This study was undertaken as part of the course work at the UX Design Institute, Scotland (2019). The goal, improve airline customer experience by leveraging the first touch point; the booking process. The exponential growth of mobile and the airline industry's interest in enhancing their digital experience, created a topical and useful framework from which to work.
An assessment of four airline booking apps (United, Delta, Aer Lingus & Eurowings) through usability testing, interviews and online surveys revealed three target areas for redesign and optimization:
Passenger Info Entry
Of target users open the app for 2 prime reasons:
Book a Flight (37%)
Check prices (32%)
The home screen was redesigned & tailored for these Common Use Cases.
Uncertainty among users when the airport code and city correlation were not obvious.
User doubt eliminated by including full city names, extending Field length.
Usability tests exemplified frustration, users searched the screen & menus looking to initiate a flight search.
This screen is now at the fore, Content over
Only 1 in 4 apps reviewed for this study auto-populated the origin field, despite 100% requesting location permission.
Origin field set to autofill, making full use of Location Service Capability.
“What's going on here...I don't remember seeing anywhere that this is a two stop flight. I'm done with this now”- Eurowing User
Users were greatly swayed by cost, typically selecting the least expensive option, above time, date and comfort.
During testing, the budget flight option often included a layover. On select booking apps, it was unclear which flight had a connection. In fact, users did not realize there was a layover until they began seat selection. They'd completed nearly 90% of the task before realizing they'd need to go back. And by then, their faith in the process was exhausted.
These Insights helped tailor information architecture on this screen, simple adjustments led the way to a cleaner interface with little room for customer doubt.
Cost given priority, large text, isolated from other flight details.
Each card starts with a direct flight or connecting flight symbol, placed on the left side to facilitate quick scanning and interpretation. These changes eliminated any layover confusion; during the prototype testing phase, users immediately connected the significance of each symbol.