Mobile App for Cabin Crew

Where pilots can check their schedule, acknowledge flights and generate documents


01. Introduction

Flightware is a Business Aviation Management web application that helps small and medium sized operators manage different aspects of their companies, from trip creation to crew management, as well as pricing and quoting.

02. Research and Problem

After conducting user interviews to gather feedback from our customers we discovered that pilots were encountering a few issues:

  • Too many emails and phone calls, the way of communicating between pilots and operational/dispatch personnel is messy
  • Since the web app is not responsive is very difficult for pilots to check their schedule while they are on the go, they usually need to have a laptop with them
  • Some tasks have to be completed on paper and then input into existing flight management system, once the pilots are back to their home base, which resulted in time-consuming duplication of work
  • Need to involve other departments in generating crucial documentation, resulting in errors and miscommunication

We analysed the feedback given during interviews and realised we needed a mobile and tablet app for crew that pilots can use on the go.

Our high level goals were to:

  • Provide pilots with an easy way to check their upcoming flights and events
  • Make the process of acknowledging flights quick and easy
  • Give pilots more control over their documents

03. Solution

With the product owner we organised workshops and brainstorming sessions to generate ideas and help us to come up with a creative solution to the problem.

We wanted the app to provide:

  • A system for the crew to be able to check their credentials, their schedule and who they are flying with
  • The possibility to generate crucial documents, such as flight plans, crew briefs, safety reports directly in the app
  • A tool for completing inputting tech log details
  • A solution for better communication between pilots and dispatchers, that can keep track of pilots accepting or declining flights without being submerged by too many emails and calls
  • A solution to check and calculate Flight Duty Periods and other flight regulatory matters
  • Document control
  • Offline capabilities

04. Concept

Our concept is a calendar app where pilots can check their upcoming flights and events, they can acknowledge flights via a notification system and they can generate documents by themselves directly in the app.

05. Execution

We organised a workshop to come up with a list of the features the app should have and we started to think about what features should be included in the MVP. By doing some research on the matter we stumbled across this picture created a few years ago by Henrik Kniberg, which explains the concept of shipping a product as quickly as possible so that the customer can use it and give feedback on the app. Something that says “we are still building a car but in the meantime please try our skateboard and give us feedback.”

We decided to go with this approach and tailor the concept to our product. After talking about this with the development teams we organised the project into 8 milestones:

  1. Bus Ticket
  2. Skateboard
  3. Scooter
  4. Bicycle
  5. Motorbike
  6. Car
  7. Convertible
  8. Plane

We then did another group exercise to figure out how the navigation should work.

We presented the concept to the stakeholders and we enhanced it by taking their feedback into consideration.
We wanted to test our designs with users as much as possible, so I went on designing a low-fi inVision prototype for our first round of usability testing, so we could gather some feedback on the overall flow of the app and its features.

The usability testing went well. Customers were happy that we wanted to get them involved from the early stages. I used the feedback collected to enhance some flows and features and created a new prototype for a second round of usability testing. This time focused on the first milestone of the project, the bus ticket. I also started to work on the UI so the users could have a more real experience and give us even more detailed feedback.

After this second round of usability testing, we felt we were ready to start working on the details for the first milestone. I started to create a design system and produced all the assets the developers would have needed to start working.

We started development and are currently building our bus ticket. The first release is planned to take place this winter.

Exciting time for the project!