In-Flight Experience

“ The task at hand was to design an in-flight Infotainment system to improve Passengers experience during long flight journeys. The user research which I conducted, pointed towards the fact that an Infotainment system alone will not be able to address the identified user pain points. I was then able to proactively suggest a service level design with two applications placed to cover the entire user journey. “ 

Research phase

  1. Define the problem
  2. Select the approach
  3. Plan and prepare for the research
  4. Collect the data
  5. Analyze the data
  6. Report the results

Design phase

  1. Identifying the design elements
  2. Journey mapping
  3. Device mapping
  4. Information architecture
  5. Sketching
  6. wireframing

Defining the problem

  1. Identify the problem faced by people over long flight journeys.
  2. Evaluate the current flight experience.

Selecting the approach

To identify the problems faced by users over long flight journeys by conducting a telephonic and in-person interview with users analyzing their answers and compiling the results.

Why telephonic and in-person interviews because of the limited time at disposal and practical difficulties in performing real-time user research.

To evaluate current flight experience by collecting the information available through the internet and some personal experience.

An evaluative research was the right approach here which involves a real in hand experience with the current infotainment system. But it was identified to be effortful and expensive at this moment.

Plan and prepare

Identifying the users for the interview

1. Robin

  • Residing in the USA.
  • Long distance journeys, US —> India.
  • Min 2 trips per year
  • Accessible through FaceTime or WhatsApp. Planning to connect him via WhatsApp and interview through FaceTime.
  • Expecting some matured inputs from him.


2. Rahul

  • Residing in Chennai
  • Long distance journeys, Chennai —> Australia
  • Had 4 Up and down journeys recently
  • Accessible via phone or in person.
  • Expecting some good inputs as he was a novice user


Identifying the internet source.
  • Wikipedia to get an initial understanding.
  • Browse through known airlines websites emirates, Etihad.
  • Check youtube travel reviews by Rohan Ghosh


Two levels of user interviews were taken. The former helped me to get a basic understanding of the flying experience. The whole flying experience was grouped into three. Pre-flying experience, In-flight experience, Post-flying experience. Based on the initial inputs questions were prepared to get more insightful answers from users.

  1. What information do you get after booking?
  2. How do you plan for the trip?
  3. Will you be concerned about the connection?
  4. When will you reach the airport and why?
  5. Whom do you contact in case of any query?
  6. Explain your experience about check-in & security?
  7. How you spend time?


  1. How did you manage connection flights?
  2. Other concerns?
    1. First priorities after getting in?
    2. Always concerned about?
    3. How you spend time?
    4. Opinion about IFE?
    5. What all features you have used?
    6. What all you expect it to have?
    7. How you communicate?
    8. Games?
    9. Maps and other information?
    10. Movies and music?
    11. Your devices?
    12. Sleep and meals?
    13. Interaction with others?
    14. Best and the worst experiences?
    Inputs were also taken from top service providers from the market. ex: Panasonic Aero, Imma fly, Adonis one.

    " Based on the user interviews and research inputs an attempt was made to map the entire experience of user throughout the journey"



    The obtained inputs were then sorted and organized using a card sorting technique



    The output of the analysis is then documented and reported.



    Unaware: There is a loot of information which is useful but is either hidden or in an inaccessible state which makes the user unaware of it.

    Concerned: The user is always concerned about certain problems which he had either faced before or heard from others as a journey spoiler.

    Boring: The first impression has always been boring equally from everyone when it comes to long flight journeys.

    Uncomfortable: The worst part of the trip is the fact that user needs to spend their entire time in a passenger seat, which becomes very uncomfortable after a long period of time.

    Lonely: Another strange behavior observed is the feeling of being lonely in a flight full of people placed in a closed proximity reasonably enough to have an interaction.

    Design Phase

    Design elements

    Each of these issues identified was divided into individual units which were then studied, and solutions were listed. An issue and its respective solutions together constitute a design element.

    Journey Mapping

    User journey through pre-flying, in-flight, post-flying was carefully observed and the significant instance of events where mapped.

    Making It Accessible

    Pre-flying experience should be available to users from the day he books his ticket till he boards his flight. In-flight experience stretches around the whole flight journey. It is very important to maintain that experience post arrival till he exists the airport which defines the post-flying experience.

    Pre-flying and post-flying experiences are delivered through a medium of a mobile application. Thereby making it available and accessible to the user.

    In-flight experience

    A long flight journey extends from 8 to 20 hours depending on the connection delay and flying hours.80% of the time will be spent over flight passenger seats. The only way to provide an in-flight experience will be to make it accessible while sitting which can be achieved through tablet application placed in front of the user.

    Information architecture

    Design suggestion was made on each of the pain points identified in the research.

    Mobile application


    Design suggestion was made on each of the pain points identified in research.

    In-flight infotainment



    Pre-flight experience
    In flight infotainment system

    A dashboard which provides all the necessary information to the user in a glance.