O’Hare Visitor App Design

Introduction

The Client

Chicago’s O’Hare Airport

Objective

Create a new app for visitors of Chicago’s O’hare airport. 

The current website for O’Hare has been used to fulfill the needs of visitors to date. However, there is a hypothesis that an app might be a better tool for frequent visitors to the airport.

The app needs to be designed for both iOS and Android platforms.

Problem Statement

Visitors of the airport need to know where resources and services are located such as restaurants and restrooms. The airport is very large and has a reputation of being complicated to experience. The corridors are very narrow and ceilings are low, limiting the distance a person can see, making a difficult situation for a person unfamiliar with the airport.

It is challenging to find a directory kiosk. There needs to be a way to bring the information to the visitor. An ad campaign can be conducted throughout the airport so that there is no place a visitor can be without seeing an add. They then can download the app and have all the info they need.

Goal

To make any needed information easily available to all visitors of the airport via a mobile app that anyone with common mobile phone platforms can download. It needs to be easy to understand how it works and what it offers.

Users and Audience

Visitors of O’Hare airport in Chicago. 

Roles and Responsibilities

I was the sole participant in this project.

Scope and Constraints

This project focused primarily on interface and interactive design. Research has already been performed and visual design rules that were established in the current website will be used in this app. 

For this stage, the high level areas are all that are being design. This includes the home page, main navigation, maps page, find flight page, and more menu.

Process and What Happened

Needs Assessment and Sketching

A list of needed items for the app was quickly assets then some quick sketching was done to work some of the few concerns out. But for the most part I felt good about where things were going so I moved quickly to to the computer to work out the screens.

Home and Landing Page

Initial layout ideas and information architecture plans

Flight Search and Maps Pages

Initial layout ideas

Design Direction

The decided approach was to work from the iOS (Apple Design Resources) and Android (material design) design standards first, for common interface assets. Then when appropriate, changes would be made that would make more sense in the design. For unique areas/items of the app, the goal was to make each platform version the same.

Landing Page

From the landing page, users will see all available interactions. The tasks that have been determined to be most used have been given priority. Find your flight is prominently shown at the top allowing a user to quickly enter their flight number and find all related info. 

All other information and services are easily seen and intuitive.

iOS version
Android version

Navigation

On the iOS version, the primary navigation is located in the form of a navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.

On the Android version, the primary navigation is located at the top left of the screen represented by a ‘hamburger menu’ icon/symbol.

iOS version
Android version

Find Your Flight

If the user selects the advance search link or they choose Find your flight from the menus, they are taken to a form that gives them the ability to search by alternate information to help them find the flight.

Map Page

On the maps page the user can select which terminal and destination type they would like to view. The user can choose to start their search by looking first at the terminal of choice or they can choose the destination. For example, if they are looking for dining options, they would select that under the destination dropdown and all the options would be indicated in the map.

Map Page - Terminal Dropdown

As expected, the menu shows the available options. Once selected, the map will isolate the chosen terminal. The intent is that the user can either select an area (the terminal of choice) of the map or use the dropdown menu.

Map Page - Destination Dropdown

Just like the terminal dropdown, the menu shows the available options. Once selected, the map will show icons indicating where the results are in relation to the terminal layout.

Conclusion

Overall, I feel the project was very successful. It seems like the goal of making an easy to use and understand app has been adhered to. 

I am reluctant to say that the goal was achieved at this point. This is a first iteration and many things are standing out that I would possibly change maybe before conducting any use testing. But I don’t know, it would be interesting to see how users would react. 

For example the multiple ‘Find your flight’ options. The block up top seem simple enough with the enter number and advanced search. But having the other option on the menu, particularly on the iPhone version, might be confusing. Or would some users look at the menu first and therefore get to what they are looking for faster?  

Yeah, the more I look at it, am not sure that I would change anything. I am really curious to see what users would do.