On average, more than 8 million people are flying all over the world in a single day. Moving all these people through airports is a major task and demands effective and user-friendly systems. Daifuku Airport Technologies (Daifuku ATec), a world-leading baggage handling system provider, approached us with a challenge to create a new experience for how passengers at airports can pass through check-in and baggage drop faster and with minimal effort.
Daifuku ATec had high ambitions for the future evolution of their baggage check-in experience to set the right tone for travelers before their flight, adding ease and taking away unnecessary fuss. To achieve this, we redesigned the existing interface to create a next-generation software of their self-service bag drop application.
We solved critical pain points and created an experience that greatly enhanced the passenger experience while reducing operating costs. The product has been showcased in exhibitions all over the world and is already installed in Minneapolis and Honolulu.
Design process to the rescue
Through many versions of prototyping, we wanted to create a solution that was beautiful, functional, and effective with the least possible screen interactions. We came to a common understanding of the problem at hand. By observing and speaking to travelers, we understood what passengers valued the most and what were their technical limitations. This gave us a broader view of the challenge and helped us to put it into context.
We found two key development areas. The first one was to make it easier for people to understand the parts of the process that took place outside the bag drop machine, avoiding that people got stuck at certain points. So we set a challenge to make sure that the machine and the UI worked together as a seamless experience.
The second one was the communication on the screen itself. As the check-in situation on an airport with a long line of people behind you can be stressful, we set the ambition to design a new user interface that would reduce stress and create a joyful experience with animation.
Based on the insights, the team came up with the hypotheses for an ideal solution. Quick prototyping and testing immediately gave us valuable feedback. Iterating on the concept in collaboration with the client and end users moved the design process ahead.
The team tested different styles, color schemes, and animations to come up with the best possible solution. In this case, animation became the most effective way of guiding travelers through the experience. A dark background would appear to take attention off the screen and brighten up again when we needed to redirect the attention back to the screen.
Exploring, testing, prototyping
We wanted to offer a great user experience. To do so, we simulated and tested the bag drop experience and learned a great deal from it.
Since animation turned out to be the most effective way of guiding travelers through the process, finding the right level of detail and timing soon became our most important task.
The final product
We designed the interface and joined forces with the studio Racecar to help us reach our vision with animations. The final product is a new bag drop experience that reduces operator costs and improves the passenger experience. By using color and animations, we solved critical pain points.
The product has been showcased in exhibitions all over the world, and is already installed in Minneapolis and Honolulu. Daifuku ATec continues to receive good feedback from both customers (airports and airlines) and passengers, and is now in production mode.