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. The product is aimed at two different personas: pilots and dispatchers. Customer satisfaction surveys designed by our Support Team showed we had improvements to make.

02. Research

In order to better understand what the issues were, the product owner and I prepared objectives and interview questions to speak with 15 of our users. The questions focused on understanding the workflow our users were performing on a day to day basis and their frustrations. We recorded the conversations a took notes of the interview.

03. Synthesis

We used Atlassian Confluence to capture insights and transcripts of the interviews. We then grouped the headlines under common patterns with the help of a simple Airtable document.

We created personas to better understand our users’ needs, experiences, behaviors, goals, and guide our ideation process.

04. Define the Problem

After synthesising our research, we were able to identify the main 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 the 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 then reframed our challenges How Might We questions:

  • How Might We provide pilots with an easy way to check their upcoming flights and events?
  • How Might We make the process of acknowledging flights quick and easy?
  • How Might We give pilots more control over their documents?

05. Brainstorming

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 thought our users needed a mobile and tablet application that pilots could use on the go with the following functionalities:

  • 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

06. Solution

We decided to propose to our users

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.

We did a card sorting exercise with our users in order to define features and clusters of features.


07. Testing the Solution

We wanted to test the solution with our users to get feedback and to understand if we were moving in the right direction. We organised the second round of interviews and usability testing. The overall solution was positively received and we used the feedback collected to enhance flows and features.

08. Definition of MVP

We organised a workshop 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

09. Information Architecture and Navigation

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

10. Validation

I 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.

11. Design System

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.

12. Development

We started development and are currently building our bus ticket. The first release is planned to take place very soon. An exciting time for the project!