Today I used Uber for the first time (aside from a shared ride a couple months ago that someone else booked). It wasn't mainly because of the better price, though that's nice too. And it wasn't mainly out of objection to the monopolistic protection racket that runs transit in my city, though yeah, that too. It was mainly because of UX.
Here's how things go with Yellow Cab:
- Attempt to make online reservation. After completing all fields, get told that online reservation is not possible and I need to call. Every. Single. Time.
- Call, wait on hold for too long, and eventually make reservation with brusque or disinterested agent.
- Usually but not always, cab shows up. If it's going to be a no-show, you won't know until it's too late.
- Get bombarded by video ads in the cab until I figure out how to make it stop, which is hard because the LCD touch-screen is at a bad angle so I can't see the buttons well.
- Pay using that same bad touch-screen. I seem to be incapable of seeing the UI for specifying a tip amount without opening the car door and half-lying on the seat. Buttons for 20% and 25% are easy to access, presumably by design.
So I got disgusted enough to try the competition. You can't make a reservation, which concerned me a bit, but I checked the app earlier than I needed to leave, saw multiple cars within a couple miles, and relaxed. When I was about ready to book, the app told me we were in a higher-price (prime time) period that would end in two minutes. So I waited. When I called for one it took no more than five minutes. I could watch the driver's progress on a map.
The driver was fine and the car was clean -- that and punctuality are really all I require.
Payment was simple, through the app, with an emailed receipt. The trip cost about 65% of what the last cab trip on the same route cost.
Yellow Cab's user experience is terrible. Uber's is good. I know which one will get my business next time.
I do have to ding Uber on one thing, though. When the driver heard that this was my first time using them he gave me a promo code for a significant discount. I tried to enter it during the ride and the app said I couldn't use it on an in-progress trip. Fine. But later I tried to enter it for future use and the app said it was only good for a first-time ride. So... if it's not available until it's too late, what's the point? If the driver had never given it to me I wouldn't have noticed the lack, but because he did I feel Uber goofed here.