Starting my career as a computer programmer, one of the things I often seek is to achieve is the state of Flow. Remember the last time you were so deeply engrossed in an activity that you lost all track of time, all your senses were focussed towards that single thing and nothing else mattered. This euphoric, effortless and deeply satisfying state of mind is often termed as “Flow

Whilst in flow:

  • You are intensely focussed on what you’re doing.
  • Time melts away. Hours go by in what might seem like mere minutes.
  • You know what needs to be done in order to progress and achieve your goal.
  • The activity itself feels rewarding, you do it for the craft alone and all external incentives disappear.

Those who have mastered a particular skill will be familiar with the feelings described above. You see flow turns work into play and some would even say that flow is the deepest form of happiness!

Flow is what enabled the likes of Michelangelo to birth creations like David. Effort takes a backseat when your mind is in flow, as you chisel slowly at the task at hand. Flow is everywhere: figure skaters, skiers, painters, programmers, and athletes are all capable of experiencing flow.

So is a taxi dispatch controller.

While creating the new dispatch experience, I was determined to finding an interface that enables flow!

High Skill vs High Challenge

In pursuit of flow the first and the most important dynamic we stumbled across was measuring teamwork in complex socio-technical systems. The high performers in these systems often experience flow.

During our discovery and gap analysis phase we visited several taxi companies and made a very interesting observation - taxi dispatch controllers operate a very high skill level - suffice to achieve flow. They process several variables at the same time and constantly make decisions based on those variables. The decisions have a real time impact and quite often the impact represents the micro-reward.

More importantly, they spend several hours on a dispatch interface and hence our new dispatch should have the following basics covered:

👨🏻‍💻 Distraction free interface

Important information should be visible without any distractions. The layout should be minimalistic yet informational - Good design is as little design as possible!

⚡️Clear and immediate feedback

Even milliseconds matter. 100ms is the threshold at which interactions feel instantaneous. The New Dispatch uses cutting edge technologies on your browser to manage a lot of data locally, reducing network call to our servers.

💡Knowing what to do next and knowing how to do it

Hesitation is the flow killer. On New Dispatch users inherently know their next action and an obvious way of executing it. (The One Box - more on this later...)

💪🏽 Match high challenge with high skill

When skill exceeds challenge, users feel relaxed or bored. When challenge exceeds skill, users feel anxious or worried. Quite clearly in our case the high skill needed to be matched with high challenge.

With these basic principles underlined, we started developing a product that will put our users in flow. Our goal is to make the entire experience of taxi dispatching effortless and satisfying.

Stay tuned to know about our second biggest motivation behind the New Dispatch experience.

Come join us for an exciting demo of what the future of taxi dispatch looks like.

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Based in London, Cab9 is a cloud-based business management tool for taxi and chauffeuring firms. The innovative design & powerful capabilities allow Cab9 users to communicate with their businesses in a seamless manner. We at Cab9 have been working on re-inventing taxi dispatch. Join us on this web…