The journey with Ola started in 2010 when Bharvish Aggarwal, an IIT Bombay graduate, decided to turn his tour and travel business into a ride-hailing company due to the market gap he saw. Ola is the pioneer of ride-hailing service in India, and it has expanded to international markets in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Ola continued to identify areas for improvement and expanded its scope of service, which led to the need for a mobile App to make cab booking much easier and faster. Before this, bookings were primarily made through phone calls.

In 2012, Ajinkya Potdar and Khushal Bokadey, who both started as interns, developed the mobile Android and iOS apps. They laid the foundation of the Ola app we use now. The app has gone through various iterations and updates, and hopefully, it will still undergo more updates to make it better for users. The Android app has over Ten(10) crore downloads on the Play Store and ranks #4 in transport on the iOS App Store.

Ola App Reviews

Ola has made transportation more accessible for commuters and those who earn their living from transport services. It started with cab service and gradually moved to accommodate autos, bikes, and e-rickshaws at lower fares to attract more people.

How did Ola become popular?

  • Ola Electric Cars was founded in 2017 to contribute their quota to a greener environment.
  • Ola introduced the Ola Finance Service, which provides users with mobile money and credit card services to make quick payments.
  • Ola introduced alternatives to Cab booking, such as Auto and Rickshaw rentals, to give users more options and create more employment opportunities.
  • Ola built partnerships with brands and even acquired some, like GeoSpoc and Ridlr, to put them ahead of their competitors and offer better service.

From data to decision #UserFeedbackDecoded 

  • Users are complaining about the hours they spend waiting for their rides because they don’t have real-time tracking of their rides.
  •  The push notifications were becoming too much.
  • They complained about a sudden increment in the fare even after booking a cab. 
  • The app could be more cross-functional, as users complained about lagging whenever they wanted to pick up calls or pay through other Apps.
Ola App Feedback

My research was to identify areas for improvement in UX design. I went through Google reviews and read reviews from blogs coupled with my experience as a rider to understand what needs to be addressed. For instance, one user mentioned that navigating through the app’s menu was difficult, while another praised the app’s quick response time. These specific examples helped me form a comprehensive understanding of the app’s user experience

I focused on questions like What task frustrated users more? What did they enjoy doing on the App? Did they receive help and support quickly? After discovering all these and more, I brought in my UX Design prowess to review the Ola App with industry standards. It allowed me to know what users expect and how the expectations can be met.

Ola App Review led by Rohan, A Design Expert at YellowSlice

Reviewed by:

  • Cigdem Atmar
  • Needa Kazi
  • Priyanka Rathi

This is a breakdown of the findings about users’ pain.

Guest Login

Ola is a transport app that should consider travellers and foreigners during the sign-up process. Presently, only Indian numbers are allowed to sign up. Imagine travellers having to get an Indian SIM—which they probably won’t use again—just to order a ride around their city of destination. As I understand it, this app provides travel services, so there should be no phone number restrictions. 

Too many services = Crowded Screens

If there are too many ingredients and seasonings, the soup will spoil. The same applies to UX Design; too much content will make a design look bad. I found out that Ola is putting so many services in an App that is supposed to be for booking rides; there is no business of a health insurance service in a cab booking app. While going through the comments, one user said the diversification of Ola into other services is not helping the primary service(Cab booking), which I resonate with. Ola is gradually losing the essence of providing transport services while trying to expand.

The use of a health pack

One thing that caught my attention was the health pack as an insurance scheme for the riders. The user would easily ignore it because there is no clear explanation of the benefits. It just seems like another opportunity to get money from the users. It adds to the content of the app, which makes the overall experience too stuffed with activities.

Boring interface

Simplicity is one of the key principles of UI/UX Design, and Ola has managed to achieve that, but there is a thin line between simplicity and boredom. The app interface is too monotonous— white and black with sprinkles of green, which is the brand logo. It doesn’t spark excitement from the users; if a user is contemplating using the app, it might discourage them.

