Happy Ride


Innovation for the Taxi in Hong Kong

This group project, as part of the course “Strategic Design Regional Case Studies” of my Master’s Degree studies, was to draw on and integrate insights acquired to conduct research and analysis on the current situation of the taxi industry in Hong Kong, and then seek to propose an elaborate design-driven proposal to create news products, services or business models.

The proposal is a sustainable taxi service system design for Hong Kong through an inclusive design approach which enhances the user experience, benefits the drivers through its aesthetically appealing look and also helps to promote ‘Brand Hong Kong’ on the global platform.


In this project, we used the design approach “Discover-Define-Develop-Deliver” to conduct the whole design procedure. In the discovery stage we used a descriptive value web to provide a visualization of the current business and relationships between stakeholders, and the Trend Matrix to analyze and try to think about the possible direction of the service. In the define phase, we refined our insights and used the needs map.

We chose to focus on the implicit needs. In the development phase, a system map was a good way to represent all the stakeholders but also the new partners that would play an important role in our new business proposal. Lastly, for the delivery phase, we used the value framework to represent how our proposal could evolve meaningful innovations, and which value it brings.

We had to keep in mind all the constraints of a current business, and find a solution which is possible to implement. The proposal considered what the HK government is able to do, and how we can introduce new stakeholders which can provide an attractive and sustainable new business plan for HK taxis.


We conducted a field visit in order to understand users’ activities and experiences from their perspectives. We took a trip down to Wanchai to interview drivers and users. We interviewed two groups, Cantonese speakers and non-Cantonese speakers, to understand their pain points and experience of using taxis in HK.

The taxi is the driver’s workspace where they spend long hours, but the current driver environment does not provide the necessary comfort and amenities.
Unlike the driver, passengers only spend a short time in the cab and have different physical, mental, visual and cognitive needs when they are using the service.

Ethnographic Interviews

“It took to me a long time to explain my destination to the driver.”
“I was not sure about how much time it will take for me to reach my destination and the route was so confusing.”


The proposed system provides a new business opportunity for Toyota helping it strengthen its brand. Their new EV/hybrid engine along with recycling old cars contributes to this sustainable process. Through a case scenario, we proposed design solutions to improve the user experience, and communication between customers and drivers.


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