I joined Uber in December 2016. Since then, I have been leading our design effort on Uber Maps. Along with two other designers, we support five product teams across team.
DIGITIZING THE PHYSICAL WORLD
establishing a design process
When I first joined the team, the typical product development process consisted of PMs getting a list of feature requests from our users, prioritizing it with our engineers, and building out the first idea that they come across. Many of the requests received were urgent fixes or ad hoc requirements needed to enable a new workflow.
Since joining, I was able to help the teams establish a solid design process for product development. Starting out by simply setting up meetings to sit and talk to our users, this was followed by reaching out and borrowing research resources throughout the company for our different projects.
We went out and conducted formal research sessions to have a true understanding of our users and their aspirations. We worked on building design prototypes for testing. We created a an iterative process that allowed the team to validate our assumptions and test our ideas.
Today, we have turned those feature requests into ideas for upcoming product releases. We have consolidated the ad hoc processes the teams supported before into what I call "hero products" around our core product pillars. Although different projects may vary in timelines and scope, but all of them are fitting nicely into the product design process we've established on the team.
elevating our users' profession
Traditionally, the team have focused on address the concerns of team leads and GMs of our operations team. The job of the actual operator have been seen as more of a execution role. They are there to simply follow the instructions, and get the work done.
Instead, I've been a strong advocate of designing and creating products for our operators. Backed by research, I was able to paint a rich persona for your typical "operator". From there, we helped the product teams to emphasize with the lives of our operators, and their pain points at work.
We defined two focus areas, design experiences that both motivates, and enables for more efficiency and higher quality work as a result.