When companies usually redesign their apps, it’s about adopting a new design style (e.g. like Material design) or as part of a whole refresh of their CI. The biggest features usually get introduced afterward in various updates.
But when Uber just yesterday unveiled their latest app update, it struck me as how obvious they used two of the most important Jobs to be Done metaphors for reshaping the entire rider experience. Starting from opening the app until they have to choose a type of mobility for their next journey.
So let me walk you through Uber’s state of mind when they rebuilt their rider experience using Jobs to be Done.
Asking ‘Where to’ instead of ‘How’
The most noticeable change happened right when you open the app. Until recently, the first screen you saw was about setting your current location and which Uber you wanted to use for your trip (Uber X, Uber black etc.).
But from now on, Uber puts the one question front and center which users care about when they use the service: Where do you want to go right now?
This is way more than just a different first impression when using the app or testing the latest growth hack. It’s about Uber wrapping their entire product experience around the crucial Job to be Done their users hire the product for: Bring me to my desired destination as fast as possible. I don’t care how you do it.
Enriching the riding experience to make you stick with Uber
After you’ve been successfully picked up by your driver, the standard routing while sitting in a taxi begins. You close the app, check Twitter and Facebook, text your friends or maybe look for a food delivery service to replace your empty fridge at home.
So, while Uber was already heavily focussed on the offline ride experience (clean cars and friendly drivers) in the past in order make you chose it again the next time you want to move around town, they’re now going one step further. The app introduces a feature called Uber Feed to enrich your online ride experience.
While you’re riding, the app’s interface will switch to a set of cards giving you plenty of opportunities to interact with services Uber thinks you might find useful during your trip.
Feeling hungry on your ride home from work? Swipe left on the UberEats (can you see the big picture behind their vertical services?) card to see which restaurants can deliver to your house in sync with your arrival time. En route to a restaurant in the city? A Yelp card lets you side-swipe to browse photos and reviews of popular dishes. Running late?
Relax: Right there in your Uber Feed is a Snapchat card with custom filters, including one that updates your neglected dinner date on your ETA.
What is this about? Well, as you may know, Jobs to be Done not only discusses why an individual product is chosen in the first place, but also what makes users switch from one product to another.
As Uber’s core Jobs to be Done competes not only with Lyft or traditional taxi companies but also with Citi Bikes, BART or simply walking, it needs to increase the switching costs of its experience as much as possible to form strong habits.
So the new Uber Feed is not only about temporary entertainment, but to lock you further in the Uber app itself and to create a memorable experience which should convince you to pick Uber over and over again the next time you’re evaluating opportunities to get from A to B.