Fostering Meaningful Relationships with Driver-partners Through Strategic Design

The Challenge

As both a pioneer of the sharing economy and an original startup unicorn, Uber has earned an unrivalled notoriety in the tech industry and beyond. Uber’s continued influence on the transportation industry and our daily lives is undeniable—operating in 600+ cities, the company completed an astounding four billion rides in 2017 alone, and continues to test the boundaries of mobility with the likes of autonomous vehicles and urban air transport.

But as evidenced by Uber’s recent leadership and regulatory challenges, fulfilling rider demand for always-on, immediate access creates physical, financial and emotional strain on the millions of driver-partners who deliver that service. Recognizing this, Uber has embarked on a mission to invest in the driver-partner experience.

The first step in this journey was to reimagine and redesign the Uber Greenlight Program—a network of 500+ physical locations that serve driver-partners during onboarding and support moments—to create a more purposeful, positive and human experience that celebrates their contribution to the platform.

We asked: How can Uber leverage its physical support locations beyond servicing functional needs, to create emotional connection, recognition and a sense of place for driver-partners?

The Key Insight

The Greenlight Hubs needed an overarching engagement strategy and experience design. As the sole physical manifestation of the Uber brand, these spaces possessed untapped potential to activate a full-spectrum Uber experience—digital, environmental and human—throughout the driver journey, rather than being reserved for discrete troubleshooting moments.

We worked with Uber and design agency Local Projects to develop a strategy focused on elevating driver-partners’ individual identity and purpose, and an Experience Playbook to guide the transformation of Greenlight Hubs nationwide.

To bring this vision to life, we took inspiration from a very different type of experience: the member’s club. By studying clubs and clubhouses across a diverse set of industries and geographies—from the Harley Owners Group to Soho House—we defined a set of core principles to guide development of the driver engagement model, digital resources and the built environment. The result is an Uber clubhouse and community designed for people who are always in motion.

The Outcome

Uber opened their first re-designed Greenlight Hub in 2018, in Washington D.C., with another in Seattle following closely. The Washington location serves thousands of driver-partners weekly, a significant increase from their previous Forestville location, acting as a meetup point for drivers and offering them an opportunity to connect with the driver-partner community, take online classes, attend community events, leave feedback for corporate or just grab a cup of coffee. Additionally, Uber fast-tracked the development of mobile Driver Lounge trucks in Seattle and San Francisco, allowing the Greenlight Hub experience to travel to the Drivers, meeting them where and when they need it most and extending the range of service.

The re-designed Greenlight Hub launched in Washington and Seattle in 2018, with development of mobile Driver Lounge trucks fast-tracked for San Francisco.
Cookies settings were saved successfully!