jetBlue Flight App Prototype
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.
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.
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 🙂
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
• 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.