2016 - 2017
Making flying with children a better and user-friendly experience
This was our entry for the Fly Your Ideas - an Airbus contest that challenges students around the world to come up with innovative solutions for the flight industry.
We were selected between 50 projects around the world to have an Airbus professional mentoring in a three-month-long journey to refine the project. Although we didn't make it to the finals (therefore we were selected between the best 7 videos entries), I am really proud with the result and the really good feedbacks we received by the experts of the industry. It was a great learning experience and a good exercise to apply the human-centered design in such a complex and important challenge.
Our approach to the competition was to design a better experience of flying with babies, which is always a nightmare for parents and the reason why the vast majority do not even consider going through this experience, representing a large market that has been little explored by airlines.
So we come up with the task of designing a better human-centered experience for parents and kids during the flight.
An innovative user-friendly inflatable baby seat that is provided by airlines for parents with babies or kids, as well as the visual identity, a service customer journey map, and the app user interface.
The first step was to understand how is the experience of flying with a kid looks like and what are the pain points.
To do that, we dived into deep research to understand the main problems parents face on this journey, searching in many websites, blogs and interviewing parents and experts in the industry.
After that, we put all the information we gathered into a user journey map considering all main stakeholders. In this way, we could identify the main pain points in each touch point and opportunities to improve the experience.
Based on that map, we identified two main opportunity areas:
1. Bring your own car seat is painful
For comfort and safety reasons, using the car seat inside the airplane is the best solution for kids from 1 to 4 years old. However, parents normally have to bring their own to the flight and to do that they need to check if it's airline-approved, if its measurements fit in the airplane seat, and still carry it along the way with all the luggage. Some airlines already have a CRS (child safety restraint system) inside the aircraft, but because of the weight (almost 22 lbs) and the size, it normally has space to store just one seat.
2. Lack of clear information
In our research, we map many blogs and websites answering questions that parents have when traveling with babies. This shows that there is a big gap of information that airlines are not covering in their customer experience. Also, parents need to remember to take lots of things in their luggage and memorize many tasks during the trip, making the experience confusing and stressful.
After a lot of brainstorming, we came up with many different ideas to solve each touch point of the experience. So we agreed that we needed to come up with a systemic design approach that would combine different solutions into a one-single better experience, from searching about flying with babies until the end of the trip.
Thus we designed Flying Kids, an innovative service that airlines can provide for parents and babies to improve their flight experience.
It consists of an inflatable baby seat designed specially to be easy-stored inside the airplanes and to be provided for babies and little children during flight, a complete-informative website that helps inform and engage them in this experience and a user-friendly app to help remember everything they need to carry and the tasks during the journey.
The current baby seats in the market are both painful for parents to carry and difficult for airlines to store to provide for customers, as they are big and heavy.
So we designed an inflatable baby seat to be stored inside the aircraft which weights 75% less and occupies 70% less space.
This results in a huge weight saving which is really important for the flight industry, and also is easily-stored because of the compact dimensions when deflated.
Engaging kids into the experience
We also realized that all car seats have the same common-look. So we took this as an opportunity to design a more user-friendly product to engage kids in this experience, connecting it to a brand strategy and visual identity that would make the journey more fun. The child would be able to choose between five different characters which one will be his companion during the flight.
Another important feature is to have a separated cover which can be removable after the flight to wash. Also, because can be deflated, it is easier to be installed compared to normal seats.
It has a table that can be fitted into the baby seat so the child does not spill liquids and food at the time of eating, together with cutlery to facilitate the meal.
In order to solve the lack of information that parents face when searching about flying with kids, we map all the main information and questions from many blogs and websites and we compile everything into a single and easy-to-read interface.
To help parents remember everything before and during the flight, we designed an user-friendly app that has a checklist for all the important information and tasks they need to remember.
To compile all the solutions into a one-single seamless experience, we created a customer journey map showing all the steps and touch points the user goes through.
This is an important tool that helps us think and visualize the whole experience with an user-centered lens and make sure that we are not jumping any core moment.
To submit our entry into the competition, we had to make a two-minute video explaining our project, as well as our process.
This was the result. It's not a high-quality produced video - the deadline was really short and we didn't have too many resources - but it did its job and actually it was fun to create it. We were selected between the 7 best videos in the competition.