Connecting the Spirit of Australia to WI-FI
With virtually every passenger carrying a smartphone, tablet or laptop, Qantas saw an opportunity to transform the travel experience by installing inflight Wi-Fi on their B737 and A330 aircraft. Qantas engaged ustwo to develop a responsive web portal that not only allows passengers to access Wi-Fi, but also offers personalisation, one-of-a-kind features and access to content, exclusive to Qantas customers.
Getting to the heart of the Qantas Passenger
We kicked off the project with an 8 week Discovery phase, where we immersed ourselves in Qantas’ business, unearthed the opportunities and constraints of the technology, and developed a strategic project roadmap.
Having an in depth understanding of the passenger flight journey – pre-flight, during, and after – laid the foundations of building an effective customer inflight experience.
We held multiple workshops and conducted qualitative interviews to delve deeper into our customer and learn more about their pain points and travel needs, and test our initial assumptions via face to face conversations and prototypes.
Our desire to make the Wi-Fi experience as smooth and effortless as possible drove our design thinking – and also led to some interesting inflight features.
Creating a seamless journey
From the beginning, we saw there was an opportunity to build a product that would offer a seamless travel experience for the passenger and strengthen their connection to the Qantas brand.
We achieved this by integrating features such as transport options to and from the airport and CBD, displaying boarding and flight times, and informing users about mealtimes and in-flight service announcements.
Additional features such as helping people discover where to eat and drink, activities at their destination, car hire and hotel options, and exclusive entertainment packages through Netflix, Stan and other entertainment providers kept passengers informed and entertained throughout their journey.
During the 3 month Build phase, we continued to test prototypes and features with passengers inflight, face-to-face, and at Sydney airport, ensuring that we were constantly receiving feedback from users and improving the product.
In the early testing stages we discovered that users saw the portal speed as a proxy for the internet speed. As the first digital touchpoint, we needed to make sure that it met passenger expectations in regards to speed and page load times. Our product engineers worked at lowering page load times with smarter asset pipelines, edge caching and dynamic loading techniques. Making an experience that was perceptively faster improved the onboarding and overall satisfaction.
Using AR to provide a unique customer experience
After we had finished with the initial build phase, we wanted to explore a feature we believed would be an innovative addition to the Wi-Fi portal.
We asked the question: ‘What if you could see directly beneath the plane?’
In answering this question we developed ‘Flight View’, an augmented reality feature which shows passengers a 360 degree view of the landscape around the plane.
Flight View uses satellite imagery to create a 3D landscape of the spot passengers are currently in while flying. Using their mobile devices, passengers can ‘look around’ the outside of the aircraft, while also tapping on markers to learn more about key points of interest in the landscape.
We brought in a (literal) Rocket Scientist and teamed him up with an internal developer at Qantas to create a proof of concept in order to see how feasible it would be to make it a feature of our product.
Flight View proved to be immensely popular in our user testing, with passengers delighted at their ability to ‘see’ outside the aircraft, and has continued to be developed and improved upon.
What we achieved
Beyond building a simple landing page, we developed a portal that not only allows passengers to access Wi-Fi, but also delivers exclusive options ‘unlocked’ by travelling with Qantas, and further strengthens the passengers’ engagement of the portal and Qantas brand.
After working for nearly 18 months on every stage of this project, we’re excited to see how the Qantas team has developed new skills in Agile and design thinking. Their expertise in travel, combined with ustwo’s design approach, has created something really exciting, and a product we are all proud of.
If you are thinking of developing your next digital product, please get in touch