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Everyday UX: Make Uber Easier, Let Me Enter My Destination

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On 21, Mar 2014 | 9 Comments | In Everyday UX | By Sarah Doody

Earlier this week I was in Los Angeles for some client meetings. We had a rental car which was awesome, but a few nights we left the car at the hotel so we could use Uber and not worry about having drinks.

Overall, I was really impressed with Uber in Los Angeles. One of the things that I loved most was the pricing. Compared to NYC it is much more affordable. A friend of mine said it was because of all the competition that exists in Los Angeles from other companies, including Lyft.

In New York when I get in an Uber, I never tell the driver the exact address. Instead, I tell them the intersection, such as Broadway & 29th. But, in Los Angeles, things got a bit more complicated.

I haven’t spent a lot of time in Los Angeles, so I’m not that familiar with the street names and neighborhoods. And to be sure I didn’t get dropped off in the wrong place, I made sure to tell the driver the the exact address.

After doing did this a few times, I realized it was adding a lot of friction to my normal Uber process.

Each time I got in the car, I had to look at my phone, find the address either on a map or in a text message, and then tell the driver the address. A lot of extra work.

Sometimes, I also had to spell the street name because I had no clue how to pronounce it or the driver would try to correct me. And a few times, the driver would say “do you mean Hollywood or West Hollywood” and I also had to look back at my map or text to figure it out.

So, here’s a suggestion for Uber:

When I request a pickup, I wish that I could enter in my destination address. I could do this during the few minutes that I’m standing there waiting for the car.

Then, as soon as I get in the car, the driver already has my destination address entered and I don’t have to waste time verbally telling them the address and street name.


uber-destination-userflow

While I was in Los Angeles, I shared this insight with a few people and everyone thought it made total sense. Of course, entering your destination address wouldn’t be mandatory. But, it would certainly be a useful feature, especially when I’m in a place that I’m not familiar with. Imagine being in Rome and using Uber and trying to verbally tell the driver your destination … I’m sure there would be a lot of room for things to get lost in translation.

I think this is a great example of how when you think of user experience, you have to think beyond the screen. You can’t just focus on what the user sees on the screen.

If you were to only think about what happens on the screens within the Uber app, you probably wouldn’t realize this friction point where people are verbally telling the driver the destination address.

However, today user experiences are not limited to the screen. Therefore, you have to work hard to think through the full experience, or better yet, talk to users.

I’m kind of surprised that within Uber, this feature doesn’t already exist. I’m curious to hear why it doesn’t. What do you think? Do you use Uber? Can you see how being able to enter your destination would be useful?

Please share your ideas and insights in the comments below.

 

 

 

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  • Junior Mints

    I think you might find the reason they don’t have this is due to destination discrimination. It’s the rule of the NYC Cab: get IN the freaking car before you tell them you’re going to Queens.

    • http://www.sarahdoody.com/ Sarah Doody

      Interesting point, I hadn’t thought about that!

  • Sunny

    I live in the SF Bay Area and I generally have my Google Map ready on the phone. I love your idea and that information/function can be hidden until the ride is started in order to negate destination discrimination suggested by JM.

    Great site, thanks!

    • http://www.sarahdoody.com/ Sarah Doody

      Good point. I like the idea that I could add the destination before the driver arrived, but that destination wouldn’t be revealed until I was in the vehicle! Thanks for reading and sharing your idea!

  • j

    this final destination feature has been included with addisonlee, located in london. there is a reason uber hasn’t instituted this last piece.

  • E

    If you select “Fare Quote” it asks you what your destination and gives
    you an estimate of cost and then saves the destination for that ride!

    • http://www.sarahdoody.com/ Sarah Doody

      Thanks so much for the tip. I recently read that Lyft did an overhaul to their UX, so this might be something new that wasn’t in the app when I tried it in Los Angeles!

  • Grace

    You can add your destination after you request by clicking the little quote box looking thing in the upper right. You don’t have to actually tweet or facebook your destination, you can cancel that part after you select your destination. All drivers should now be on the version that can accept the destination and navigate them to it on their Uber phone. They don’t see it until they start the ride regardless of whether it’s from the Fare quote or from the other method.

    • http://www.sarahdoody.com/ Sarah Doody

      Thanks for letting me know Grace!!! I think it’s such a super helpful feature. So glad to hear it’s been implemented. It definitely will save time and help me have a more pleasant experience.

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