As a part of our Terminal Velocity series, we asked several designers how they would improve upon the experience of traveling. Here, ergonomics expert Rob Tannen worked with fellow designers Kyle Cook, Andrew Harvard, and Evan Wendel of Intuitive Company on a concept for a new travel app.—Eds
The worst thing about air travel is not knowing. Is my flight delayed? What’s the weather going to be like when I arrive? A proliferation of apps has addressed many of these concerns, but in a siloed manner—one app for your flight information, another for the weather, still another for your hotel. Travelers are forced to app-hop as they go from task to task.
Other tools have taken this a step further by consolidating various pieces of your itinerary into a single place, but they still communicate information in traditional formats—like lists and notifications—that require the user to mentally keep track of each separate action.
RoundTrip is a concept that consolidates all of the disparate pieces of information around travel and visualizes them as a continuous flow from point of departure to destination and back again. The entire travel plan is presented with key events (flights, appointments, budgets, etc.) that dynamically update as the trip progresses. The user can drill down into details and actions for each event as needed.
This meta-app breaks a trip down into a sequence of tasks—from packing, getting to the airport, checking in, waiting (lots of that), getting to the hotel, etc. The app pulls in a range of data—from weather, traffic, and flight delays— as well as services—such as taxi, airline, hotel, and restaurant reservations—to present the user with the right information at the right time. For instance, RoundTrip would:
- Alert you to weather changes and give recommendations on what to pack.
- Update an alarm to get you to the airport on time based on weather, traffic, and flight conditions.
- Give guidance on the best route to the airport, and then once in the airport, to the right gate.
- Estimate time to get through check-in based on the class of your ticket and real-time data from other users.
- Present an option to call a car service once you have landed.
While each of these functions exists now, they are in separate apps that lack an integrated intelligence to support actions like changing a restaurant reservation because your taxi is stuck in traffic.
By thoughtfully integrating data points into actionable information, the traveler is informed and assisted at every leg of the journey. For more in our Terminal Velocity series, go here.