Why I wanted to do this project
This was the main project for my UX research and design course.
The diploma course offered by the UX Design Institute of Ireland UXDI was my first formal education in UX design.
After creating the Drive Safe and DapDap apps, I realised that what I really love Is creating apps, seeing how people use it, benefit from it, and how I can improve it. The coding to me was just a bi product. At times I enjoyed coding, and being creative at how I structured it, but sometimes it was torture!
I hated getting taken away from designing the app itself and getting stuck fixing issues on the terminal not even related to the apps usability. It was actually only about 6 months before I took the UX course, that I become aware of the word "UX" and realised this is actually what I had been doing all along and loved!
1. Research: The Problem
In order to discover what problems users had when booking flights, I first had to:
Research what it was like to use other airlines apps,
conduct surveys to find out the needs and pain points of users.
observe users using the apps to see what difficulties they came across.
Competitive benchmark of other Airline Apps
Looking at a lot of different airlines was very insightful and fun.
To select the Airlines I wanted to analyse, I looked up the most profitable airlines in the world, and chose a few from the top. I wanted to see would the top airlines equally have the best app experiences.
Skyscanner (We were requested to choose a non airline flight booking service)
Survey on users overall flight experience
I wasn't surprised with some of the responses I received with the survey, although it was great to solidify the thoughts of the users in one place.
Extract from survey responses.
Usability Testing of Ryanair and
Aer Lingus Airline Apps
Note Taking Project
(These notes were taking for a different usability study not the one recorded above.)
From these research methods, I got a better understanding of the users needs, experiences,
And their problems.
Top 3 problem mentioned during survey
Clarity of booking process.
People also about talked about the clarity of the booking process and wished that
It was clearer what options you had and what options you selected.
i.e what was the total price and what did that include.
Lack of trust in airlines. People were wary of Airlines trying to increase price at every chance. People did not like seeing lots of extras fees being added on by the end of the booking.
During usability testing of different apps with the same user, I chose **Ryanair and Aer Lingus. It became clear which parts were problematic and also showed places where the app genuinely tried to be misleading!
Previously Ryanair had a terrible reputation for poor customer service, website ease of use and passengers fearing constant additional charges being added onto their ticket. Since 2018 Ryanair has completely turned things around and now have a brilliant app. Someone Internally must of been able to get buy in to how critical good UX is. You can read more in this Article.
Aer Lingus being misleading
Requesting the user to tick the box if they Do not want to receive special offer emails, where normal convention is to tick the box if You do want to receive special offer emails.
From this I concluded that I should make an app that had a clear booking process split up into distinct stages and focus on providing good clear communication.
Customer journey map
View Prototype here
5. Challenges I faced during the project
I wanted to create an app where you do the entire booking progress Just by using your voice, just like as if you were in a travel agency speaking to a real travel agent! The voice app design was one I did not pursue because I didn't feel I had enough time to test it.
Limited degree of functionality with the prototype
Some users got confused using the Figma when told they could not select any option they wanted and were forced to select predefined options in the prototype.
7. What I learned
It’s important to understand why travellers want to make the trip as this will influence all of their decisions when booking the flight and also consider the
users entire experience from:
When they start thinking of booking and checking prices and dates.
How will they get to the airport.
Going through security.
Arriving in the airport and picking up luggage.
Getting from airport to their destination.
Research can provide a lot learning in a short length of time.
A great thing about UX Research is that it encourages you to find ways to learn
the most about users and their problems in the shortest time and with as little money as possible. Below are good example of this:
I learned the UX Process
UX Research & Design Course Project:
Design a mobile app for booking flights
"There are a total of 16 projects in the diploma designed to give you hands-on experience of all the key aspects of UX. Each project is part of a single case study: researching, designing, and prototyping a website or a mobile app for a new airline."
Usability test of existing apps.
Customer journey map,
Flow diagram for mobile,
Interaction design for mobile,
Prototype for mobile,
Usability test for a mobile prototype.
Wireframe for mobile
UX Researcher & Designer Student
Mobile App (Figma)
July 2020 - March 2021
This project was split into 4 main parts Research, Analysis, Concept and Design. I Started by looking at other Airline apps and websites to see how they worked. I carried out user surveys and usability testing to get a understanding of the users experience and pain points.
I analyzed the data I gathered, and created affinity diagrams and customer journey maps to create a clearer picture of what their experience, likes and pain points were and to single out which areas were most problematic and what could be improved. I concluded that price was the top concern for users and that they wanted to know exactly what they were getting for the price paid.
I created a prototype focusing on providing good communication to let the user know exactly what their fare included at each stage by having distinct sections for each part of the booking, i.e Select Airports, Select Dates and Times, Select Extras and Review & Pay. I did more usability testing with the new prototype and found that it took users less time and were less stressed than using some of the existing Airline apps.
UX Designer & App Creator
My First App: Drive Safe, an app to stop you being distracted by your phone ringing while driving.
Too many people are being distracted by their phone while driving. Statistics showed that texting while driving made you 23 times more likely to crash. I created an app that could automatically detect when you are driving and then put your phone on silent and auto reply incoming calls/texts to say you were driving.
Innovation in Road Safety, Road Safety Authority Ireland, 2016.
Top 10 young outstanding people in Ireland, JCI Ireland, 2017.
Used by over 30,000 people around the world.