Nicole Lombard
UX Writer

Rooted devices

Making complex concepts easier for non-first language speakers.

The problem

Some of our Captains(drivers) have rooted/modified devices. A rooted/modified device is a device that has been tampered with in order to give the user privileged control over the operating system's subsystems.: "...rooting gives the ability (or permission) to alter or replace system applications and settings, run specialized applications ("apps") that require administrator-level permissions, or perform other operations that are otherwise inaccessible to a normal user...." 

A few of the Captains used their rooted devices for fraudulent activities like playing around with GPS settings to make trips seem longer so that they could overcharge customers. But other Captains weren't aware of this status since they bought secondhand phones.

The need was thus two-fold, to inform innocent Captains of the status and try to help them fix this so they can accept bookings and earn money and, on the other hand, to block dishonest Captains from using the app.

The solution

Language was obviously the main obstacle here since the concept in itself is already complicated, even to first language English speakers. Our Captains are not first language speakers.

It was quite clear that we'd need to use words in a way that they would understand and to have designs that further simplify this complex situation.

The process

We started with the words "rooted" and "modified". Didn't think they'd understand either but checked the popularity in Pakistan (where most of our Captains are from) on Google Trends. It was clear that "blocked" was more popular but we went ahead and tested both words.

Rooted Devices

Popularity of the terms "rooted device" and "modified device"

We tested with two versions (above), one with the word "blocked" and one with the word "rooted", this is what we found:

  • Captains don't seem to really read anything. They just tap.
  • They assumed the red bar on top means internet issue, and wanted to restart their mobile data.
  • They kept clicking Offline button and kept closing the bottom sheet without reading. After several attempts, they understood that they are not able to go online, after that they partially read the bottom sheet.
  • They associated with the word “blocked”. Once they saw that, they knew they will have to come to supply team for help. Associated it with their previous blocked experiences due to poor ratings.
  • Some of them read the word “device” in the mockup. But couldn’t figure out the problem with the device.
  • They did not understand either “modified” or “rooted”.
  • They understood "Support" as going into the physical Careem Captain office to get assistance.

Based on the findings we decided to focus on the words they did understand, such as “blocked” and “offline”. They didn’t understand “Support” as a menu function and thought it was the physical support office, where they would go for other problems. I think it’s just easier for them to go somewhere where they can physically get help than to read something complicated in a language that is not their first. ( Kept it there for in case but the emphasis was removed.)

I significantly minimized the copy and made sure to use keywords that they understood, this is because we know that Captains don’t read in any case.

Ended up with the version below: