New technology and upcoming players in the industry are challenging Schiphol’s current business model. Schiphol was among the first airports to develop a mobile app, employ social channels for customer service, implement indoor wayfinding and use beacon technology to personalize interactions. But the channel-driven approach and experimental nature led to a fragmented offering for the consumer, so in early 2015 they initiated a complete overhaul of their digital channels in a multi-year program.
After an innovative and effective selection process, Schiphol chose us as their long-term partner to develop a digital identity, UX patterns, consistent user interfaces, and visual design for web, app, newsletters and social channel—all in close collaboration with a new internal digital team. The aim: to improve the passenger journey, resulting in higher passenger satisfaction.
In order to create the best digital products, we first had to break free from existing assumptions. Instead of combining the wish-lists of the internal stakeholders, we guided the team on how to focus on the true needs of the passengers by analyzing passenger behavior. This resulted in clear communication, a goal-driven approach, and a personalized offering of services. Agile workflows and a new technology framework allow for fast prototyping and rapid improvement of the products, and the long beta period allows the team to learn in increments and zoom in on true user needs.
To align day-to-day with the changing overall vision, we developed a playbook: the universal hub for maintaining and communicating the design system, from the high-level goals and principles that govern the user experience to reusable code snippets ready for implementation.
This is the first tangible result of our long-term collaboration. The new website and mobile app, all based on the newly-founded principles, blend the physical and digital realms, proactively tailor the experience, take people thoughtfully by the hand, and communicate like a service employee.
So far, the focus has been on improving the UX, but there’s more to come. This year, our attention will shift to brand, content and communication, and to finding new opportunities for design and design-thinking to improve the daily life of passengers at the best European airport.