Prototyping a digital taxi licensing service


  1. Project outputs
  2. Project timeline

Taxi drivers and companies require a licence to operate. To acquire and retain their licences they need to know what information to provide and when, to ensure the licences they hold remain valid and lawful. Licence holders interact with these processes intermittently and struggle to take appropriate action independently and at the right time.

Licensing staff meet this need by contacting licence holders, by phone or email, to notify them when information or tasks are due. This situation has challenges in communication and invariably leads to errors, lost time and frustration for both licence holders and licensing teams. In acute cases this can result in taxi drivers unable to work.

Research shows that licence holders expect all this to be possible online but no collaborator has found a viable market solution to meet this need.

This alpha project, led by Rushmoor Borough Council, will test a prototype licensing service to see if it meets user needs and is scalable.

Project outputs

The alpha phase will:

  • create a research plan to test the five hypothesis of the alpha phase
  • map user journeys for each Licensing service, create user stories, prioritise user needs and product capabilities for prototyping
  • explore collaborator technical environments, requirements and constraints, including council DDaT team needs for digital service implementation
  • explore differences in needs, priorities, processing and technology and their potential impact on service/product design and implementation
  • test technical and non-technical concepts and prototypes with stakeholders as appropriate including licence holders, licensing officers, support system administrators and suppliers
  • document our research, participation, prototypes, testing, results and findings in a final user research report
  • create an interactive, shareable, tested digital service prototype for each collaborator
  • identify measures required to optimise and evaluate the product, including the user experience, to support iterative improvement
  • present project conclusions with next steps and product roadmap
  • produce a benefits case for any potential beta project
  • create shareable communication media throughout

Project timeline

March 2023

The project is awarded £138,150 in funding through Round 6 of the Local Digital Fund to begin an alpha phase.

July 2023

The Rushmoor project team launched the alpha project with a hybrid kick-off on 11 and 12 July. Representatives from their four partners attended the session to understand taxi licensing issues and achieve cross-council alignment. Zaizi facilitated the sessions over two days, resulting in a number of problem hypotheses and an agreed problem statement.

Rushmoor’s hybrid kick-off session

The problem statement is: ‘We believe that digitising the taxi “Manage my licence” service will improve outcomes by simplifying the service. It will create a sense of ownership for licence holders and streamline the business process.’

They also established product success metrics for measuring the value of the digital service. Following this, a series of User Research (UR) workshops have been conducted and initial discussions on stakeholder engagement and service mapping have begun.

Rushmoor’s product success metrics

They’ve also scheduled interviews with the licensing teams to understand the pain points, needs and inefficiencies of the service. They’re excited about the learning ahead and thankful for the expertise and commitment shown by their alpha partners.

September 2023

The Rushmoor project team has conducted their initial research and begun analysing key themes, including licence management, council communication, and attitudes towards digital services.

As they enter the fourth of six sprints, their goals include planning the second round of user research and creating a prototype to envision the new service. To achieve this, they’re aiming to meet again with licence holders, specifically low digital users and licence holders with English as a second language. They plan to visit council offices and ranks in each area as many licence holders can’t attend remotely.

The team will also develop a prototype to gauge user interpretations and understand potential service variations among licence holders.