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The Grab effect, Brunch | THE BUSINESS TIMES

Pink for surge pricing

Danis Lou, passenger experience design lead, believes that design is key to problem-solving. He leads a team that is responsible for the look and feel, and user experience, of the Grab rider app. Recently redesigned, the app now boasts a softer colour palette that retains Grab’s iconic shade of green and almost induces a calming effect. Noticeably, the revamped app no longer uses the colour pink to signify surge pricing. Grab is now studying and testing new colour palettes to mark surge pricing with other colours, including orange and different shades of pink.

Mr Lou said: “We chose pink because we wanted users to pay attention to it, know that this is something different and be aware of it. But (we have discovered that) other colours can achieve that. We created a new colour palette and orange is now used to signify surge pricing.”

He added that the key guiding principle for design is user experience, with criteria such as simplicity, ease of use, the ability to allow users to finish a task quickly, and accessibility. To ensure that the Grab app’s user experience is up to the mark, Mr Lou’s team works with the user experience research team, led by Avinash Papatla, to incorporate user feedback into their design.

What Mr Papatla’s team does, essentially, is “bring back intelligence to the product team”. First, his team of researchers get user insights either from speaking with users on Google Meet (a real-time meeting tool) or observing how they use a new product or service through a one-way mirror, during which they keep an eye out for any difficulties faced by users in handling the new product. Then they will take this intelligence to a design workshop to jointly conceptualise the new product with other stakeholders, including the product manager, designers, engineers and business analysts.

The Grab app gets a redesign every two years. Mr Lou said: “Times are a-changing – so are people and their behaviour. This means some things in the app will definitely have to be updated, and it makes sense to refresh the app as a whole (every so often).”

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The Grab effect, Brunch – THE BUSINESS TIMES.