Nectar Product Development

Webinar with Frank Yoo – Director of UX Design at Lyft

Hey guys! I attended a webinar hosted by User Testing with Lyft’s Frank Yoo, head of UX & Product design at Lyft. He revealed some of Lyft’s secrets about their process and I’m here to give you the cliff notes!

Side Note: User Testing has AMAZING FREE UX WEBINARS! Please sign up and check them out.

How Lyft Handles UX Challenges

Frank Yoo started off by talking about Lyft’s process at the company. He spoke about Lyft’s belief system in relation to Maslow’s pyramid of human needs. For those of you who don’t know about Maslow’s pyramid, they are a list of needs that are necessary for humans to live happily. Starting with having your basic physical needs met and ending with self-fulfillment.

Lyft’s pyramid has been adapted to fit in with their software and users. They use this method to tackle UX challenge’s and test the potential of user feedback.

  1. Usability – It must solve a compelling user issue.
  2. Reliability – Everything must work seamlessly and be as transparent as possible. (Ex: ride times and costs)
  3. Differentiate – It must be visually and interactively interesting (Ex: Lyft’s glowing buttons and interactive option menu)


How Lyft Gets User Feedback

Lyft gets a variety of user feedback from multiple channels such as:

  • User feedback reports through the application.
  • Regular weekly QA sessions
  • Customer emails
  • Friends & family
  • User testing sessions

Most of the user feedback that Lyft uses is from testing sessions done with real Lyft drivers and passengers.

What are the sessions like:
  • Real world sessions.
  • Performed in San Francisco (non-remote)
  • Taking rides with people and drivers
  • Testing in a safe environment where the driver is stationary.
  • Testing in the office.
  • Performing stress tests with people who have never used smart phones and have never used ride sharing.

Lyft has conducted over 400 hours of user testing and validates their assumptions along the way. This is good because it builds confidence in the team, stakeholders and customers.


How Lyft Solved a Major UI Issue

Lyft’s old UI (before their redesign) lacked many of the fundamentals they know as their core process including:

  • Poor representation of the driver that is requested
  • No transparency about price or estimated time of arrival
  • Cars were not directional
  • Poor use of color
  • Options panel awkwardly placed
  • Request Lyft is vague for first time users.

For Lyft’s new UI  for their “Request a Ride” flow, they focused on making themselves much more transparent.

  • Drivers now have their license plate on the UI further adding to the transparency.
  • They have included a feature that allows users to get a quote on a ride.
  • Cars now turn and you can see what direction they are driving
  • The pink color is now an action item color that is used sparingly and only important situations such as requesting a Lyft.
  • New one handed GUI where the main navigational functions are now on the bottom, so users can much more easily request a Lyft without straining their hands.
  • “Request Lyft” button has been changed to be a more button like shape so users can tell it’s a clickable region and the text has been changed to “Set pickup”.


Lyft is one of the most successful mobile applications available today and it was such a great opportunity to listen to Frank Yoo speak about the UX department at Lyft. They base their development process off of Maslow’s pyramid in order to enhance Lyft’s user experience accordingly. Most of their user testing is done hands on with fellow San Franciscan Lyft drivers and passengers and they have put a major emphasis on user research (clocking over 400 hours). User Testing put on an excellent webinar and I really enjoyed learning the in and outs of Lyft’s UX department. Thanks User Testing!

Nectar is an award-winning design & engineering consultancy with a specialization in medical device development. We are proudly 13485 certified, we adhere to the highest industry standards. Nectar has been an industry leader in Southern California for over 25 years. Our proven user-centered design process has facilitated the successful launch of hundreds of products in the market.

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