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I have a bit of a dilemma. The above screenshot shows the UI wireframing I'm doing for a taxi-booking and sharing mobile app.

Now when a user requests a seat in a taxi you've booked, a couple of things happen:

  • You receive a notification, and you need to act on it (either by accepting it or rejecting it asap, because it is a time-sensitive application, it is important that a decision is made).

  • Your journey details change, including the price, journey time and distance. Secondly if you had 4 seats available in your taxi, it gets reduced to 3.

My dilemma is as follows:

  • How do I keep the notifications "alive" if the user has not accepted/declined a sharing request? With the mobile apps I've seen so far, you receive a notification and then once you open it, it is of no use. With taxi share requests, I'd like to keep the notifications "in focus" until the user makes a decision, so that they don't forget

  • How would I reflect the changes to the journey (which are displayed once the user taps on the share request notification) with a bit more impact? Currently I am using the UI setup above (to the right)... although this is good... it makes it very hard to tell which implications are raised (in terms of cost, journey time and length) when the user decides to a share a taxi. As they need to base their decisions on these implications, its important that I get it correct. In the instance below, I've simply highlighted the changes in a different colour. Would there be a better way of showing a before/after snapshot (i.e. what the journey looks like now and what it would look like afterwards).

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Interesting question.

  • With regards to keeping notifications alive, while it might not technically possible to keep push notifications alive for a long period or get them to pushed again and again, you could have a notification screen like how Linkedin does it where they show you the different people trying to connect with you.So I would recommend making this your main dashboard screen where there pending notifications along with an notification icon somewhere on the rest of the app which allows you to get to that screen quickly

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You could also keep the person informed about new notifcations by keeping a hover bar as shown in this example

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You could also think of implementing a time out period after which the user who requested the cab share is moved to the second option he selected. This will ensure the user reacts within a certain period of time and the other user isnt kept waiting. I recommend doing some user research to find out how long users are willing to wait and what people might think is a reasonable response time.

  • With regards to your second question about highlighting changes, I would recommend doing it like how stock tickers do it where you use a combination of color and icons to represent the change. This will ensure that a color blind person can use the icons to differentiate the changes as well while the color also helps act as a visual differentiator

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+1 Especially for the time out period idea. It is also how many ticket reservation systems work to ensure that tickets are actually available from start of reservation through payment and get returned to the available tickets when the payment isn't made within the "tickets are reserved for you" period. –  Marjan Venema Feb 8 at 20:51
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