Typically published monthly, in-flight magazines inspire about various destinations & local lifestyle, but doesn’t inform about the destination customers are heading to next. As vacation travel begins to pick up over the next year, travellers will seek to discover more cultural inspiration & crave curated experiences.
Your challenge is to design a third-party tablet app that serves as an editorial experience & travel guide based on a tourists’ current location, or future destination; no matter the airline. Use technology in a future-forward way, to personalize the in-flight entertainment time for the guest.
How could the in-flight time be used by a passenger to learn about attractions, transport, dining, childcare, and shopping in the locale they are on their way to? How can the journey be personalized to complement the beginning-to-end vacation experience for a customer?
After the kick-off presentation given by Adobe’s Creative Jam & Southwest Airlines, I had an idea in my mind about who their target audience is and the pain-points they face before, during, and after travel.
It was important to me that the design I would create would have most, if not all, features available without wifi. In my experience, in-flight wifi is wonderful to have, but is unreliable. It is during these times that I reach for the on-board magazine & entertainment. An app that becomes essentially non-functional while wifi is down would not solve the user’s pain-points.
Once I understood the end goal of what this app was meant to achieve, I decided to do some research into the history of magazines. Where did this type of publication start? Why did magazines rise in popularity? What function do magazines provide in today’s world?
Germany 1663, one of the earliest examples of a modern magazines ran for 5 years and spread to other European countries. The scholarly periodicals & book reviews were short and easily consumed by its readers. Not long after, in France 1672 there was a publication of “periodical of amusement” which went beyond scholarly articles and published news, art, and gossip.
My reading left me with an understanding of why magazines became such a popular format and why they are still relevant today. Ultimately, magazines balance entertainment, informative, and inspirational reading in a way no other publication type does.
My concept is to not reinvent the wheel, but improve upon it. Magazines are already able to fulfil the identified pain-points, so what can I do to be more than a PDF reader? How can I improve that experience without bloating or over-complicating the app.
By introducing gameplay elements in non-gaming settings, we enhance user engagement with a product or service.
In order to gamify my app I wanted to add a feature that recreated the feeling of creating a collage out of magazine clippings.
A scissor icon would indicate the able to “clip” items the user wanted to review later to an adventure board. If the user discovers an interesting attraction, they can save it to their current board, so once they de-plane they can book that event. However, if the user is looking at content that isn’t relevant to their current trip, but is intriguing, they could save it to another board for future inspiration/trips.
The idea of creating boards isn’t new, there is a very popular service that lives off of this idea. However, this would be a new feature in the travel & booking space. Most booking apps aren’t an “experience” – the user searches for the thing they’re looking for, find it in a static list, and book it. Building a collage is an entertainment experience, but allows the user to benefit from relevant content and built in booking information.
The other key to the app’s experience is the ability to personalize the reading and discovery experience. In order to achieve this there are two features I included in my design.
First, a more personalized experience based on Airline & Flight Number. This information would allow the app to talk to that airline’s API prior to take-off & download the library of flights & relevant information. Data about flight duration, destination, and even demographic information would allow the app to curate the most relevant content for the users on-board.
The second feature is the addition of short, fun quizzes. Quizzes are fairly lightweight and readily available offline, as they consist of just text & format coding. This is an easy way to add more entertainment value, but has the hidden benefit of improving the content algorithm. If the user has an account the results of the quizzes can be added to their algorithm when they land & are reconnected to wifi.
User Experience Design
This project is still in progress & won’t be completed until June 1, 2021.
TripClip is a modern replacement for in-flight magazines. It allows businesses to submit digital content, that would be faster & cheaper to iterate, which will be consumed by their target audiences.
Users who download the app can still enjoy the idea of an on-flight magazine, but with added entertainment & practicality. There is even room for growth with this product, as features like booking systems & the integration of Google Maps, so users can easily find the locations of their clippings.