One of my classes required a semester-long design project that was billed as “designing for special populations.” The premise of the project was to design something to improve the economy class flying experience for a population of your choosing: elderly, wheel chair-bound, business travelers, etc.
Designing for travelers is rich with opportunity because of the many challenges. Small cabin sizes, limited baggage weight, and government regulations place unique constraints on solutions.
KidPilot was born out of a semester-long project to make the economy-class flying experience better for a chosen population. Having done a lot of recent travel and hearing some eyebrow-raising stories from my sister’s travels with her two young children, I chose to design for adults traveling with young children under the age of five.
This population added a layer of complexity and challenge because of the complications that arise from solving two age groups’ separate, but simultaneously-experienced-problems.
The development of KidPilot started with questionnaire surveys of the population to find general characteristics: physical ability or limitations, carry-on item priorities, and preferences of in-flight activities. This was followed by more in-depth interviews of five individuals from the twenty surveyed. Then, a low-fidelity prototype was developed, tested with a few of the subjects, tweaked, and then turned into a high-fidelity prototype.
The subsequent posts are a look at a design methodology that starts with subject research followed by iterations of prototyping and incorporating feedback, finally resulting in the high-fidelity prototype in InVision.