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Review: SafeBoda’s New App is Great Work But NOT Liked as Expected

SafeBoda is with no doubt one of the most successful startups in Uganda. The pioneers of the moto-taxi hailing business that opened competition to major firms as Uber, Bolt (formerly Taxify), Dial Jack, among others.

The company last week hit a major milestone of having 10,000 riders operating in the city centre and a few areas of Entebbe. Moses Musinguzi took to Twitter and shared a photo of him and the 10,000th rider.

He wrote, “Thanks for travelling with us to this milestone. We are finally 10,000.”

The company has received all kind of praise for its work(s) and customer service right from its riders to the top management. And it’s with no doubt, that they do have good customer care — swift response to complains 100% guaranteed.

However, we want to tackle on their re-designed app. SafeBoda last month, rolled out its new app to all its users, however it seems not to be liked by many.

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The company first teased the new app on their account, along the words “Coming Soon” — before officially rolling out on May 22nd. Having updated their apps to the newer version, it seems not be liked as some PC Tech Magazine reached out said they would opt to downgrade if it were possible.

Our review ….

Design and Layout/Interface
Like we mentioned before, the app is re-designed from the ground up. More layout/interfaces added, bold & concentrated colors, bold fonts, and cashless made more as priority.

Well! The design is much better than the old one. However, what bother most users is the cashless ad-like section. When a user opens the app, it is what they see first, and this bother most of them. SafeBoda says “the section will be used to show/display on-going promos that its customers can take advantage of”. Which is reasonable to some people but not all.

The section to order or book a trip appears top of the ad-section. The interesting fact about that section is it’s all response wherever you tap you are directed to book your trip.

The Three Major Sections
Order, Home (SafeBoda), and Account are the 3 main sections as seen on opening the app.

The order section a user able to see up to 25 of their recent orders. Before, the user would go into their account section to locate their recent trips.

The account section now only leaves the payment option, help and about the company. Tapping on your profile pic, you’re able to update your account details.

The home (SafeBoda) is just the very-main section.

Response
The app’s response is fine if it is a good day for you. Why? You might end up not using the app throughout the day as it keeps saying “Location Unavailable”. Dropping location wasn’t a common thing with the old app. SafeBoda says one of the reasons of re-designing the app is to improve on the location accuracy which is not what we see it.

The location can drop even while ordering for a ride. Like we said if it is a good day, it works perfect, if its not, it won’t work.

But other than the response seems fine.

The location on the SafeBoda App keeps dropping and the user has to try a couple of times till the location picks up again.
The location on the SafeBoda App keeps dropping and the user has to try a couple of times till the location picks up again.

Cashless is Priority
SafeBoda has for time advised its customers to go cashless. With this they introduced an ad-section on the home page that reminds the customers to use cashless.

Interestingly, a customer can as well purchase for SafeBoda credit while on trip. On the old app, this wasn’t the case and the customer would only purchase credit after the trip ends.

Users can top up safeboda credit even when the trip is on going.
Users can top up safeboda credit even when the trip is on going.

SafeBoda is working on a feature that will customers share their credit among each other.

Feedback and Rating
The new app comes with a feedback part coupled on the 5-star rating we have come to use. Users are able to give a written feedback about their trip.

Written feedback is a new feature that is now coupled with the 5-star rating.
Written feedback is a new feature that is now coupled with the 5-star rating.

To mention, SafeBoda did away with the reason as to why you cancelled your ride.

What we did like on the new app:

  1. Live location view while on trip. Same tech seen on Uber and Bolt.
  2. Top up credit while on trip.
  3. The design and layout is good.

What we didn’t like on the new app:

  1. Location drop. This is major and safeboda has to work on it.
  2. Most users are still bothered with the ad and opt if it wasn’t there.
  3. Limits your trip history. In the old app you could see all the trips you have taken.

Conclusion
We managed to get feedback from at least 30 users. 17 liked the new app while the 13 didn’t it and said they would downgrade if the were possible. In our opinion, the app is good and the people complain point out the issue of location drop and the ad-section as a problem.

However, the app is worth giving a chance, as it will take time for it to stable.

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