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jetBlue Flight App Prototype

Challenge
The jetBlue app was a quick, 2-page prototype I threw together for an interview with Sapient Razorfish. JetBlue wants to update their flight app to be more modern and accommodating to their users – I was given 24 hours to come up with a clickable prototype. 

Action
Lacking time and resources, I downloaded some competitor flight apps and did some competitive analysis. Then I came up with a hypothesis, did some sketching, and designed the app in Axure. 

Result
I was able to do some brief user testing with friends and family. Sapient Razorish must have liked it, because they gave me the job 🙂

Discovery

Competitive Analysis
Since I didn’t have time to do a full contextual inquiry and analysis, I downloaded a few other flight apps, including Southwest and American Airlines to understand what they thought user needs would be, what things seemed to be successful, and what things could be improved. I also downloaded the current jetBlue app to see where jetBlue stood currently.

Most airline apps seemed to focus on:
• flight check in
• flight status
• booking
• managing flights
• special offers

Room for Improvement
In my mind, “flight status” and “flight check in” were a part of “flight management”. It made more sense to combine these tasks into one easily accessible page revolving around a user’s already booked flights. By delivering a user their booked flights on the home screen, users could quickly see their flight status as well as check-in or perform other management tasks related to a specific ticket.

Points Programs
Many flight apps only addressed their own points programs in advertising. I would like to be able to quickly see how many miles I have and be able to act on that information quickly. I think it’s safe to say that stakeholders would want users to do be able to do the same thing.This lead to my hypotheses, pictured below. I assumed some user needs as well as some stakeholder needs.

Design

Thinking About Context of Use
Airports are busy stressful places, and I decided that keeping the information architecture as shallow as possible was probably a pretty good bet. This meant delivering as much user-pertinent information on the home screen (or just below it) as possible without inundating the user or requiring tedious user input. The design assumes a user login is already saved in the app, and information is accessible.

Homescreen Design
Although “flight booking” seemed to have a lower priority in competitive analysis, keeping the information architecture shallow would require it be given more screen real estate. I also assumed that the stakeholder would have no problem with giving “flight booking” a little more prominence. As long as the other user-desired options like “flight status” was still easily accessible, this seemed like a small concession. Ideally, the booking information would be easy to open or hide like the rest of the user options (think of a drawer made out of javascript). I sketched out a few rough ideas for layout and interaction flow.

Information Architecture
The interactive jetBlue Prototype that I came up with focuses on flight management, since this was only a two page prototype, and I felt the best improvements could be made in that area.

In my design, all user tickets are viewable in a drawer on the home screen under the heading, “My Booked Flights”. From this drawer, users will be alerted to changes in flight status on a per-ticket basis and be able to select the ticket to perform a variety of management options on that ticket in the next screen, including checking in, changing seats, adding miles, getting policy info, etc.

This is a much cleaner way of presenting the user with this information, avoids tedious input, and keeps the architecture shallow.

I realized that not all users may be checking the flight status of an already booked flight, so I added a flight status drawer on the home screen for users who may need to know flight status in order to pick someone up at the airport.

I also added a drawer for the jetBlue points program that would allow users to see their balance, redeem points and earn points.

result

Evaluation
Given the time constraints and the depth of the prototype, the evaluation phase was pretty minimal. I was able to put the app in front of a few friends and family that flew frequently, but the feedback was mostly positive.

The high fidelity mock-up is a good start and would definitely benefit from more user research and usability testing. It would be nice to flesh out some of the other interactions, like flight booking or handling user points. In hindsight, there are a few options in the flight management page that could be added like changing a flight, or contacting the airline.

Overall, however, I think this is a vastly more efficient information architecture than what is typically presented in airline apps.