The Power of User Experience Design: An Experiment with NYC Cabs

June 5, 2012

An article in Fast Company, How Touch-Screen Buttons Netted NYC Cabbies A Cool $144M, helps explain the power of user experience design. According to the New York Times, for those New York City cab drivers who have credit card machines in their cabs with default tip options, their tips increased from 10% to 22% on average. The rider is presented with only three buttons for adding a tip: 20%, 25%, and 30%. The key to this is that it doesn’t give you the option to tip less than the standard amount of 20%; however, if you really wanted to, you could enter the amount manually.

The user interface is intended to make it easier for the riders, while also having a positive impact on cab drivers – a win-win situation. As designers, we seek to not only improve the user experience, but also the bottom line for all stakeholders. You can read the full article here.

NYC Cab User Interface (Photo from

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