Simplyfing the user flow of the mobile app for travelers at Schiphol Airport
Flying is for a lot of people a stressful undertaking. The journey from/to the airport, queues at the check-in desks, security, a last minute gate change; it can be stressful. The Schiphol mobile app guides the user trough this process to make flying a less stressfull experience.
During my time employed at M2mobi, we were asked to simplify the user flow of the Schiphol Airport mobile app to help the user experience less stress while traveling to and trough the airport.
Our team consisted of 3 people. Me, Another UX designer and a Creative Director. Within this project I was involved in almost all steps of the process: ideation, information architecture, wireframing and prototyping.
1 ux designer 1 Creative director
In the years that M2mobi worked on the Schiphol app a lot of functionalities were added to support the travel experience of the user. One of the projects I worked on myself was Schiphol Parking. Besides that there was a lot of other functionality in the app such as: taxi reservation, Schiphol Now (shopping), Search flights, Flight details, indoor wayfinding, Buss and train information, Customs information and user accounts.
The app became bloated, because of all the functionality we added over the years, was just stacked in a hamburger menu. To find a solution for this problem we started a design sprint of a week to come up with new ideas to improve the user flow and make the app less bloated
To understand how we could improve the user flow, we first needed to do research into the current user flow to identify the pain points. We started with creating a map of the current primary user flow to look for potential pain points or problems a user can have navigating trough the app.
We identified multiple points to improve upon in the current user flow. We found that the:
Based on our findings, we hypothesised that the homesceen needed to be redesigned to simplify the user flow, because it lacked functionality and relevant information. Instead, the current flight detail screen should become the homescreen because there was all the information the user needed, and from there we could guide the user to the rest of the functionalities in the app when relevant.
We started looking at the flight detail screen to see what information and functionality is minimal needed for the user and what functionality is secondair.
After we got a good understanding of what functionality and information is important to show to the user we started brainstorming what functionality is relevant and when. Because relevance can differ based on the physical context and time we created a map with different points in time working up to going to checking in at the gate.
The map we made based on context and time, showed us that the user’s location data can be very interesting to use to show and hide certain functionality to improve relevance. We already had access to the GPS location of the user, bluetooth and Wifi which we use for Indoor wayfinding. Parking reservation, bus, taxi or train information is relevant when the user is not at the airport yet, but on the airport it is not that relevant anymore, while indoor wayfinding, the current flight status and shopping will.
The next step we took was to sketch out the new user flow, which functionalites to show and when, and how the new homescreen should look like.
While we were sketching out the new user flow new design questions came up.
Based on technical feasibility we explored the different solutions and sketched out the user flows. Then we discussed and decided the most feasible solution for this new user flow using a "dot vote" method with different stakeholders from relevant Schiphol departments.
We started prototyping based on the sketches of the new flow identified. We created a mid-fidelity prototype with Proto.io to evaluate on that. We recruited a total of 5 participants at Schiphol Airport who had used the Schiphol app already. Sessions were conducted at Schiphol Airport Plaza and each session lasted around 20 minutes.
Our goals for the testing were to:
Based on our findings during the usability test, we found that the new user flow was an improvement to the app. During the usability test it was not possible to know if people experience less stress while traveling trough the airport, But our participants liked the new user flow.
After making design improvements, working out all the secondary flows, information acrhitecture and design documents, we launched the new user flow a couple of months later. Below are some user reviews we found in the app store.
“App is faster and clearer after redesign! Finally a useful app that adds something.”
“Super app! also works perfectly on my iPhone 6. Handy for checking flights quickly. Compliments for the designers”
“Used this app for the first time. A very handy app. If you have added your flight, you will be warned if there are changes. Gradually I discovered more and more in the app, for example a map of Schiphol with the walking route and time to the gate.”