In the wake of recent pressure to find sustainable methods of transport, Pan Am sees an opportunity opening up for an urban mobility experience that’s a cut above the usual.
They plan on launching a new service line of Air Taxis, providing fast, local, sustainable air travel. To do this, they have leased a new fleet of fully electric, five-seater jets (4 passengers and 1 pilot), allowing people to travel a maximum distance of 300 km in less than an hour with zero-emissions.
This is Pan Am's first commercially available product since their collapse in 1991, and they want to make a strong comeback. For that they will need a next-level user experience for their core digital flow involving the booking and online check-in of flights.
Disclaimer: While we're not too far from this future, this whimsical brief was developed for one of my personal projects. I am not affiliated with Pan Am in any capacity.
Until now, urban mobility by air hasn't been readily available or accessible to the general population. I needed to understand the current industry landscape, as well as people's current travel behaviors in order to design a solution that was intuitive and familiar.
A competitive analysis, survey and 1-on-1 interviews with regular travelers helped me understand the pains and gains of booking travel online. Using the data I gathered, I developed a persona and empathy map that would be my touchstones in the design process.
After coding the information from the survey and 1-on-1 interviews, I was able to understand our traveler's priorities.
In the case of Jess Holloway, the Frequent Flyer, knowing she was getting the best deal on price and the ability to use miles to purchase tickets were at the top of her priority list.
What matters most to Cris Alvarado, however, is flight schedule. He wants to be able to get to his meeting in the next city and wrap up in time to get home and have dinner with his wife and young kids.
With that in mind, I could start determining what the minimum viable product would look like, and which features would need to be built out first.
With all the priorities in order, it was time to start building the user flows. How were our personas going to be moving the through each step to reach their goals?
Referring back to my initial research was instrumental in helping me understand what mattered to travelers most, and when.
With an understanding of what features we needed in place, it was time to start sketching ideas for what that might look like. Statistics show that over 70% of travelers prefer to book their flights on desktop devices, versus mobile. Because of this, it made sense to focus on the Desktop screens when ideating the booking flow. Mobile would come in handy for the check-in flow.
Through out the process, I validated my ideas with travelers. With a mid-fidelity prototype ready to go, I began testing the flows to determine three main things:
During testing I got lots of really helpful feedback from the user. One thing that became immediately clear was that the concept of of a 5-seater jets, was not obvious. Most people believed they were booking a seat on a regular flight.
With the priority revisions done, I used the news screens to build a new, updated prototype, ready for a second round of testing to validate the solutions.
View the interactive mid-fidelity prototype here.
Making a strong comeback after over 20 years is no easy feat. Pan Am needed a to reevaluate their brand, adding a more modern feel while keeping the essence of it alive.
The promise of the Pan Am brand is a promise of an elevated, thoughtful experience. The brand values are as follows: Elevated, playful, hip and aspirational (but not "luxury").
With the new visual identity created, I was able to create high-fidelity screens and a high-fidelity prototype, ready for a second round of testing and validation.
With the priority revisions implemented, based on the feedback received during initial tests, it's time to test again (and again!).
Launching a new service line of fully electric 5-seaters jets, to serve as Air Taxis, is an ambitious and innovative endeavor. As such, there will be many complexities to consider, outside of the booking experience.
One of the biggest challenges I faced in this project was educating users about the 5-seater jets as they went through the booking process; it was not immediately obvious to how that would change the transportation experience for them.
Next steps would include considering how users might learn about safety and protocols in these new 5-seater jets or how a mobile app might complement the online booking experience.