Air X - Airline app from scratch

I am currently studying at the UX Design Institute. The aim of the project is to familiarize myself with every step of the UX design process and study best practices and design principles. On this page I keep track of my progress and projects.

Project overview

This project is part of my study at the UX Design Institute and the brief was pre-defined as:
Design a new mobile app from scratch for a start-up airline, focusing specifically on the flight booking process.
The aim is to create an online experience that is fast, easy and intuitive: one that’s based on a deep understanding of their target users.

UX/UI Designer
User research, Interaction design, Visual design, prototyping, testing

Figma, Miro,, Reflector

1 User Research

1.1 - Competitive Benchmark

I researched different competitors in the flight booking industry, to find any conventions and common problems to avoid. I went on to carry out a competitor analysis with 4 different apps: Big Dutch airline, Charter airline, Budget airline, Airline overview website (wildcard).

Key findings

Nearly all competitors used a simple design, with one or two common user goals as a call to action.

  • Searching flights
    Usually, this was a very simple one-page form, with users being brought to a different screen for more complicated actions and then brought back with the form filled. Useful elements I noticed were the ability to fill departure and arrival with the same action, and nearby or previously selected airports being highlighted.
  • Selecting flights
    The flight options in the most common cases seemed to be tiled, with only basic flight information shown with an option to expand for more information. Most operators gave the user three class options, often with a popular option highlighted. A useful element I noticed was the ability to switch to a different day, with the average price for that day shown.

1.2 - Online Survey

I created an online survey, using Survey Monkey, to get a more quantitative understanding of the context in which an airline app would be used.

* It's been a tough year for the travel industry. The pandemic has limited our abilities to travel, and it feels as though onboarding a plane has become a very distant memory. This has (at the time this survey was taken) most definitely influenced the outcome of this survey. 

Key findings

Airline apps are mainly used to:

  • Book a flight
  • Check-in
  • Check the status of the flight
  • COVID-19 updates

1.3 - User interviews & Usability testing

Four usability tests were conducted with airline competitors’ apps to learn the kinds of features users expected, the pain points they usually run into in the process, and what conventions they followed.

In a A/B testing, format participants were asked to complete the same trip booking on two different apps – Budget Airline and Charter Airline.

 Key findings

  • The key findings are incorporated in the affinity diagram

2 User Goals

2.1 - Affinity Diagram

Sources of data

  • Strengths, weaknesses and conventional ways of data and workflow in Airline apps are taken from Competitive Benchmark
  • Goals and behaviors of users are gathered from Online Survey
  • Users positive interactions, pain points and suggestions are taken from notes made during Usability Tests

2.2 - Customer Journey Map

The customer journey map corresponds (more or less) to the groupings from the affinity diagram. I have tried to capture the reality that some users may visit an airline app many times before completing their task. 


Key findings

The analysis of all the research data uncovered a lot of pain points and room for improvement. To improve the user experience of the booking process I will be focusing on five aspects to improve:

  • Progress and overview
    During the flight booking process, users often seemed confused about where they were in the booking process and what action was expected from them. Users were not always able to tell when a selection is made and the app asks them to make a next (often similar) selection.
  • Date selection
    The usability test uncovered that a calendar should have a conventional layout and intuitive interactive response. The user should be able to work out the calendar within seconds.
  • Flight comparison
    ‍In the research phase, users had trouble getting a good overview of what flights would suit their criteria best. Especially on a phone, the user has trouble navigating through the days to find for example the cheapest flights. 
  • Price transparency 
    Users would point out that the pricing was not transparent during the booking process. It was not clear from the beginning what was included in the price and what was not.
  • Fear of making mistakes
    Users have shown they feel like they can't change their minds. And if they do, the user doesn't want to go all the way back to the beginning of the process to fix or change their input.

Structure And Navigation

Currently in progress. I will keep you posted!

Merel Dassen 

Product, Experience & Graphic Designer