Work. Singapore Air — Mar 2015

Challenged to reinvent the Singapore Airlines website, Digital Arts Network devised an evolutionary approach to propell the world class airline into the future.

Before beginning a project like this, it’s important to understand your audience. In this case, our audience was every single traveller in the world who is sick to death of airilne websites that are broken, poorly designed, hard to use, or didn’t work on mobile. Together with the client, we planned an evolutionary approach to the site redesign that would take place over a span of several years.

The homepage

Since this was primarily a UX driven project, we had several constraints for the new design. Firstly, it had to maintain the blue header navigation.

Secondly the location of the booking widget had to remain in it’s origional position. With those features set in place, the rest of the site was designed based on itterative testing, focusing on what users commonly wanted when they visited Singaporeair.com

The booking pannel

What’s the most important part of an airline website? The booking interface, of course. It has to be fast and mind-numbingly intuative; simple enough a child can use it.

Some good tricks we included were: live search, auto select next field and touch friendly fields. All makes searching flights easy peasy. Selecting destinations has to happen at the speed of thought - that's why live search has to be properly implimented.

Flight search

All users instinctively know that the hardest part of the process is selecting flights. An immense amount of information has to be available for both basic and advanced users, so it makes sense that some more novice users become confused.

We attempted to simplify all flight information, making it as intelligible as possible without losing crucial info. From a business imperitive, upgrade options were thrown into the mix as a key measurable within the page.

Responsive

Every single page was designed for responsive - even the horribly complex ones.

Every element had to be designed with all devices in mind. Needless to say, Photoshop layer comps quickly became a disaster.

Mobile not first

I realised during this project that the “mobile first” strategy is perhaps the worst ever invented. There’s simply no logical way to start with something simple and work your way up to complexity.

Only Darwins theory of evolution follows this principle, and is, as we know, unguided. Design however, is intentional and ruled by simplification.

Selecting flights

Alternate ways of selecting flights is almost an expected with airline websites. Having a calendar view as well as a flight schedule were important parts of the process.

Flight schedules that had it's own visual language made looking at what is essentially a boring table at least a little more pleasant.

Selecting seats

After several attempts, I decided on the simplist design style: plain boxes. Not only was it easier to use, it was easier to style for different screen sizes.

The process and order by which users selected their seats had to be different because of the nature of behavour across devices. It's hard to explain here so if you're interested then go see for yourself :)

Size

All interactive elements – seat selections included – had to be a certain size to allow people with fat fingers (like myself) to select on a touch device.

Would you like more stuff?

One of the most salient part of our new strategy wasn’t just to incorporate anxillary products, but *where* to place them.

Either within the booking flow, after it, or outside it. After several tests, it was found that having all products featured in an “add-ons” step within the flow was the best solution as it drove purchasing by more than 300%.

The easiest way to pay

Payment presented a whole new world of challenges all in itself.

KrisFlyer (SIA’s membership programme) members could make use of paying with miles. We introduced a payment slider that interactive deducts the amount payable.

Login to krisflyer

Logging in to SingaporeAir.com gives you the ability to earn, burn and keep track of your KrisFlyer points.

I prefer looking at visual dials rather than steile numers.

Team invincible

The design team endured late nights, artery clogging fast food and endless change request. Thanks to all who worked so tirelessly on this project.

Jenny Nguyen, Joanna Soh (webabsurdism.com), Imelda Sukardi (imeldats.com), Shising Lim (shihsing.com), Dongni Guo and Christine Thamrin.

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