Independent Project
6 days (June 2019)
User Researcher / UX Designer / UI Designer

Situation

In India, ride-sharing services like Ola and Uber offer cash payments in addition to paying with credit and debit cards. There is friction between the riders and drivers while making cash payments once the ride is over.

Action

The situation triggered me to conduct user research to identify problems. I designed an experience tying research findings to eliminate friction during post-ride experience. I also evaluated the concept through usability testing and iterated to craft a better solution that addressed the needs of everyone involved post-ride.

Result

The outcome of the research is a concept called Wallet. The concept becomes functional when the rider does not tender exact fare and the driver does not have change for balance.

Key Features

Hassle free balance payments

When drivers don't have exact cash for balance payments, they can credit the money to the rider's wallet.

Multi usage of credits

Results from the usability testing showed users were concerned about the accumulation of credits in their wallet.

In addition to using the credits for future rides, riders can transfer credits to their bank account.

Design Process

Storyboard

Research

I asked 10 friends who often use ride-sharing services and 7 drivers who drive for a ride-sharing service about their experience post-ride, specifically during the payment process. The findings revealed that there is an unpleasant situation when riders don’t tender exact fare and drivers don’t have change for the balance amount.

Concept
Ideation

From the insights gathered from user research, we can come to a conclusion that the experience designed should be in such a way that,

Wallet

Wallet is a concept that enables drivers to return balance money in the form of credits. The credits in the wallet can be used as payments for future rides.Wallet establishes a hassle free, frictionless post-ride experience for both riders and drivers.  It eliminates the need for riders and drivers to have the right amount of cash.

User Flow

Wallet comes into play when the driver does not have right amount of cash to pay balance fare to the rider. The driver chooses to pay the balance fare to riders as credits in their wallet.

Lo-fi Prototypes

Usability
Testing

I did guerilla usability testing with both riders and drivers with the lo-fi prototypes. The response with drivers were highly positive. They felt it indeed will save a lot of time for them and they don't have the pressure to always carry cash with them. The feelings of Riders were mutual as well. Although all the riders liked the experience, except one who expressed their concern.

Iteration

A participant worried the credits would accumulate and become unusable. The cause of the concern was that some drivers expect cash payments and avoid passengers who make prepaid payments.

The below diagram dissects the problem. The accumulation of credits is caused by drivers not accepting prepaid rides which in turn is caused by their necessity to have cash to make their everyday expenses.

Solution

Transfer credits

  • Enable users to transfer credits to bank accounts. This will eliminate the fear of credits becoming unusable even when drivers don't accept prepaid payments.

Limits to
use Wallet

  • To have a fair tradeoff, drivers should be encouraged to accept prepaid rides, give cash balance and not become too dependent on Wallet.

    This can be achieved by setting a limit to Wallet. Drivers can send fare balances to rider's Wallet upto ₹1000. After which they have to pay balances in cash upto ₹1000 to use Wallet again. This ensures drivers accept prepaid payments to avoid balance settlements in cash. It also removes pressure off riders' to always have exact cash and the concern of credit accumulation.

High Fidelity Screens

Research Insight 1: Allow riders to pay without being anxious.

Research Insight 2: Enable drivers to have cash for their daily needs.

Screens to send balance amount as credits, used by drivers

Screens to send credits to the bank, used by riders

Reflections

Due to the lack of ATMs, cash payment problems have become common. Digital payments also give rise to cash problems since it reduces the cash flow among people thus limiting the usage of it. I feel ride-sharing services are slowly switching to digital payments until I read Uber has planned to expand the cash payments. This solution could be implemented, tested, and iterated when the problem is on a smaller scale before expanding the cash payment feature in a larger scale.

Takeaways

This project gave me a chance to utilize my skills as a user researcher. I stepped out of my comfort zone several times to talk to different people, especially the drivers. It was a new experience to see people using my designs in person. The usability testing revealed a pain-point and made me realise how significant testing is for a successful project. I also tried my best to not stay away from personal design choices and to stick research findings to user interface design. I also l to be extra careful while designing the interactions as they come into play at the most anxious part of the trip.