Duration: 3 weeks | Team: 2

Airports are bustling environments where all kinds of people go to travel from one place to another. The traveler’s most crucial information lies on his plane ticket and hence the ticket needs to be designed in a manner in which all kinds of people can understand the details it presents. The current Delta ticket has all the information but does not present it in a clear and consistent manner.

Some of the inconsistencies are:
1. Inefficient use of space
2. Unclear information hierarchy
3. Lack of attention to the different audiences it serves

This redesign is an attempt to overcome the inconsistencies observed in the current ticket and to cater to the problems faced by different user groups while using air tickets.

Design ideation, user research, sketching, prototyping, visual design and communication of the ideas.


Understanding the problem

We started off by looking at current and previous versions of the Delta ticket and listing down the different elements of information that compose the ticket (Time, source, destination, personal details, barcode etc.). They were approximately 15 in number.

Shown below is the current Delta ticket:

Following that, we identified the different stakeholders involved with the usage of air tickets:
1. Passenger
2. TSA official
3. Delta official

The next step was to create personas and usecases for each of the stakeholders, as listed below:
1. Frequent flyer
Consultant at Deloitte: Andy is an IT Risk Analyst at Deloitte who leads the typical consultant life, travelling weekly for work from Atlanta to New York and back. Being a frequent flyer, he likes to show up just in time at the airport and travels light with just one carry on. He is well versed with the check in procedure and is most concerned about the boarding time.

2. Infrequent flyer
International (Indian) student: Sonam is travelling to Atlanta for her graduate studies. This is her first time flying solo on an international flight. She is extremely well prepared and has planned her travel weeks in advance. For her flight she would like the boarding pass to give a step-by-step guidance.

3. People with disabilities
Color blind elderly professor: Dr. Daniel is a professor at Georgia Tech who is travelling to San Fransisco for a conference. He has poor vision with a color blindness to green light. He is not new to travel but would want all the details to be listed in bold and big font for easy reading.

4. Flight officials
Flight official: Hannah is a check-in attendant who performs the repetitive task of verifying passengers’ information. She has 5 years of experience and knows exactly where to find the details she’s looking for.

Design ideation

After understanding the range of users that use air tickets, we had an intense brainstorming session, fueled with tea, coffee, post-it notes and snacks and came up with about 10 concepts for the re-design. These ideas ranged from enhancements to the existing form, alternate uses (e.g.bookmark) to product designs(e.g. keychain).

Iteration 1: Sketches

Iteration 1: Mockups

After sketching a number of options, we shortlisted 5 designs that we thought were most suited to our range of users:

1. Symmetrical ticket with equal weightage to information required by two broad users - TSA officials(left portion) and passengers (right portion). This way, the TSA official can look for the passenger's information effortlessly by just looking at the left side of the ticket and the remaining portion can be used by the passenger.

2. Iconography for infrequent travelers (Use case no. 2) and elderly people with poor vision (Use case no. 3) - Students traveling for the first few times are anxious and may find it easier to follow step-by-step instructions and clear icons that direct them to the respective areas around the airport. Elderly people with poor sight may find it difficult to read fine print and the use of well-organized icons with highlighted information and big text such as seat number and time of departure may be easier for them to follow.

3. Keychain or peel-off sticker - Frequent flyers may find it easier to attach a sticker to their phone or passport or even slip a thick ticket through their keychain hole. The idea was to present minimum yet important information that users can carry around conveniently.

4. Bookmark (alternate use) - A lot of passengers enjoy reading at airports and designing a bookmark-like ticket is something they can slip into their book or bag. The tear-off part required by the flight officials is facing in the reverse direction so that the ticket can still remain in the book while the official tears of that part.

5. Using color variation to section user type - This ticket uses simple color variations to make users understand where to look for what information. TSA officials will know to look at the left portion because it is grey and has an empty box for them to sign in instead of scribbling over the ticket whereas passengers can look to the right for information that is important for them. The yellow highlights indicate important information such as ticket number and possibility of gate change.

Iteration 2: Refinement

After the first round of presentations and in-class critiques, we decided to refine some of our ideas and came up with 4 final designs for the second phase.

Iteration 3: Final design

After yet another round of critiquing, we noticed some loopholes in our existing designs such as lack of authority of certain elements over others (no heirarchy) and how the sticky part of the arm band might get stuck to peoples hair and prove to be inconvenient in the long run cost-wise. We finally decided to pursue the bookmark idea so that passengers could keep these tickets as personalized soveniers rather than just another piece of paper. Our goal was to provide authority/veracity to the display of information. We did this by demarcating a separate shape and color to the flight related information while also keeping purely visual elements like the border in tact so that the artifact could serve as a personalized souvenir.

Check out the entire process in even more detail here

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