Food court beeps and Uber colors

Two interesting user-experience efforts from last week.

First, at the Mumbai Airport, terminal 1. I had ordered pizza at Dominos and the lady, instead of saying they’ll call me when my order is ready, gave me a small, black brick and said “It’ll beep when your order is ready”. I first thought it seemed as pointless as the famous US trying to make a pen that works in space and Russians using a pencil example. Why complicate a simple task with technology?

But then, I guess it could be useful if you want to move around, away from the food court and this device could beep and let you come back when your food is ready. Though, that could be achieved with a phone call/sms too, though those would need the user to part with some personal details – unnecessary complications for just pizza.

Dominos could make it compelling for people to install their app and message via app, if the order is ready, on the other hand. That is, ‘if you want to informed while you walk elsewhere in the airport, install the app. If not, just sit here and wait’.

Ironically, I sat there, and the device didn’t beep at all. After some time, lady started auctioning my pizza and I looked up from my phone to realize she was calling out for me. So much for technology 🙂

Second, Uber! Uber has now introduced the Spotlight feature in India. It’s an interesting idea – you tap on the color button at the side of the app to let your app’s full interface glow in one color. That color will glow in the driver’s app too. In a crowded place you need to hold your phone for the driver to see – he matches color and finds you instead of speaking to you while driving.

This is a nifty idea, meant for crowded spots. Though, I do wonder what happens if 2 people close to each other pick the same color? Are we back to square one?