Ola App Boring Interface

Higher Consumer Satisfaction = Higher Conversion Rates 🚀

higher consumer satisfaction

UX Design review is not just about identifying the issue but also about finding possible solutions. Here is my suggested solution to increase positive user experience.

Clarity in communication

Visual communication is the main element in a design; once a design lacks visual description, it lacks its purpose. Users are supposed to grasp the content of Ola App without stressing. The health pack, for instance, needs to be more precise for users at first glance. Ola should consider removing it or explaining the value proposition and how users can utilise it without words alone but with icons and images. 

Users complained about increasing fares after ordering. The Ola App can use a card to give users a heads-up when the fare is about to improve and ask for their action on whether they want to continue with the ride or not. This will maintain transparency and users’ trust.

Simplicity at its peak

I commend Ola for its clean and straightforward interface. Simplicity is a common issue among many mobile Apps, but Ola achieved a simple look despite offering much service and content. The Ola App design should be a model for other UX designers to focus on functionality over aesthetics. Aesthetics can come later when the design proves its usability and functionality.

Vibrant Color Scheme

If Ola can consider a much more vibrant colour palette, it would enhance the user experience. As much as simplicity was achieved, vibrancy needs to be equally achieved. They can do more with emojis, icons and animations to improve the app’s look. I suggest using filled icons to give the design more visual weight.

Manage features to save space.

The service Ola provides gives the user options and flexibility, which is impressive, but at the same time, it could overwhelm them and make them indecisive. 

Ola can merge similar services with the option of a tabbed interface. Taxis, Autos, and Cars should be merged under rides. Similarly, outstations and rentals can also be merged. The tab interface will allow users to see the variety with a tap/click.

The decluttering of these features will reduce the mental energy exerted by the users. They won’t have so many options that can overwhelm them; they’ll be able to focus on one thing at a time, whether it’s a ride, delivery, or food purchase.

Engaging the Users

Engaging users goes beyond aesthetics and fancy design. It’s a way of connecting with them mentally by infusing some element of personality and making them feel like a person is behind the app. 

Catchy phrases like “Where would you like to visit today?” Or “Don’t be late for office today!” can add a personal touch to the app. An animated car icon moving across the interface with a blinking CTA button to make the users confirm the booking can spur the user into action faster.

When users wait for their rides, Ola’s loading screen is bland. To show the progress of their ride, they should break down the loading screen into three or four parts/stages. The first part can be a confirmation, the second part could show the details of the car and driver again, and the third part can give them options to share their ride details with emergency contacts, friends, or family. 

Ola User Journey Decoded 

1. How has Ola’s colour scheme helped in the UX?

The issue of the colour scheme can be tricky. The monotonous scheme has helped in achieving simplicity however, for the nature of the service— travel, a colour change would suffice. For example, using different colours for the available cars while selecting would give the users a feeling that they have more option.

2. Is the Ola App accessible enough?

Accessibility is one of the challenges many UX Designers lack. Many apps are not accessible to left-handed individuals, users with visual impairments, and many more users living with disabilities. There should be options to change the app’s settings from right to left or adjust text size. The design team should invest more in learning about accessibility in design to make designs easier for users who need extra help.

3.  Do users have sufficient information about their booking process?

Ola provides users with essential information, such as cab fares, driver details, and car categories. This helps users get an idea of their rides during the booking process. Users have complained about waiting time; Ola can do more by highlighting a rider’s estimated arrival time with graphical illustrations to monitor the driver in real time.

Expert Review by Rohan

This review has opened your eyes to UX flaws in our everyday designs and how to avoid them in your digital product. The Ola app is one of India’s most popular cab booking services, which means many people use it. Some of the issues highlighted can be stumbling blocks for users, so I have taken time to break them down so you can learn and apply some of the principles to your design. 

I am a designer at YellowSlice, and we create user-centric designs that empower businesses. Contact us now, and let us show you how to make a masterpiece for your brand!

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