ABOUT THIS IDEA
With a full 1/3 of workers in the US working as part of the 'gig' economy, we focused on these sometimes lonely and isolating jobs to let those who aren't officially part of a company but do a lot for the bottom line know they are important and appreciated.
This idea is focused on independent workers hired by an app such as Lyft, Uber, Postmates, Wag!, or the like. It would be built into existing worker apps and client apps used by the company. These examples will focus on Lyft and Uber for simplicity, but they could be used elsewhere.
- Gives a quick/simple prompt to the rider of something to appreciate about the driver (i.e., "It's Frank's one-month anniversary driving for Uber. Ask him how it's going!", or "Did you know Lee once played bass in a Johnny Cash lookalike band?"). Our research showed that drivers and other gig workers in the same vein feel unseen by the people they drive around or serve. This would give the rider a chance to ask a question and spark feelings of connectedness.
- Those same prompts of interesting details about drivers will pop up on Uber Corporate worker's desks, or will be used to start each meeting. This will remind corporate that they are working with real people with real lives and real concerns. Corporate workers will be given a chance to write a thank-you note to a driver whose details spark gratitude for them, which will show up in the driver's app.
- At the end of the passenger's ride, any 5-star experience (or maybe a random smattering of them) would offer the rider the chance to gift an extra $1 tip (on Uber's dime) to their driver or enter their driver in a lottery for a bigger payout, simply by writing a sentence of thanks for how the driver made their day better. Drivers in our research stated that that little extra money made them feel good that the passenger bothered to press that button, and that they felt good when people appreciated the work they did for them. Research also shows that people who give gratitude also feel better about themselves and their experiences.
- At the end of each day, drivers see a swirling collage of photos of the people they drove that day, and one or two of the best comments from their reviews.
This feature reminds the driver that they made a difference for so many people that day, and lets them end the day on a note of feeling appreciated. How you end an experience vastly colors how you view it. It would give the drivers a feeling of good will towards both the company and their role in it.
Experience map below:
This experience map takes you through the interaction points that Bobby experiences from starting his driving shift to the end with the new feature.
Day to day: Bobby drives part time on weeknights after work for some extra income and to meet people around the city. He wants to feel that he is making an impact by connecting with people and taking them where they need to go. He enjoys the conversations he has while taking people to their destinations, though he wishes there was a more genuine way to spark the interaction.
Priorities, next steps and opportunities for iterative improvement:
- Challenge #1: Create prompt or questions that are open-end and easy to answer.
Team Response: Integrate more generic and relatable questions. The intent is to move a bit further than asking about weather conditions or vacations plans. Gratitude happens when we know people a bit deeper and personally, without intruding but certainly to a point were relatability can occur.
- Challenge #2: Address impersonal or detached experiences.
Team Response: We believe platforms like Lyft already share where the driver is from, their favorite music, their occupations, or aspirations. We’ve noticed this often doesn’t get populated in the app, as it is not a requirement for the either driver or rider. Therefore, we would first propose a change that requires the user to add context and personality to the driver. The more we know a person, the easier it can be to show gratitude!
- Challenge #3: Faces can be problematic per privacy reasons. Also, many riders do not include a picture in their own profile.
Team Response: To add depth and personality to a rider (as well as an added layer of security), we could recommend every person require to have a photograph taken, even if it is from their ID.
- Challenge #4: Most people don’t leave comments
- Team Response: This could actually be an area of opportunity since adding an element of common ground through prompts would encourage engagement across the application.
- Challenge #5: Drivers often log in and out of the app
- Team Response: The message prompt will come up only once a day, and it would be due at a certain amount accumulated hours. This part presents obstacles as we wouldn’t be able to control if a rider will log in again, and surely we wouldn’t want the pop up to show up all the time.
- Challenge #6: Drivers are distracted throughout the course of their shift
- Team Response: We could interact with the user through a non-visual cue, like an audio prompt. The prompt could be presented on the Lyft Amp device or simply flash on the screen prior to pickup.