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Passion Dashboard

Encourage Lyft/Uber drivers to display things that signify their passions, loved ones etc. in the car.

Photo of James Getomer

Written by

When interviewing drivers, I found that they experienced stronger, more authentic gratitude when they connected with riders on a personal level.  Multiple drivers also repeated the sentiment of "I want passengers to see me as a human, not a service."  

Some drivers drive for their families, some do it to support interesting artistic or entrepreneurial work, but they all have a story.  Displaying parts of their lives, such as a photo of their child, or sticker of their band in the car could help spark meaningful conversation and connection that enables a deeper level of gratitude.

The idea is also simple, cheap, scalable, and easy to test.  

Idea Title

Passion Dashboard

How the Idea will inspire the experience and expression of gratitude within an organization.

People are more likely to express gratitude when they feel more personally connected to others. Their expression of gratitude can also be more authentic - more specific to the person they are thanking - if they have connected personally. This idea aims to increase both frequency and power of expressions of gratitude.

Who are you innovating for?

Ride sharing drivers and passengers

What type of workplaces are you innovating for?

Ride sharing services

How you envision the Idea being introduced to your selected organization?

The first step would probably be a limited experiment to prove efficacy. If effective, ride sharing companies could roll out the suggestion to their drivers via email, in-app notifications or social media. Communication could include stats from the test, ie "drivers who personalized their dashboard received X% higher tips."

What obstacles, if any, do you foresee in implementing this Idea, and how would they be overcome?

Drivers might be hesitant to share personal things about themselves. - But this wouldn't be mandatory, just a suggestion backed by test data. - Drivers would have their own leeway to only share what they feel comfortable with. Drivers might not want to clutter their dashboard, put stickers on their car, etc. - Non-destructive clip-on car visor and dashboard frames are available for ~$10. If a company really wanted to incentivize this, they could even give drivers a frame when they join.

How will you test and prototype your solution?

It would be pretty easy to have an experiment / control group of drivers to test this idea and see if it has any impact on tips, ratings and job satisfaction.

What immediate next steps will you take if you receive an implementation grant.

We could run a relatively cheap test to find out if this simple idea is actually effective. Have a test group and a control group of drivers, collect key metrics like ratings, tips and driver happiness over a certain time period. Augment metrics with interviews.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring an idea, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

The idea came from doing several interviews with drivers as part of the Open IDEO research phase.

Tell us about yourself

My name is James Getomer, I'm currently getting my MA in design at SFSU, and I'm a volunteer with Open IDEO's SF chapter.

Where are you / your team located?

San Francisco, CA

Company / Organization Name

Concept mock


Join the conversation:

Photo of Arsaln bhatti

hiii...your post are always very useful and informative....thanks dear

Photo of OpenIDEO

Hi James Getomer ,

Great to see your post! Is there any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there.

Just a reminder the Ideas Phase closes Oct 25 at 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time, which is in less than 24 hours! Please have all edits to your post completed before that deadline.

Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.

Photo of James Getomer


Photo of Kenny Tran

Hi James - Great contribution! This idea really stuck out to me because I travel a lot for work and utilize transportation network companies regularly. I am always fascinated by the types of people that are behind the wheel as the work attracts individuals from all walks of life. I am also impressed by how simple, scalable, and practical your solution is. I for one would love to learn more about what my drivers are passionate about as I am sure it would lead to some interesting conversations. Thanks for sharing!

Below is a video posted by an Uber driver speaking about his perspective on gratitude. I thought it was interesting given the context of this solution.

Photo of James Getomer

Hey Kenny,

I love that video - super relevant, and wow, that driver has a really amazing perspective to share on gratitude. One of the drivers I spoke with had a similar "you get back what you give" attitude that seemed to instill him with a sustainable sense of gratitude and kept him happy during the ups and downs of life. That makes me wonder if an additional angle to take in this challenge could be around publicizing the positive effects of adopting a grateful attitude, and practical strategies on how to do so.

Anyway, thank you so much for your comment, I really appreciate it!

Photo of Isaac Wang

I think this is a wonderful idea. Having been on several Uber rides myself, I personally tip more on rides that I have meaningful conversations with. I think incorporating pictures and personal memorabilia is a great way to spark conversation. However, there are some customers who look at Uber as merely a service and not an experience. There have been instances where I was tired and wasn't in the mood the chat at all. How can you implement this idea without imposing on other customer's desires to keep to themselves? With that being said, I think you have a great idea. I hope you bring this idea to experimentation and would be really interested to see the data behind this.

Photo of James Getomer

Hi Iasaac, thanks for the comments! I totally feel you on not wanting to engage in conversations at times. My thought was that by simply displaying a photo / sticker or two on the dashboard (or digitally), riders would have an easy way to start a meaningful conversation if they wanted to, but could also choose to simply stay quiet. I'm feeling some pull to "gamify" the experience, incentivize it, etc. but to your point, it might be better to use a light touch and give people space to engage or ignore. Drivers probably get tired of talking sometimes too!

Photo of OpenIDEO

Hi James Getomer ,

Excited to see you sharing your idea. Is there any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there.

Lastly, this page contains resources that you may find helpful in developing your concept:

Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.

Photo of James Getomer

Thanks for the great thoughts Alyssa! I could absolutely see a digital component playing a role here. It could simply pull in info from social media so the driver doesn't have to create custom content for their app, or it could be its own custom profile on the ridesharing app if drivers want more control over the content.

Photo of Alyssa Newton

Hi James,

Great idea! I think that anytime we are able to learn something about an individual, it can assist in feeling more comfortable with the person and situation, and becomes slightly more than just a service (or a ride in your case). Could your idea also translate onto the actual car sharing app profile of the individual? So when a rider is looking for a driver, they also get a tidbit of personal information, sort of breaking that barrier in selecting a stranger to transport them. Maybe it could be a Snapchat or recent post they shared on social media...

I also just received an email from Uber with the below message -
'The best way to say thank you'
"Give your driver a chance to go to the next football game with an All Star Compliment. Your thank you automatically enters their name for a chance to score tickets to a NFL game."

So many adding to your idea is connecting with the ride sharing companies to help fulfill the drivers' passions? Just a thought.