The aim of this project was to come up with a digital booking concept for Hyperloop – where a connection between Europe and US now exists. To think about how a booking and boarding experience might work.
I like to go right back to the core when I’m looking at designing a concept. The “Why?” is a key area I like to explore, as discussed in a Scott McCloud’s book, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art.
We have been explorers since the beginning of our conception as humans and that ideology runs through nature amongst all living creatures. Whether we explore for food, curiosity or passion, we tend to find ourselves when we are in motion. This innate connection we have with motion drives us to want to travel, even now.
This starts to open up ideas and design principles that will help shape the concept.
I moved onto stripping the whole concept down to a couple of circles and an arrow. A to B, is the most simplicist conversion of the user flow. We are trying to take a journey, with a start and an end. It might seem pretty obivious at first, but if you don’t draw this out, the whole point of a concept can get lost in side conversations.
Once I established a basic user flow, I went on to explore the motive. I thought it was important to understand what lies behind our need or desire to explore. What is the driving force behind it? Here are a couple of reasons:
I expanded the basic user flow into three parts.
At this point the user’s intent is focused on many different things:
- Where am I going?
- How long am I staying?
- Do I need accommodation?
- Do I need a visa?
- How much is it going to cost?
Stress level is very high.
The user is generally focused on the journey and their final destination:
- What are the cool places to eat?
- I’d like to explore all the sights and sounds
- How am I going to get from the station to my accommodation?
Stress level is minimal.
The user is probably tired and their cognitive processing is less with an emphasis on:
- Where are my bags?
- Where is my transfer? / How am I getting to my accommodation?
- What’s the weather like? Is it raining or cold? Or hot?
Stress level is high.
Hal wants to travel from London to New York to see his sister, Amelia, who has just had a baby girl, Emily.
Hal has to think a number of factors during the booking process and each one of these decision points should be an integral part of that process.
When I first started looking at how to design the system, I was thinking about how the forms would work and how a user would move through a process with progress bars of circles or boxes.
But it didn’t feel right to start the design focusing on small elements, so I stopped and took a step back to think about what common elements people interact with when they travel. I went back to the drawing board and looked at desiging around a physical ticket. This felt like a concept that people already understood. So I could wrap my design system around this idea.
Each ticket stub would be a section of the trip: from Vehicle, Documentation, to Accommodation. Using typography and colour to draw focus into key information and provide hierachy.
I’ve always believed in thoughtful design – to fully understand a user’s needs before, during and after a given task.
It was important to consider helping the user with things like transfer from their destination, weather during their trip, how much baggage they’re allowed to take with them and when is the best time to leave to get the station on time.
Let’s get back to our story. On the day that Hal is travelling to New York, there are a couple of new factors he that might be considering and therefore it’s important to ensure that the design allows the user to understand and act on essential parts.
Ticket and Passport
As new technologies emerge, I felt it was the right time to look at how people would use technologies to handle ticket and ID checks. Facial and finger print recognition could be become the standard way to ID someone who is checking in. While it is important to introduce these newer technologies, I think it is also vital to keep using a standard passport. Therefore having the barcode option would help those people who choose to continue using the current method.
Design principles can be overlooked during projects. I feel they help funnel important decisions, from deciding between 2px or 20px rounded corners, to whether we are going build a mobile app or not. Here some of the design principles that I try to adhere to:
- Focus on users needs
- Less stress
- Balance design with emotion and data
- For everyone
- Build a service