April 16, 2024
UI/UX Design

Why Do We Love Uber's UI/UX Design?

Uber is one of the most successful and well-known businesses. But how much of it is attributed to its intuitive and user-friendly UI/UX design?
Cristi Fonea
April 16, 2024
Why do we love Uber's UI/UX design?

There is a clear link between Uber’s impressive success and its UI/UX design.

As I write this, a man in Tokyo is probably taking an Uber to the other side of the city. Or maybe a woman in New York has just ordered lunch on Uber Eats. Or maybe a student in Brussels took an Uber Lime to get to their class on time. Or maybe you are reading this while on an Uber ride. 

We’ve all been there – you’re sitting around, bored and hungry at 10 at night, and you think, "Hm, I could really go for some McDonald’s right now.” Or it’s raining outside, but you need somewhere, and, sadly, canceling is not an option. Either way – what do you do? Well, you simply unlock your phone and quickly order an Uber. 

Whether we need a ride or just want some food delivered, it has become so common that we don’t even have to think about it anymore. In fact, we’re not even getting a taxi. We’re getting an Uber. But why is that? Why do we love Uber so much? Well, it all lies in Uber’s UI/UX design. 

Why do we love Uber’s UI/UX design?

Uber didn’t just offer a ride. Uber became “everyone’s personal driver”. 

Even from the beginning, Uber resolved a struggle that we all had – finding a taxi when we needed it the most. We didn’t have a centralized platform for getting a cab (or if we did, it was low-quality). So our only options were to call or wave, praying that a driver would see us. 

But what do two entrepreneurs who can’t get a taxi on time do? Exactly, they invent Uber. Everything started due to the frustration of being limited in getting from one place to another. So, when Uber came to market, it completely transformed how we commute.  

Everything revolved around Uber’s UI/UX design. There were local apps for getting cabs, but it was still not enough for us, as the communication was often one-sided. And truth be told, most of them not only that they were ugly, but they were also frustrating and even hard to use. I remember the app I was using before Uber would call me to tell me the details of my cab reservation – although I requested it through the app. 

Uber needed to be different. And Uber was, in fact, different. It brought a minimalistic design that felt like a breath of fresh air while it also made total sense. Uber’s UI/UX design was easy to understand, easy to use, and it was also aesthetically pleasing. Everything that we need from an app! Uber app deisgn took simplicity and usability to a whole new level. 

Yes, everything looks simple when you use it. But Uber is a complex app with a well-designed interface. 

The Uber User Experience

Uber developed a platform that allowed us to see where our driver is, see their ratings, and even communicate with them directly. We can even see what type of car it is and the license plate – a feature that they added later so that we can recognize our driver much faster. Let’s face it – not everyone knows what a Volvo C30 looks like. But Uber’s attention to detail makes its UX design so great. 

The difference that brought Uber the success that it has today is the interactive map. We could pinpoint our location, see the ETA, and see our diver’s little car on the map moving toward us and the destination. This way, we have complete control of where we’re going and feel safe: no clumsy detours or confusing turns. 

Although it looks and feels simple, it’s far from simple. But when you successfully create an easy-to-use interface while displaying everything beautifully – well, you get millions of people who love your UI/UX design. 

As Billy Gregory, Ubisoft program manager, said: “When UX design doesn’t consider ALL users, shouldn’t it be known as “SOME User Experience” or… SUX?”. 

Uber app had this problem as well. When the company extended to Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, they realized something. Since the internet connection was slow, the GPS signals weren’t very accurate either. And if the phones don’t have much storage space, then such a complicated app like Uber wasn’t working well. So, Uber realized that many people from these countries couldn’t book rides successfully simply because their phones did not support Uber.

“Close to a third [of riders] were operating in these spotty conditions. They were more likely to cancel rides because they were frustrated.” – said Shirish Andhare, former head of product for Uber India.

So what could they do? Just shut down their business in these countries? Of course not. So, that’s when they launched Uber Lite. The two apps are indeed similar. The only difference is that while the regular Uber app has 45MB, the Uber Lite app has only 5 MB. This is how Uber’s user interface was quietly redesigned for the entire world. While this is not directly correlated to their UI/UX design, it suggests that Uber cares about user experience. 

Uber’s design isn’t just about having a well-designed information architecture. It’s also about making it visually appealing. 

The clean and minimalist Uber app design makes it easy to navigate, while the colors are attractive but not too distracting. The chosen font – Sans Serif – is also easy to read and easy on the eyes. Plus, we can look at the Uber app for hours without feeling fatigued or overwhelmed. 

When we open the app, the main screen is divided into three: 

  • the map where it’s pinpointed the current location and nearby cabs that can be easily extended;
  • the search box where we can enter our destination and recommendations of other goals that we previously visited. The option of scheduling rides is also one button away, making it very obvious and easy for users;
  • the options of the services available – Ride, Travel, 2-Wheels, and Reserve. 

Uber’s UI/UX design is not just about hailing a ride. We love Uber’s UI/UX design because it’s about resolving a complex problem that we all had and transforming it into a simple but well-designed user interface! 

uinkits – Our Figma Design System and UI Kits

We at uinkits understand the importance of inputs in great user experiences and creating amazing UI designs. That’s why we’ve developed a Figma UI Kit with design components that include these essential UI elements that enable you to design intuitive and user-friendly interfaces effortlessly.  

“You press the button, we do the rest,” – Kodak.

Inspired by this iconic tagline from Kodak, we believe in simplifying the design process for you. Our Figma Design System, uinkits, is a complete design system with UI components that allows you, as a UI UX designer, to create your products as quickly as pressing a button. 

Our design system components, including variables, cards, buttons, and everything you need for your design process. All you have to do is take your UI design component needed, and you’re ready to use it in your designs!

Cristi Fonea
April 16, 2024

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