cities across the world is one of the fastest growing companies. As we grew, we realized a major portion of our rides was coming from the emerging markets. However, presence of low-end devices, connectivity issues and majorly usability constraints were acting as barriers to this growth. 75% of our sessions were coming from 2014 or older year-class devices and 33% sessions were happening on sub-3G networks. We were not giving an optimized experience to a majority of our users.
How did we enable our unaddressed segment of riders to use our platform for the first time. “Anyone can Uber” became our mission.
We started off by breaking tech barriers, but in our research, we discovered our users’ complexity of understanding certain constructs like maps, addresses, pickups etc. which were becoming a barrier for them. We started striving for a simpler user experience, we learned from local constructs like landmark based pickups and designed an experience which gives confidence to our new user base. We took some hard calls like doing away with maps. Wow, can you imagine Uber without maps? We designed in close collaboration with our users to build a product that was naturally inclusive.
In this talk, we will present our journey of designing a truly accessible product. We will share our playbook to approaching design for the emerging markets and the new set of users who are experiencing internet for the first time.
We plan to do this as a unique orchestration between Design and Research. The format we will use is a two-person hand-over presentation where design (Anurag) and research (Naman) bring their unique perspectives to breakdown the process of inclusive design.
I work with Uber’s global research team supporting products for emerging markets like India, EMEA and Latin America. I have been in Uber for a year now and have worked on upcoming products for these regions. With a total experience of 5 years covering varied research topics and user segments, I’ve worked on a variety of research projects using both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Before this I was with Microsoft where I worked on Cortana and Target where I started a research team on conversational interfaces as a researcher.