Khalid Al-Jaaidi — Product and design. based in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Captain Ride Experience - Careem

Case study

The most critical flow in the Captain app (drivers app), the booking flow needed a revamp to support Careem’s growth. The redesigned booking flow makes it faster for Captains to respond to booking offers. It increases Captain’s acceptance rates, allowing them to do more trips impacting the bottomline GMV in a significant way.

ForCareem RoleUX Researcher and Designer
DateQ4 2017 – Q2 2019


The app that the Captains use is different from the one that Careem customers use, and it performs a different task. How it works, and how well it works, makes a huge difference to our Captain’s experience, income and efficiency.

Based on our ongoing discussions with Captains and their experience of using the app, we redesigned the experience of how Captains receive bookings and fulfill them.

Sneak peak: The new booking offer


Careem launched in 2012, and since then has grown to become the leading ride-hailing service in the region. In 2017 it became apparent that the Captain app was struggling to keep up with the growth, both from a design and engineering standpoint. We were also exposed to missed opportunities in terms of growth due to a subpar experience. The initial experience was designed by an external agency before a design and engineering team was brought on board. We needed to revamp the Captain experience entirely. Starting with the booking flow, as one of the most critical flows in the business.

Our Captains use this part of the app every time they receive a booking and complete it, Captains working full time would go through this flow more than 10 times a day. That’s a lot of engagement on a product. Some of the challenges we faced were:

• The existing flow suffered from severe usability issues. These affected Captains income and Careem’s reliability to customers.

• Making changes and improvements became too difficult. Anything more substantial than a small change was met with large technical and design debts.

• The flow was designed with only Android in-mind, and was not scalable to iOS.

• We had no source files in the internal design team.

Research and understanding

Fragmented understanding is chronic in organizations where KPIs are assigned and measured per individual department or group because many organizations do not ever piece together the entire experience from the user’s standpoint.

– Nielsen Norman Group

What we already know

Shortly after I was brought on board, I immediately realized we were missing context, and a story of how it all strings together.

I began by exploring what we already have and know within the company, so I ran workshop sessions to put down a baseline of what we thought and knew about our Captains journey with completing trips.

Internal journey mapping workshop session

Field research

I went on after that to set up a field research plan, where we would go down to the streets of one of our challenging operating environments such as Cairo, and simply sit and observe what Captains do and how they use the app, in their own environment.

Most trips are relatively fine from the business KPIs standpoint after a customer gets into the car, and that’s something most of us were familiar with by being our own users, we were quite blind to what happens before that.

So we launched our selves to Cairo, to sit on trips with Captains and Customers.

Giza, Egypt

Captain interviews in Cairo

Field observation research with Captains and customers

Bringing it back together

• 14 trips
• 8 Captains
• 60+ pages of observation notes..

We analyzed all the data we have gathered, validated and added additional data points such as steps, and pain-points on top of the internal sessions we had, and started working on piecing it all together into a first ever Careem Captain Journey Map.

Analyzing and putting together the data

Captain Journey Map

Finally we polished our research and findings by compiling a series of the Captain actions into a timeline. Next, we fleshed the timeline with the Captain thoughts, goals, and emotions in order to create a visualized narrative.

Final Captain Journey Map

Design exploration

The visual design was an explorations on the design direction, going over multiple variations of every single point in the flow. The final designs were a collaboration with another designer on the team where I joined him at a later point in time.

Early booking experience visual design explorations by my colleague Mohammad.

User testing

After numerous design critiques, we settled on two main approaches that we couldn’t seem to agree on, so I led the user testing of the two to decide from a Captain’s perspective on which approach works best.

In conclusion, the map approach was the preferred option after the user test. Captains preferred to see the locations of pick up and drop off points in context of a map. We also learned a few other important things on what type of information they care about, and how it helps them such as showing the distance in kilometers as a unit, rather than showing them an estimated time to arrival only.

Final design

Old booking offer experience (Live app recording)

Revamped booking offer experience (Live app recording)

Final design side-by-side with the old experience. Designs by Mohammad and I.


After extensive research, listening to Captains, and a collaborative effort from Engineering, Design and Product, the most critical flow of the app has been revamped to support growth. All while making our Captain’s lives easier and improve their earnings.

Some of the metrics affected that we’ve been monitoring:

• Booking offers acceptance rate has been increased by 14%.

• Captains are doing on average, an additional 4 trips per day.

• Trips completion rates has been improved by 12%.

• The estimated annual GMV contribution is over $70 million per year

For confidentiality reasons, I have omitted the actual values for these metrics.