How I wanted to Redesign OLA

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The challenge: To take up the OLA application and see how far I can push myself to hone my design skills.

I chose OLA because it is one of the most underrated applications which despite providing good service is not used by people.

Side note: I do not work for OLA, and the views from this case study are strictly my own. Unlike the designers who work at OLA, I don’t have full access to all the user data that influenced their current design. As a result, this case study is not exhaustive, and I am certainly not suggesting that OLA should abandon its current design and adopt my redesign.

My goals for the redesign:

  • To facilitate a more engaging and seamless experience when it comes to commuting
  • To design a more personable and intuitive user interface
  • To design through user empathy (HCD)

My goals for my own personal development:

  • Learn how to conduct and analyze user research, conduct interviews and decode them to get pain points of the users, create flowcharts and wireframes, design through Figma.
  • Complete my first design project from start to finish while sticking to my design principles

The roles I assumed during the process of building this redesign:

  • User Researcher
  • Data Analyst
  • UI/UX Designer
  • Product Designer

OLA Cabs is a Bangalore based company offering services that include peer-to-peer ridesharing, ride service hailing, taxi, and food delivery. It acquired Bengaluru based taxi service TaxiForSure and now is operating in almost every city of India.

OLA is doing its bit to make people share vehicles and save the environment while also making it easy for travelers to commute.

Before I began my redesign project, I conducted interviews with 10 OLA users to get a better understanding of whom I was designing for:

  • What does a typical OLA user look like?
  • What are their reasons for using OLA?
  • What keeps them coming back?

I conducted these interviews in person or via phone.

Usage of different features of OLA

Among the 10 OLA users I interviewed, there were 6 men and 4 women. The age of the male users ranged from 22 to 27 years old, while the female users ranged from 20 to 25 years old. 85% are currently corporate employees who are living in a different city for a job.

I asked the 10 OLA users I interviewed to describe OLA using 3 adjectives.

What do you think about OLA? How does it make you feel?

I collected a total of 24 adjectives.

  • It’s Confusing
  • OTP is difficult for old people
  • Sometimes the vehicle I chose didn’t go to my destination
  • It’s not reliable
  • What is the difference between “mini” and “micro”
  • By mistake pin moves to some other location and cab is booked from there

When the user is using the application with one hand, it’s really difficult to reach the top area.


For the solution I moved the search area of drop location to the “Perfect to handle” region of the mobile.

The research suggested that 80% of the people faced the problem with what they wanted to use in the application, either it was difficult to use or were unable to find it.

There are a number of instances when people were confused

1) What is the difference between Micro and Mini?

People just wanted to commute in a private cab, they did not care whether it was Ritz or Indica. The difference between Micro and Mini in the architecture is subtle, so the users tend to miss that and face confusion while booking the cab. This results in frustration and quitting the app.


I combined Micro and Mini by OLA to call it Mini to avoid any confusion

2) What is the difference between Prime Sedan, Prime Play, Prime XUV and Prime LUX?

Users felt a bit uncomfortable having two scroll bars to select prime cab services, There were very few users who use Prime Play services while it was becoming confusing for other users


I combined the services as –

3) Why is the food option merged with cab?

Food delivery is another service that is provided by OLA. Foodpanda is another subsidiary of OLA responsible for food delivery.

None of the users I interviewed ordered food from the OLA app. So it was time for rearranging the icon to increase its availability.


I moved the foodpanda icon to the top right corner of the screen for better visibility and accessibility.

4) Confusion in the Daily, Rental and Outstation services?

Most of the users used Daily cab services provided by OLA and hence other tabs present in the current OLA app were not much used by the users.


I moved all the three services into a dropdown. This will help the users not to see the cluttered screens and use the service only if truly required.

Due to pinpointing of pickup location, there were many cases when by mistake users moved the map and pick up location was altered. This resulted in havoc between the driver and the passenger.


I used just the blue dot to show the location rather than pinpointing the pickup location. The user would still be able to use pinpoint location if he clicks on the “your location” text for technical accuracy or low network area regions.

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