How might we guide users through a complicated sign up process?

The problem

After Uber ATG acquired the Spare5 micro tasking platform, many users were deactivated for legal reasons. The only way to bring these critical users back was through the verification of photo IDs and other personal information.

The solution

A wizard interface that assures users of stringent security, coupled with an admin system that gives verifiers the necessary tools for reviewing applications.

My role

  • UX research
  • Workflow and information architecture
  • UI design and prototyping
  • User testing
  • Front end development

Confidential information has been obfuscated and omitted to comply with my non-disclosure agreement. Information in this case study reflects my own views and not those of Uber. Uber’s brand features are proprietary.

User with ID signing up for Spare5

Research and strategy

We started off with requirements from Uber legal on what materials we needed to collect: birthdate, PayPal account, and photo ID.

Preliminary user research revealed people were apprehensive about rejoining the platform, given the rather abrupt nature of the acquisition and account deactivation. We needed to regain their trust.

Within the new signup form, I wanted to ask for the user’s birthdate first since it was a relatively low barrier to entry. I figured it would provide the user with a sense of accomplishment upfront, but quickly realized that was all for naught if they couldn’t make it past the next step — verifying their own PayPal account. I moved the PayPal account to the beginning, then reordered the steps until we got to the most sensitive and time-consuming: photo ID.

Onboarding workflow

Ultimately, the onboarding was part of a larger effort to populate the Fives into a more robust user training system. After account verification, completing qualifiers (special unpaid tasks) would allow Fives to qualify for specific tasks and be back on their way to earning money:

User journey

Iterating on solutions

With our user journey mapped out, I began to wireframe potential interfaces for the re-onboarding experience.

I worked closely with the community, engineering, and legal teams to find out things like: what kind of IDs do we need to ask for? What are addresses like in Venezuela? How much of a turnaround time can we promise users? Where can we direct people when they have questions?

We made a number of iterations and drew on the expertise of the community team, who worked closely with the Fives and gathered excellent research data for the team at large.

Wireframes in progress

Additional content

I produced content for and hand-coded a series of emails that would be sent during the verification process. We planned to email select groups to notify them they could sign up, followed by status updates to keep them informed.

Status emails

Secure verification

We needed a simple, secure, proprietary system for processing the applications, which I called “Veri-Five” one day (since our users are “Fives”), and it stuck. Veri-Five features controls for viewing the applicant’s information, along with the ability to Approve or Reject an application.

Veri-Five interface


We had a 95% success rate onboarding our “new” old users. This checked all the legal boxes for those users to task again, which resulted in 73% higher throughput on the Spare5 platform.

Mighty Ai