Changi Airport is Asia’s—and probably world’s—leading airport. It’s the most important air hub in South East Asia, and an example to regional international airports. Their existing app is quite a standard airport app with directory of tenants & public facilities, flight information, offer or shopping information with an outdated interface & experience. Changi Airport approached Ice House, my former employer, to do a pitch. We came up with several prototyping rounds and ideas to propose a novel approach to airport app experience, which elevates not only technology itself, but by having a strong empathy to world travelers, aligning with Changi’s business propositions.
My role is to lead the design process, starting from sketching, wireframing to designing & prototyping the user interface. I work with a Business/UX Analyst, and a Project Manager, a Program Manager and the senior management (CEO and COO). Because this is an initial pitch, we didn’t need engineer to prototype. I also attended meetings in Changi Airport to present our ideas and gather requirements.
Our goal is to empathize with world travelers transiting in Changi Airport. We want them to experience the most seamless transit experience with a mobile app, and we’d like the app to be proactive. On the sides, we’d also like to cater regular visitors — which is not surprising for Changi Airport. It’s about the only airport visited casually for its wide array of dining options.
We want to stay away from the regular airport app model: a brochure, static, boring, passive app that is waiting there to never be used. Travelers can always look up for flight information somewhere, they can navigate the airport alright with existing physical signage system, or they can shop directly by moving around. Even without a guide!
We’d like the app to proactively offer a seamless recommendation. We’d like it to be a small, effective and smart recommendation engine that caters for user’s needs. By user needs we’d like to think of pressing transit times — what to offer in limited time range?
I normally follow this process: 1. Discovery, 2. Concept, 3. Wireframing, 4. Design, 5. Prototyping and 6. Iteration.
With Discovery, I discuss with fellow team members, do background research online, make presentations to the team, talk to customers. Find the problems and what we have done in the past that worked and didn’t.
With Concept, I write down the findings from Discovery and make quick sketches, then present again to the team.
With Wireframing, I take the quick sketch into digitized wireframes that show the basic level of information architecture and interaction flow.
With Design, I take the wireframes to the next level and add details, including colors, shapes, illustrations, icons and others.
With Prototyping, I work with a Flinto prototype.
With Iteration, I work with the whole team and client to fine-tune every little detail to perfection.
We want the app to be a recommendation engine with a minimal input. By signing in or scanning your boarding pass, we’d like to generate a recommendation of things to enjoy at the airport. Changi is dubbed the world’s best for transit with its wide array of dining, shopping and family-friendly activities.
Depending on the time range of transit, time of day and location, travelers can receive various recommendations to eat, shop, exercise, rest or just have fun. Watch movies, visit one of the indoor parks, dine, shop for chocolates. The option is endless. All this while accounting for your boarding gates and the travel time needed. Not to mention, with existing integration to Changi Airport’s amazing APIs, we can actually detect the traveler’s position and guide them through.