The importance of user experience: nextbike study

When I passed the User Experience Designer certification I didn’t foresee how I can really use it in my real life. Till the moment I’ve been to Berlin.

I spent there some time and felt in love with bike riding. After some quick check, the nextbike was a clear choice with their 10€/month subscription (not officially on the web at that time, available in the app only).

All was good till the moment I started to ride across the city to do some sightseeing, when after a few rides I’ve got the following message:

Hello, you have returned bike XXX in the flexzone. The next time you return a bike flexibly a surcharge of 1,00EUR will apply.

So I checked the web. Lets skip the fact that – at that time – the web stated it is 0,5EUR, focus more on the user experience.

Where to return your nextbike

Seems pretty clear. But then you open the app and see something a bit different. There are no clearly marked blue streets. When you have time to focus and are not on a direct sun, you might notice that some parts of the map are more orange (read pink marked zone above) while others are more purple (blue marked streets as I tested).

Map on nextbike

I never noticed this small difference during first a few weeks and I had to focus hard, check multiple parts of the city to notice that there is a small color difference on the map and this color difference doesn’t represent the buildings, but different zones.

And that is why the UX is so important, why your app should be synced with wording on your web or in help and why contrast is so important. It is a small detail, but potentially very confusing to your users.

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