Gift shop

From gift cards to actual gifts

“What’s the gifting experience we really want to create and how do we get there?”

Was the question that turned a project that started as a “fix” and into a new product vision with its own roadmap. We did both.

User interviews
Product design

Previous UX

Couple months before, the team had launched a gift card experience based on a P2P mechanic, where the sender needs to input the recipient's email address.

If that email was registered to an Uber account, the person would have it added to their Uber Cash balance. If not, they'd receive an email with instructions to redeem it.

Sender's flow.

If recipients had an Uber account, they'd receive the gift in their Uber app. If not, they would receive an email with instructions.


Gift cards are a product with the potential of signing up new customers, but

of Non-Uber users are failing to redeem the Uber digital gift cards they received

Also, for some reason, we were not able to capture much data beyond that. Not even if recipients opened the email nor its CTA.

Going old school

To investigate what could be the problem, me and other designers in the Money design team ran a usability analysis. We noticed the following issues:

Recipients were required to use the email the gift was sent to.

  • That’s not the mental model for gift cards. People are used to receiving a code.
  • That email might not be the one they have an Uber account.
  • To login, users use primarily their phone number.
  • Senders could lose the surprise effect if they need to ask.

Email didn't mention the expiration date.

  • Most of the scales had terrible 3g coverage, some had none.
  • Engaging Truck Drivers to download an app would be costful, once they are not Vale's employees.


By sending a gift card code upon purchase, we can increase the redemption rate for Non-Uber Recipients.

Here’s how we fixed it: Sending an email with a gift card code — a mental model people already have. If they had the Uber app they could just tap the "redeem gift" button. We also gave instructions on how to redeem it manually.

Not having it attached to an particular email gave users freedom of choice. Afterall, it's their gift.

The solution.

But we could do more. Even though that fixed the main problem, users would still face:

Limited Distribution Channels

The only delivery method was email.

Lack of Feedback

Senders didn’t have any status updates, if it was opened or redeemed.

Short Redemption Window

7 days could be too short, and there was no rationale for such.

Going the extra mile

More distribution channels

User interviews revealed that customers wanted to have ways to send the gift card via social messaging. They mentioned it would make it more personal. Also, in some markets, the majority of p2p communication happens in platforms like Whatsapp.

But email also made sense, mainly when one wants to send a gift to that not-so-close friend at work.

Receiving a gift via messaging.

Sending via messaging.

Sending via email.

Feedback loop

We created a section for purchased gifts with 4 different states: Not opened, opened, redeemed and still not opened.

We also needed to create a “home screen” for Uber Gifts. Before, users went directly to the send gift card form.

Gift states.

Expiration date

We decided the gift shouldn’t have an expiration date, but if the recipient didn’t redeem, we’d tell the sender and give them a way to be reimbursed.

More miles

With the new home screen we have seasonal cards on special dates.

Also, we took advantage of Uber’s illustration library and created new gift card designs.

New card designs.

Contextual offers on special dates.


From fix to vision

“What’s the gifting experience we really want to create and how do we get there?” We knew we at Uber could deliver a way better gifting experience. We wanted to deliver not only gifts, but moments people would remember, even if they were apart.

The potentials for the business are immense. Every recipient is a potential new Uber rider or eater.

In parallel with the improvements, we worked on a vision for the gifting experience and pitched directors. They loved it.

A full gift shop powered by Uber Eats.

The roadmap.

Physical gifts + video messages to create memorable moments.


These are the numbers three monhts later and the new version was still rolling out.

lift in sales

increase value per card

Increase in redemption