It’s been two years since Uber, the ride-hailing company redesigned its app for drivers. After a continuous relationship in the past, the company is now working with drivers to add what they want to its revamped app.
Uber drivers want a lot of things, but most just want to get paid as quickly and easily as possible. Today, Uber announced the last effort in its never-ending quest to repair its tarnished relations with drivers, a redesigned driver app.
With the newly updated app, Uber makes it easier for drivers to access the information they need the most, while also ensuring the app is not a distraction while behind the wheel. Earnings and incentives, for example, are matter and important to drivers.
Uber’s redesigned driver app has a pack of new features, including an earnings tracker and a way for drivers to better showcase themselves in their profile. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said, we have launched the revamped app and then hoped for the best.
“One of the things we wanted to do with the new app just recognizes that this is the most important thing for you and put it front and center,” Uber Driver Experience Group Manager Yuhki Yamashita told me at Uber’s headquarters last week.
The redesigned driver app is noticeably less cluttered with a better method of tracking overall earnings and workarounds that solve for connectivity issues. With the new app, Uber makes it easy for drivers to recognize where surge, boost, and incentivized areas are located. And it also gives more prominence to features that some consider psychological inducements to influence when, where, and how long drivers work.
Now the company is doing things a little bit differently – it’s letting drivers weigh in. Uber has announced a major overhaul to its driver app: it consulted and ran tests with hundreds of drivers in over half a dozen cities before rolling it out globally, and their suggestions and feedback influenced the final product.
Ths more collective strategy allows Uber CEO – who tested the app personally before giving it the green light – to employ soundbites like “built for drivers, with drivers.”
Let’s talk about what’s different about the app before we get into its design process. Inside, the new features include a real-time earnings tracker and a status bar with updates on market conditions, come after months of conversations and interviews with drivers.
Earnings Tracker: Now sits at the top of the screen, letting drivers know how much they’ve earned since going online and how many trips they’ve completed.
Other notable additions are the distance left to travel, and one-tap responses to riders. So, if a driver is stuck in traffic, they can quickly tap “stuck in traffic” to notify the rider. Another one is an offline mode feature, which otherwise, solves the problem of what happens when a driver doesn’t actually have a good internet connection.
Next, it allows quick access to “quests,” “badges,” and other gamified elements of the driver app that critics dismiss as psychological tricks meant to keep drivers on the road longer. Uber argues these features are popular with drivers because they often put more money in their pockets.
For example, drivers are rewarded with bonuses for completing 20 trips in a certain amount of time, or they can earn badges for good feedback from rides., while others tout their quests and badges with pride. The redesigned driver app puts many of those features front and center.
Now, Uber will also record the drivers GPS and once the driver regains connectivity, Uber will be able to make any appropriate adjustments. This is all part of Uber’s 180 days of change, which aims to make amends for the wrongs the company has done in the past.
The current version of the app was designed by 30 engineers, while the redesigned app is the end product of over 300 engineers. The aim was to design it for Uber’s ride-hailing drivers, but also for those driving for UberEats, UberPool, and any further transportation service that the company has yet to launch.
Finally, the new app will be a big deal among Uber drivers, who number in the millions across the globe. Most will be laser-focused on the changes made to earnings. Uber added a privacy setting so that drives can hide their earnings if they want.
Uber initially launching the new driver app in Los Angles and Atlanta, and nine or 10 cities in other countries. The hope with the gradual rollout is that Uber will be able to see if the app produces any ripple effects in the marketplace. The app also sends drivers notifications on upcoming earning opportunities, as well as feedback from their riders and information about their account.
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