Product Design Intern @ Uber

Vehicle Team: Uber Rental Vehicles

Duration: 12 weeks

Tools: Sketch, Principle, Figma


Uber Vehicle Solutions

From financial limitations to ineligible/outdated vehicles,

vehicle access is a large barrier to drivers who want to earn with Uber.


Through the Vehicle Solutions program, Uber connects drivers in need of vehicles to available rental vehicles. This is done through rental companies or vehicle suppliers (those who own vehicles but don't drive them, so they choose to rent them out for some extra income).

Project Highlights

Rental Vehicles Hub

During my internship, I updated the driver app's vehicles hub design to incorporate rental vehicles and vehicle availability/statuses.

With rental vehicles, often times a driver will accept a rental before the vehicle is available to them. Therefore, an effective date is included in the rental terms to indicate when a vehicle will be given to the driver and when they can begin earning with it.

I had to consider how I would organize and display each vehicle's information so that drivers can clearly understand what and when vehicles are available to them.

This project was launched in Brazil in Fall 2019!

Before the Rental is Available

After the Rental Becomes Available

Project Background

In the past, vehicle drivers in need of vehicles form informal connections with vehicle suppliers. 

In these agreements, drivers are expected to pay their suppliers a weekly rental fee, but because these agreements were created informally and not shown in the Uber app, it led to many issues as there’d be difficulty in:

  • making sure payments are completed on time 

  • tracking transactions

  • general legal issues

This caused suppliers to be frustrated and overwhelmed as they were unable to meet their earning goals and as a result, hurt the relationship between the drivers and suppliers.

Rental Agreements in Brazil

Previous Solution

Rental Money Flow

The Rental Money Flow project aims to "reduce risk and overhead by managing payment process between vehicle supplier and the rental driver," which is crucial to both parties’ user experience and relationship.

Tracking Rental Agreements

One key feature to the Rental Money Flow project is the capturing of financial agreements between parties so that there is a mutual understanding of


  • fees

  • payment dates and frequencies

  • reimbursements (such as fuel costs and traffic tickets)

  • and for my internship project (not part of the current solution yet), an effective date was added, which is when a vehicle becomes available to the driver as the day they sign an agreement may not be the same date in which they get access to the vehicle

Supplier View

Rental Driver View

Effective Date

Before the introduction of the effective date, drivers would accept the agreement in the Uber app, then immediately be able to drive their first trip in the app.

Without the effective date,

  • drivers were unaware of when the vehicles were available for them to drive

  • drivers were able to go online in the Uber app without the actual registered vehicle

  • because they were able to go online without the vehicle, they were being charged for the rental vehicle without driving it

Without the Effective Date

Once an effective date is introduced as part of the agreement, drivers will be

  • able to view their vehicle’s availability

  • blocked from going online with unavailable vehicles, which means they are not being incorrectly charged for it

  • aware of when they begin paying the rental fees

With the Effective Date

Design Process

For my internship project, I was tasked to design the vehicles hub experience of the driver app with this newly introduced effective date.

How might we…


help drivers better understand their vehicle availability 


so that they can start earning with a rental vehicle when it is ready to drive?


Heuristic Analysis of Existing Driver App

I went through the current driver app experience to analyze how the current app

  • handles errors and confirmations

  • offers support

  • and prompts users for further action

Existing Vehicles Hub

Existing Documents Hub

Competitive Analysis of Contract Management Products

I analyzed multiple demos of contract management products as these contract statuses were similar to how our vehicle statuses were defined.


I looked at 

  • how these products displayed the status of a contract using language and color

    • how these choices impacted scanning

  • how these contracts are sorted

  • how they communicated that further action was needed for a contract, such as needing to sign or renew it

My takeaway was that the most effective and easy to scan contract management products used a variety of text, colors, and icons to communicate status.


I got the chance to sit in during interviews with rental drivers in Brazil and Los Angeles to learn more about why people choose to rent over driving their personal vehicles. The top reasons were:

  • it was the more affordable option

  • their personal vehicle is too old or broken down to be qualified for Uber

  • their personal vehicle was being damaged by passengers

André, rental driver


Pain Points:

After driving his personal vehicle for Uber for a year, he has become disappointed in the condition of his personal vehicle. 



He hopes to minimize the wear and tear of his personal vehicle by using a rental vehicle instead for Uber, to continue earning with peace of mind.



Flow Diagram

In the previous flow, before the effective date was introduced, drivers would accept the rental terms and immediately be able to go online.

With my new proposed flow, we add several more steps to ensure that the vehicle being selected to go online with is available in the first place.

If it is unavailable, we should let the driver know the reason why and what further action to take, if necessary.

With the flow diagram as a guide, I began early ideation by sketching wireframes on post it notes.

Through this method, I focused on exploring how to display vehicle statuses in the vehicles hub and how we would communicate unavailability to drivers.

Wireframe Sketches

Refinements on Figma

Next, using these wireframes, I began building higher fidelity screens on Figma using Uber design’s library of components.

Over time, I explored how vehicles would be selected and displayed in the vehicles hub while also considering the changing Uber design components to keep the design up to date.

Prototype & Scenarios

André is currently driving his Prius for Uber but has accepted an agreement for a rental vehicle. After he accepts, the vehicle is shown in his account but it is not yet available to drive. The status shows when it is available and if he’d like to learn more about the vehicle status, he can click the vehicle and review its rental terms.


André continues to drive his personal vehicle until the effective date...

Before the Effective Date

Once the effective date has passed, André sees a notification that his rental vehicle is now available. He is led to the vehicles hub and sees his rental is ready to drive. He taps to select it, which deselects his personal vehicle, and he is ready to go online and start earning!

After the Effective Date


Without Status Icons

With Status Icons

Red-Green Confusion Colorblind Filter

Importance of Icons

In my final prototype, I use a combination of text, color, and icons to communicate vehicle status. Icons here assist in scanning, especially knowing that our driver demographic is mostly male.


Color blindness affects approximately 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women in the world so displaying vehicle statuses with just color alone would make it difficult to scan.


By adding icons to the design, not only does it benefit colorblind users, but the general public as well.


My summer at Uber was a huge learning experience for me.

Through working with researchers, designers, content strategists, engineers, and product teams, I learned that each team brings different priorities to the table and it is importance to listen and to voice all of these perspectives when working together.

I am so grateful to have been surrounded by such supportive and open-minded​ people. They taught me the importance of communication and taking initiative (and emojis).

Thank you for a wonderful summer! 🚗☀️

©2019 by Jay Ma Design