Motorcycle mode is a uniquely NBU product because of how it caters to the way of life in many NBU cities: increasingly urbanized with perpetually-congested roads and narrow alleyways or sideroads that fit only two-wheelers. The ability to weave through traffic, and a cheaper price point (compared to cars), makes motorcycles a particularly efficient mode of transport for people in these cities. Naturally, motorcycle mode was first launched in NBU countries like Africa, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam – which are among the largest motorcycle markets in the world – and then it was rolled out globally. This is testament to the idea that when we build for the NBUs, we build better for the rest of the world.
Another takeaway is the importance of immersion in building products for this group of users. Our research team (comprising engineers, UX designers, product managers, and marketing leads) met with two-wheeler drivers in Jaipur, Delhi, Bangalore, and Jakarta and rode bikes with them throughout the city. This immersive research process helped us understand the way the two-wheeler drivers made decisions on the road: some memorized the route beforehand and others followed voice navigation. The interactions also helped us see which features would be most helpful to drivers, such as shortcuts and landmarks, which could help them navigate the city faster and more safely. When choosing a name for the mode, we wanted to make sure it would be clear to users. To relate more closely to the local dialect, “two-wheeler” was chosen for audiences in India and “motor” for Indonesia. (See Immersion).