Simon Austerberry

  • Portfolio
    • Duty Free eCommerce Design

      MAG Airport App

      MAG Transfers Booking Journey

  • Projects
    • ShopNote


Design and test of prototypes for a new airport transfer booking platform

Manchester Airports Group had already built a successful online booking system for their airport car parks. However, a significant number of their passengers travelled by public transport or taxi. Therefore, the business wanted to create a new digital product that would allow their passengers to pre-book a transfer to and from one of their airports.

As UX Design Lead, I was asked to work with the team to conduct user research and design and test early prototypes with users. The output of this would then help to inform the first release.

User research

The first thing we wanted to do was speak to people to understand their needs and frustrations when booking and using airport transfers. I planned and moderated a user testing session with 8 participants.

The first part of the session was a short chat about their recent transfer experiences. I then asked participants to book a transfer using two sites – Looking4Transfers, a company owned by MAG, and a competitor site.

From the interviews, we found out some of the moments of anxiety passengers had in their transfers experience and also what passengers were looking for to help them decide on the best transfer method. We also uncovered usability issues on Looking4Transfers, which would allow us to optimise their site.

Designing and testing prototypes

Equipped with user insight, the next step was to create a prototype and test it with potential users. This would allow us to rapidly test ideas with participants, and mitigate the risk of building the wrong thing.

From the previous findings, we felt the prototype needed to:

  1. Make information about each transfer option clear so participants could make an informed decision.
  2. Allow participants to search door-to-door.
  3. Give users peace of mind when booking a transfer.

I ran a small workshop with the team and a few others from the business to generate ideas around a few of these points. I then put together two prototypes. The first was a redefined experience for Looking4Transfers. The second, was reskinning it for MAG's own transfer website.

As data entry played an important part of the experience, I opted for high-fidelity prototypes using ProtoPie. I then got back in the lab and tested the prototypes with 5 participants.

From the second round of testing, we had uncovered:

  • Participants trusted transfer recommendations from Manchester Airport.
  • The search form needed work. Participants were confused by the date and time fields.
  • For public transport, walking information was essential.

Outcomes of the work

It was at this point, my involvement in the project came to an end. However, I felt the discovery work we’d done had been successful. We’d uncovered user needs, from which we could shape a value proposition and define the product experience. We’d also designed and tested prototypes which allowed us to rapidly test ideas without spending time building the wrong thing.

PS. That cool looking post thumbnail was generated by Device Frames

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