The title of this column must have caught your eye. Regardless of your point of view on Uber, these four letters now mean the world in international taxi business.
Just the word Uber alone might have been the reason for you to start reading. This title was designed to do just that. So, what is uber good design –yes, without capital– or in other words super good design? Good design, whether it is an office chair, a taxi app, taxi service or taxi vehicle, consists of many ingredients. Like a dish in a Michelin-Starred restaurant all ingredients need to be added just right. Proper design can make or break your very business. Let me illustrate my statement with a real life example from the taxi world. An example of good design, on many different levels. A project very well executed. So well executed it is known around the world:The London Taxi.
No taxi vehicle is recognised more than the London Black Cab. If the ochre roof light drives around the corner on a rainy evening in a dark London street tourists, business people or locals, everybody knows: ‘I will be fine, these drivers can be trusted.’ That is the power of design.
And the hymn does not stop there. The vehicle itself, as a usable product, is designed solely for that goal – it is purpose-built. The London taxi fleet is the only one in the world that is fully accessible to disabled people. Not a couple of the London taxis are accessible, no, all of them. Another important design term is key to that success: inclusive design. It applies an understanding of customer diversity to the design of mainstream products. Designing with this larger user group in mind -old, young, wheelchair-bound, abled-bodied, partly sighted, fully blind, arthritis patient, drunk teenager, busy business man- will better satisfy the needs of more people using the product.
The world is not standing still though. It is moving faster than ever. So is the taxi world and the world of design. The London taxi was unbeatable and had a monopoly for 30 years. The design was left largely unchanged.
Read more at Taxi times Print-Issue.